Wyoming Start-Up Challenge Moves Online And Awards $25K

Mar 31, 2020

This is the first year for the Microbial Ecology Collaborative Startup Launchpad.
Credit WTBC

Three science-based businesses participated in the first ever Microbial Ecology Collaborative Startup Launchpad (MECSL) on March 26. The competition is held by the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) at the University of Wyoming (UW).

In response to the COVID-19 closures, the pitch day was held in a virtual Zoom workspace. 

Fred Schmechel, the WTBC assistant director, said the online space was a big change, but something they would consider using again for future pitch days. People logged in from across the country to watch.

Finalists included Livestock Wx, a company that provides analytics and insight on how weather affects livestock production; Theraneutrics, a company that is designing a cure for gout using probiotics; and AsimicA, a company focused on improving efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry. $25,000 in seed money was divided among the finalists.

The WTBC hosts four startup challenges a year. Each one supports Wyoming-based business startups by providing guidance and possible seed funding. Participants only need to have an idea when they apply, not a fully functioning business. Finalists are narrowed down from a pool of applicants through a confidential selection process.

To date, the WTBC has helped 176 startups in Wyoming.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.