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Winners Of The Wind River Start-Up Challenge Named Sunday

Wind River Start-Up Challenge logo

The Wind River Start-Up Challenge hopes to promote Native-owned businesses on the Wind River Reservation. And on Sunday, May 23, five winners of the challenge were announced.

Eustace Day with Native FX, Leslie Spoonhunter with Goose's Kitchen, Hannah Nicol with Monohooboo Hut, Harmony Spoonhunter with Dancing Rain Consulting and Eugene Coulston with Timber Beast were declared victors.

Timber beast is a logging company. And Coulston has plans to bring lumber and wood products to the reservation. He said this challenge has been a great opportunity to build his business, and has a bit of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "Just keep trucking. It's only up from here. Just keep going. If you’ve got that drive, the possibilities are endless," remarked Coulston.

The challenge provided finalists with mentors who advised them in creating their business plans.

"I've learned a lot. There's a lot of things I didn't know about business that I now know," said Coulston.

All the winners received varying amounts of a $25,000 dollar seed fund to jump-start their businesses. From the purchase of a new logging truck to computer equipment, the successful finalists are excited to get this opportunity.

Harmony Spoonhunter with Dancing Rain Consulting is ready to get to work.

"I provide website design, digitizing files, technical assistance, and information and data management. The money that I won, I'm going to use to start up my business. I need to get my business license, my TERO license and then just basic equipment to get started with," said Spoonhunter.

University of Wyoming's Office for Research and Economic Development and the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research support this challenge.

Applications are currently being accepted for the fall 2021 challenge. For more information visit the Wind River Start-Up Challenge website.

Signa McAdams is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and from the Wind River Indian Reservation.
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