ROCK SPRINGS — Southwest Wyoming entrepreneurs soon will have local access to a University of Wyoming IMPACT 307 incubator, in addition to the business advising program currently available.
IMPACT 307’s incubators provide space for entrepreneurs to start their businesses. Recently appointed IMPACT Assistant Director Monica Jo Patten of Green River announced plans to develop new incubator facilities in Sweetwater and Uinta counties in addition to broadening IMPACT 307’s program.
“There is significant potential for new businesses to start here in Southwest Wyoming,” says Patten. “IMPACT 307 offers specialized support for entrepreneurs with innovative and scalable startups. We also mentor entrepreneurs who will grow Wyoming’s economic ecosystem. If a business is out of scope, we help connect them with other free resources within Wyoming’s Business Resource Network.”
IMPACT 307’s specialized support comes in the form of one-on-one business advising, entrepreneur development events, and access to a network of trusted mentors. Patten is also working to bring IMPACT 307’s highly successful Startup Challenge Model to Sweetwater and Uinta Counties, in collaboration with Western Wyoming Community College (Western) and the City of Evanston.
Western is looking forward to partnering with IMPACT 307 as well as the community leaders to complement existing programs, said Western’s Dean of Outreach and Workforce Development Amy Murphy.
“Everything we do at Western Wyoming Community College is focused on helping not only our students to succeed, but our communities thrive through entrepreneurship,” Dean said. “We are excited for this new partnership with IMPACT 307 as a key to providing local small businesses with greater access to the opportunities, information and support needed for entrepreneurs in our counties to become innovative and thrive and compete.”
For the first time, IMPACT 307 will be offering business advising to entrepreneurs who participate in JumpStart Evanston. JumpStart Evanston is a competition which has been running for three years and is led by Evanston’s Economic Development Director, Rocco O’Neill.
JumpStart Evanston offers seven free business classes taught by local, successful professionals to coach and inspire competitors to achieve their own entrepreneurial dreams. Finalists will be eligible to receive a cash prize along in addition to the invaluable educational resources thanks to many local sponsors who donate time and money to the competition
“We are excited to offer business advising to the JumpStart Evanston entrepreneurs,” explains Patten, “JumpStart Evanston is the premier startup challenge in Uinta County but will soon be accompanied by more opportunities as IMPACT 307 continues expanding resources and programs into Southwest Wyoming.”
These new entrepreneurial programs are a direct result of the $2.4 million CARES Act Recovery assistance grant to the University of Wyoming from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). In coordination with Wyoming’s community colleges, IMPACT 307 is broadening the program to serve state-wide clients through a hybrid virtual and in-person structure.