UW Entrepreneurship competition winners selected


LARAMIE – Winners of the University of Wyoming College of Business’ 23rd annual John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition were selected as the contest concluded April 21-22.

Teams were eligible to receive funding from the endowed prize ($63,500), in addition to the Top Submission Awards (four categories), the People’s Choice Award and the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Award. 

The John P. Ellbogen Endowed Fund winners are:

The grand prize winner, BAST Manufacturing, won $39,000 and is composed of team members Carly Keller, a sophomore from Torrington majoring in veterinary technology at Eastern Wyoming College; Clayton Auzqui, a recent UW graduate from Clearmont who studied economics and agriculture business; and Jared Clapper, a senior from Veteran studying finance at UW. BAST Manufacturing provides a sustainable, high-performance air filter that helps communities and the environment.

The second winner, Inspira Nutrition, won $15,500 and is led by Evan Eversole, a sophomore from Douglas studying chemical engineering at UW. The business says it “fuels your next journey with high-quality, proven nutrition that inspires.”

The third winner, EdgeFlyte, won $5,000 and is led by Tate Schrock, a freshman from Anton, Colo., who is studying business and entrepreneurship at Laramie County Community College. EdgeFlyte offers high-performance, edge-of-space atmospheric research equipment to academics and hobbyists.

The fourth winner, Purely Persistent, won $4,000 and is led by Michelle Schutten, of Rock Springs, who holds a graduate degree and is a sophomore in a digital design program at Western Wyoming Community College. Purely Persistent LLC is a Wyoming-based, online education business focused on empowering adults to obtain high school equivalency certificates, develop satisfying careers and create rewarding lives.

Top Submission Awards winners are:

Community College Team – Winning $1,000 was Heart to Heart – WY, led by team members Thea Farrington, of Powell, who is studying psychology at Northwest College; Tatiana Farrington, of Powell, a high school senior taking coursework at Northwest College; and Rilei Farmer, of Cody, a freshman studying art at Northwest College. Heart to Heart - WY is a nonprofit business that works with youth and young adults living with mental illnesses.

Female Entrepreneur -- Winning $1,000 was Purely Persistent.

Social Enterprise -- Winning $1,000 was Wyoming Rail Yard, led by Dayton Hammel, of Parker, Colo., a junior studying business entrepreneurship and sales at UW. Wyoming Rail Yard provides terrain parks to the underserved skiers and snowboarders of Wyoming looking to progress and have fun.

Best Ability to Positively Impact Wyoming – Winning $1,000 winner was BAST Manufacturing.

The People’s Choice Award winner, Wyoming Rail Yard, received $500. The business also won the High School Choice Award and received $1,000 for that honor.

Winner of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Award and $2,500 was Mary Claire (MC) Cares, led by team members Auzqui; Clapper; Aram Maljanian, a senior from Los Angeles studying computer science at UW; and Benjamin Wilkin, a junior from Denver, Colo., studying computer science at UW. Mary Claire (MC) Cares provides monitoring technology that merges Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance and data analytics to improve the care environments of those who are not always able to speak for themselves.

Students wishing to compete in the 2023-24 John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition may email project coordinator Josie Voight for more information at voight@uwyo.edu.