Expansion of Sheridan Business Incubator

Sheridan County logoSheridan County officials have just announced an agreement with the University of Wyoming for UW’s Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) to operate Sheridan’s business incubator.

In 2010 Sheridan County was awarded a Wyoming Business Council grant to purchase property for a business incubator. Forward Sheridan, our economic development nonprofit organization, partnered with the County to start up the operations.

Now it’s time to move the incubator to a higher level of service – continuing to help new businesses get started and reinforcing Sheridan’s business-friendly environment. WTBC will bring that to the entrepreneurs of Sheridan County.

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The full media release, issued November 4, 2014:

November 4, 2014 — Sheridan County and the University of Wyoming have signed an agreement for UW’s Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) to operate Sheridan’s business incubator.

In 2010 Sheridan County was awarded a Wyoming Business Council grant to purchase property for a business incubator. Forward Sheridan, an economic development non-profit organization partnered with the County to start up the business incubator.

The Sheridan Business Incubator will become a branch of the WTBC — a business development program launched at UW in 2006 that focuses on assisting early-stage, high-growth companies. The Sheridan incubator will join similar facilities in Laramie and Casper to become the third incubator managed by the WTBC statewide.

“Sheridan County is grateful to Forward Sheridan for getting the incubator started several years ago. Forward Sheridan has managed the incubator through its startup, and now it’s time to move the incubator to a higher level of service, says Steve Maier, county commissioner. “WTBC will bring that level of service to the entrepreneurs of Sheridan County. The County also welcomes the support of the city and its commitment to business development.”

Sheridan County has partnered with the city of Sheridan to bring the WTBC to the community. “The city of Sheridan is excited about partnering with the County and UW on this exciting project,” said Mayor John Heath. “Under the excellent tutelage of the WTBC, the incubator will be at the ready to help new businesses start and also to reinforce Sheridan’s business-friendly environment,” added Heath.
The agreement identifies the WTBC as the manager of the Sheridan incubator, allowing the WTBC staff to operate the incubator while a final lease agreement is negotiated. “Sheridan is an exciting entrepreneurial community with a lot of potential for high-growth companies,” says Jonathon Benson, Wyoming Technology Business Center CEO. “We are pleased to launch WTBC – Sheridan Area and join the existing economic development efforts in Sheridan County.”

UW will have a two-person staff at the incubator. John Dick, a long-term employee of the WTBC and currently assistant director, will move to Sheridan in January to manage the WTBC – Sheridan Area, says Benson, who plans to continue making regular visits to Sheridan. The equivalent of a full-time receptionist position, which will likely be filled by Sheridan College students, will complete the initial staff.

“The university is pleased to become a partner in this important effort to help people with great ideas build their businesses in Sheridan,” says Bill Gern, UW’s vice president for research and economic development. “This is another example of our commitment to help new and existing businesses all across Wyoming, part of the university’s role as a leader in building the future for the state and the larger world.”
The WTBC helps client companies grow larger and faster than they would otherwise, and to increase the ability of the entrepreneurs to manage and grow their own businesses, through one-on-one business counseling and executive coaching services. It now has 20 client companies in its Laramie and Casper incubators, including firms in biotechnology, software development, hardware development and professional services.

The WTBC has had five clients graduate from the incubator program. All graduating companies have multi-million dollar annual revenues and collectively employ more than 135 people and lease more than 21,000 square feet of office space in their respective communities. In addition, AutoDesk, Inc., a fortune 350 company, recently acquired one of the WTBC’s graduates for between $10 million and $40 million and they remain in Laramie which is a terrific and credible form of business attraction.

For more information, contact Renee’ Obermueller with Sheridan County at (307) 675-2910 or robermueller@sheridancounty.com; or Jon Benson with the WTBC at (307) 766-6395 or jbenson@uwyo.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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