The sixth annual Casper Startup challenge has narrowed down its list of over 40 potential candidates to a final group of six, who will face a group of judges on April 19 to see which three will receive $50,000.

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Eric Schlidt, Impact 307 Casper Director, said that this is the most applications they've received in several years, as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on the applications they received in the last two years.

The six finalists and their businesses include:

  • Anna Studer of ACS Juices -- using a cold-press to manufacture juices.
  • Jadon Williams of Deer Creek Arms -- working with a firearms manufacturer to create muzzle breaks.
  • Preston Atwood of Guardian Warrior Solutions LLC -- works with an adapter for MOLLE Systems.
  • Sam Seeton of Infinite Outdoors LLC -- an Airbnb for hunters and landowners.
  • Tim Ficken of Intuitive Surgical Design -- working to solve complicated problems in the operating room.
  • Audrey Jeans of Picture My Story -- works with photographers to increase their growth in different directions.

Last year's winners include Earth Throne, which makes EVA plastic foam seats, B3 Solutions, an inventory management company, and Touchstone Training and Consulting, which trains qualified pipeline operators, with the money coming from local donors and funding from the University of Wyoming.

Schlidt said that the startup challenge is beneficial because it allows new ideas to come forward due to money that people wouldn't have had access to otherwise.

"There's a breadth of new companies coming," Schlidt said. "There's a breadth of people coming with new ideas, and it shows that anyone can take their idea and their company and move it forward into essentially a different, new, and exciting space. The work that they need to do to really jumpstart their company into areas that they might not have thought of. Obviously, an influx of capital can allow them to open new doors."

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