6 local businesses to make a pitch tonight for Start-Up Challenge funding


December 6, 2023 — Wyo4News Staff

For six local Sweetwater County start-up businesses, tonight is the night to make their best pitch for seed funding as part of the Sweetwater County Start-Up Challenge. The Pitch Night competition will take place in Room 1302 at Western Wyoming Community College. The event is open to the public and is free to attend.

The six Sweetwater County companies chosen to pitch their businesses tonight are Apilloz, Remi’s Clubhouse, Mr. Joe’s Hot Sauce, Black Gold Jelly Company, Gainesha, and Purely Persistent (detailed information on each business below).

The Sweetwater County Start-Up Challenge is a competition for local entrepreneurs that provides valuable mentorship from IMPACT 307, a startup business development program of the University of Wyoming, and local professionals. It is a collaboration between UW’s IMPACT 307 and Western. The startup challenge is made possible by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce, and Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency (URA). The second annual competition attracted 26 applicants.

Apilloz, founded by Aaron Lobo, is an adjustable support, pain, and pressure relief pillow.

Remi’s Clubhouse, founded by Debbie Stainbrook, is “a tail-waggin’ good doggy daycare.”

Mr. Joe’s Hot Sauce, founded by Jean Joseph, is a Caribbean-style hot sauce that brings a balance of heat and flavor.

Black Gold Jelly Co., founded by Jenefer Tynsky, uses locally sourced fruits and vegetables to create healthy syrups and sauces that can be used in baking, slow cooking, smoking, barbecuing, or as a salad dressing.

Gainesha, founded by Levi Abrahamson, connects landowners with potential short-term renters, maximizing earning potential and increasing public access to private lands.

Purely Persistent, founded by Michelle Schutten, is an online resource providing academic lessons, life skills, and motivation for students preparing for high school equivalency tests. For more information.

Seed funding was made possible by UW’s Research and Economic Development Division, RSNB Bank, Dominion Energy, Industrial Services Inc., State Bank, Simplot, William H. Smith and Associates, Commerce Bank, All West Communications, First Bank, GRoWYO, and Copier & Supply Company.

The Rock Springs URA is also collecting community donations for the seed funds.