Entrepreneur Essentials Pilot Program

David Sprott

Dean, University of Wyoming College of Business

Lynne McAuliffe

Dean of Business, Technical, Health and Safety at Central Wyoming College

Peter Scott

Entrepreneur in Residence, Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming’s College of Business and Central Wyoming College (CWC) are partnering to support Wyoming’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with the launch of a new statewide entrepreneurial education program called Entrepreneur Essentials.


The pilot program will provide educational tools to help Wyoming build a solid foundation for launching and growing successful businesses. The four-week program will start Friday, October 18th. The pilot program is a hybrid version of the highly successful Central Wyoming College program – Start Up Intensive with in-person sessions and online learning.


“Entrepreneur Essentials was developed from the 10-week Start Up Intensive (SUI),” says Sandy Hessler, SUI instructor. “100 Wyomingites have graduated from SUI, one of the most successful entrepreneurial education programs in the state. We are excited to test this new, modified course that still allows for a collaborative, interactive experience for entrepreneurs in cities across Wyoming.”


Entrepreneur Essentials will teach Wyomingites:


•          Identify and communicate a business vision

•          Develop an idea into a business concept

•          Identify customers

•          Develop a sound business model


“Why this partnership, why now?” asks Peter Scott, a professor of practice who is part of UW’s new Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE). “Through the ENDOW Initiative, we learned about the economic challenges and opportunities facing Wyoming today and in the future. To grow the Wyoming economy, Wyoming entrepreneurs need access to entrepreneurial education. Entrepreneur development is the heart of any ecosystem’s entrepreneurial culture and momentum.”


Dean David Sprott of UW’s College of Business was presented with the opportunity to pilot a new teaching model. Sprott evaluated the successes of the CWC model and thought partnering could provide the data and entrepreneur feedback needed to set up a full program.


“The pilot program fits with our new strategic plan that has a goal of deeper engagement with the state,” says Sprott. “The Startup Intensive has a proven, six-year track record in the education space, with many successful businesses launched and relaunched. We believe that this new partnership will allow us to expand entrepreneurial education around Wyoming with CWC.”


The SUI program has graduated 100 entrepreneurs in the last six years from Wyoming. Of those entrepreneurs, approximately 100 jobs at an average annual salary of $40,000, have been generated. SUI has added $4,000,000 in gross income revenue to Wyoming’s northwest regional economy.


“We at Central Wyoming College believe in the power of entrepreneurs to have a profound and positive impact on the economy,” says Lynne McAuliffe, Dean of Business, Technical, Health and Safety at CWC.  “When Sandy Hessler and Liza Millet approached the college, nearly seven years ago, we decided to try something. Today, we are excited to test this course statewide and continue to expand our partnerships.”