Techstars Startup Weekend Laramie: a success for entrepreneurship in Albany County
Key community partners pooled together to bring Laramie a weekend made for entrepreneurs to connect, learn and grow. Participants from all over Wyoming and Northern Colorado gathered at the University of Wyoming College of Business to collaborate and pitch viable startup businesses. After 54 hours of teamwork, Minden Fox’s idea emerged the winner. Her company Blue Box Fox focused on solving issues when it comes to allergies and food in public places. The pitch was an allergen free vending machine.
Minden Fox is a Marketing and Entrepreneurship professor at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, she signed up to encourage her students to, she had also been a mentor at the Techstars Startup Weekend Sheridan and wanted to see an event from the other side.
“I really didn’t feel that this idea would win, there were 11 ideas pitched and one had a huge team, I just came to encourage my students,” said Fox. “The group was small, so I threw out my idea and it is something I care about.”
The idea of a heavily branded, allergen free vending machine is meant to be a solution to a common problem in the country and in Fox’s family.
“Food allergies can impact you socially. Football games last four hours and most people are going to want to eat something,” said Fox. “The safest option is a heavily branded vending machine.”
After a weekend of help from her teammates, research and collaboration helped Fox refine her idea. She has already reached out an online allergy community with surveys and will continue to work on her idea after Startup Weekend Laramie.
“I will definitely continue to push on it,” said Fox.
The event was led by the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance’s Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) Committee. BR&E Committee Co-Chair Rebecca Miller of ANB Bank remarked the weekend was a success when entrepreneurs were able to gather, network and collaborate. She added that the success included community partners working together to help foster and encourage the area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Sponsors that presented Techstars Startup Weekend Laramie included Albany County Tourism Board, Albany County Commissioners, City of Laramie, Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Laramie County Community College, and the University of Wyoming College of Business. There were also several in-kind donations from local businesses.