About IMPACT 307

Prior to June 1, 2020, IMPACT 307 was known as the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC).

WTBC was founded in 2005 when a group of forward-looking leaders at the University of Wyoming and across the state committed to create a resource to facilitate companies starting up and growing here in Wyoming. The original WTBC was initiated by a UW task force, led by Vice President of Research and Economic Development, Dr. Bill Gern, and our first CEO, pictured here, was Jon Benson.

Building History

It took about three years to acquire the $8 million needed to get the building designed and built. Dr. Gern received two grants for approximately $4 million from the EDA and HUD. With Phil Dubois (UW President at that time) and Ben Blalock’s (head of the UW Foundation) support, the budding program also received $1.2 million from the McMurry Foundation and the State matched those funds with $3.2 million. Tucker Fagan, former CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, was a significant supporter and helped push the project forward in the legislature. With funds secured, the building was designed and the WTBC hired their first CEO, Jon Benson in 2005. Jon's first day on the job was the day they started digging the foundation.

Founding Purpose

WTBC was formed with an original mission to operate in Laramie as a technology business incubator providing facilities, technical assistance and administrative support to new and developing small technology/innovation businesses. A secondary purpose of WTBC was to promote social welfare through development of employment opportunities for Wyoming students and citizens, encouragement of industrial growth, especially that of technology-based businesses, and attraction of business organizations to the Laramie community.

Mission Expansion

The mission quickly evolved to aid other areas of the state in the development of new products and economic development. The Laramie WTBC building opened in October 2006 with full occupancy. The WTBC subsequently took responsibility over operations of the Casper WTBC in Summer 2013 and Sheridan WTBC in early 2015. Although the physical facilities currently remain in these three Wyoming cities, we invite entrepreneurs from anywhere in Wyoming to participate in the only University of Wyoming sponsored business incubator program.

Making an IMPACT

In order to continue connecting genuinely with our communities, building upon our legacy while also looking forward, current leadership decided it was time to leave behind our original brand. Thus, in the spring of 2020, in collaboration and support of the University of Wyoming and our partners in the Wyoming Business Council, the directors and staff began the exciting process of rebranding.

On June 1, 2020 we reintroduced ourselves at IMPACT 307. While the successes of our clients over the years are immeasurable, we plan to reach further, do more and be a comprehensive and leading resource for entrepreneurs throughout the entire state.

IMPACT 307 is a network of innovation-driven business incubators committed to growing and strengthening Wyoming’s entrepreneurial community by providing resources and support for founders to thrive.

As intended in our founding, IMPACT 307 also has a mission to lead the advancement of Wyoming’s entrepreneurial ecosystem within the UW Land Grant University charter. We achieve this by identifying and developing successful start-up and early-stage ventures that will contribute to the long-term growth and health of Wyoming’s economy. Our program has a proven track record of successful startups established as we work alongside Wyoming’s entrepreneurs and assist them with the creation of both viable and sustainable business models.

Working to advance the University of Wyoming’s mission to support economic and community development, IMPACT 307 positively affects entrepreneurs, their businesses and opportunity, prosperity, and diversity in Wyoming

Through our program, entrepreneurs and business start-ups are given the tools they need to turn their ideas into action and positively affect job-creation, grow primary employers and build our business markets.

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companies launched

IMPACT 307 has assisted in the creation and successful launch of 173 companies across our three incubators in Laramie, Casper, and Sheridan.

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companies launched from 2018-2020

More than 87 companies were established from 2018-2020 using the start-up challenge model that Jon pioneered here in Wyoming.

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companies started in 2019 alone

In 2019, a momentous year, 59 companies were started across the state from our regular community outreach and our six start-up challenges.

Our staff are knowledgeable and capable counselors and mentors who have impressive educational, corporate, and functional backgrounds that can be directly applied into start-up guidance and toward serving as de facto management or advisory boards for those companies.

Learn more about each member of our team below.

IMPACT Laramie

Dave Bohling headshot
David Bohling

Director, IMPACT Laramie

(307) 766-6299
dbohlin1@uwyo.edu

EDUCATION

B.A. – Chemistry, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
Ph.D. – Physical Inorganic Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

SPECIALTIES/FOCUS

  • Startups to mature businesses looking for growth
  • New product development and product lifecycle management
  • Intellectual property as part of strategic and tactical business planning or execution
  • Market segmentation and value proposition analysis

PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY EXPERIENCE

Thin films, optics, vacuum capital equipment, additive manufacturing equipment and materials, compound semiconductor growth and deposition sources, electronic chemical development (e.g., high K dielectrics, metallization, etc.), sensors (flow, optical, acoustic, etc.), roll-to-roll coating, gas/liquid purification, microcontamination control

MARKET EXPERIENCE:

High value Capital Equipment, Semiconductor Manufacturing, 3D/Additive Manufacturing, Barrier Coating, Industrial Flow Hardware, Medical Optics, Carbon Capture/Sequestration, Printed Electronics, Industrial Chemicals, Specialty and Industrial Gases

BACKGROUND & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Dave joined IMPACT 307 (formally the WTBC) after a long and successful career spanning fundamental research in new chemicals for electronic materials applications to senior capital equipment business management positions, including P&L responsibility. Dave’s work in research and engineering has resulted in well over $1B in cumulative revenue for new products developed by his teams. He has also been a prolific author and collaborator, with over 70 technical publications bearing his name. In addition, Dave remains a serial innovator, with more than a dozen patents (issued and filed).

Dave’s academic involvement includes being a collaborator with multiple academic research teams in institutions like MIT, North Carolina State University, Lehigh University, Queen Mary University (London), and the University of Texas (Austin). He has chaired the external advisory board for an National Science Foundation (NSF) Center on Advanced Electronic Materials at the University of Texas at Austin, and been an integral member of external advisory boards for North Carolina State University (NSF Center), SUNY Albany (SEMATCH Center), and Ecole Polytechnique Montreal.

After many years involved with pro bono Economic Development in Northern Colorado and Albuquerque, Dave brings a unique combination of scientific and engineering accomplishments, but also very strong business leadership experience to the IMPACT 307 team.

Dr. Bohling was a founding startup team and board member for SUNSONIX, an electronic materials company. Dave is presently a member of the Board of Directors for Integrated Deposition Solutions in Albuquerque, an additive printed-electronics capital equipment company who recently went through a strategic investment from Nordson Asymtek.

Fred Schmechel headshot
Fred Schmechel

Assistant Director, IMPACT Laramie

(307) 766-6399
fschmech@uwyo.edu

EDUCATION

B.A. Art, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
M.P.A., University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

SPECIALTIES/FOCUS

  • Ideation to first growth development of companies
  • Designing effective and economical options for relaying information to customers
  • Developing creative solutions to specialized marketing programs

BACKGROUND & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

As Assistant Director, Fred directly counsels client companies on all aspects of their business needs. His work also includes oversight of the Fisher Innovation Launchpad and the Southeast Wyoming Innovation Launchpad, and he is working on creating similar programs across the southeast and eastern sides of the state. Additionally, because the arts sector drives the culture of innovation and creativity that fuels tech sectors, Fred works with visual and performing artist clients in our arts incubation program.

Trained as a sculptor and graphic designer, Fred joined the IMPACT 307 in the fall of 2010. Prior to joining IMPACT 307, he spent several years involved in all aspects of the small-run printing industry including design and project management. Having designed everything from the usual printing needs, to large projects such as a food truck or the digital and printing needs of an entire conference, Fred enjoys meeting challenging needs.

Fred’s artistic pedigree includes having work shown in the National Wildlife Museum and studying under famed graphic designer David Carson. With his background in sculpture, specifically in cast metals, Fred possesses the ability to look at problems from multiple angles and assist in coming up with creative and effective solutions.

Fred currently serves on the board of directors for the Wyoming Humanities Council and TechTalk Laramie, a Laramie based technology workers oriented 501(c)3 he helped to co-found in 2017. He is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Wyoming.

Meghan Kerley headshot
Meghan Kerley

Business Counselor, IMPACT Laramie

(307) 766-6409
mkerley@uwyo.edu

EDUCATION

B.A. Anthropology, Kenyon College Minor Biology

SPECIALTIES/FOCUS

  • Startups to mature businesses looking for growth
  • New product development and product lifecycle management
  • Intellectual property as part of strategic and tactical business planning or execution
  • Market segmentation and value proposition analysis

BACKGROUND & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Meghan joined the IMPACT 307 team in 2016 and is a Business Counselor. Meghan uses the analytical and enterprise skills that she has learned from years of extensive fieldwork and research in archaeology and microbiology in order to help entrepreneurs solve problems and find solutions. As an undergraduate, Meghan performed archaeological field and lab research in/on the site of El Coyote, Honduras, managing teams of 2-15 (typically, 6-8). During her undergrad career, she also performed microbiological research on myosin II mutations and trained incoming researchers in protocols and laboratory techniques. Meghan has worked for the US Forest Service, performing fieldwork in archaeology/cultural resources, as well as for the National Park Service, where she was the cultural resources liaison for restoration efforts following a wildfire, in which she oversaw recordation efforts and worked alongside botany, interpretation, law enforcement, and fire crews to preserve historic sites. While in graduate school, Meghan’s research focused primarily on clay/ceramics sourcing (also parks management and ancient space usage).

Meghan is enthusiastic about youth entrepreneurship and encouraging students to use their talents in innovation and support. She currently oversees the dynamic team of interns at IMPACT 307. These interns come from different colleges and schools at UW and are able to put their academic backgrounds to real-world problem-solving at IMPACT 307.

Meghan also manages all IMPACT Laramie building and resident client processes, financial systems, and intern HR issues.
Meghan lives in Laramie, where she enjoys spending time with her family, leading Girl Scouts, and experiencing all that Wyoming has to offer.

IMPACT Casper

Eric Schlidt headshot
Eric Schlidt

Director, IMPACT Casper

(307) 315-6401
eschild1@uwyo.edu

EDUCATION

B.S. Physiology, University of Wyoming, Concentration Neuroscience
B.A. Honors, University of Wyoming, Minor Economics
M.S. Health Service Administration, University of Wyoming, Concentration
Health Institution LeadershipSPECIALTIES/FOCUS

  • Operations
  • Strategic Planning
  • Administration and Leadership

BACKGROUND & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Eric Schlidt was appointed Director of IMPACT Casper in January 2020. Eric is currently pursuing an MBA through the University of Wyoming. He is honored to be selected as Wyoming Business Report’ Forty Under 40 and also serves as Chief of Marketing for Wyoming’s ENGAGE (Empowering the Next Generation to Advance and Grow the Economy).

Previously, he was the Associate Director for the Master of Science in Health Services Administration at the University of Wyoming and the track director of Health Institution Leadership. He has worked in healthcare administration, business development and geriatrics in rural Wyoming.

Eric’s degrees from the University of Wyoming include: Master of Science in Health Service Administration with a concentration in Health Institution Leadership, Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience and a Bachelor’s of Arts in the Honor’s Program with a minor in Economics. While enrolled in his graduate studies, he was the operations manager of a reproductive clinic in Laramie, Wyoming. He started his own company and managed a remote placer gold mine in the Yukon Territory. He has had experience working in hospitals and clinics throughout Wyoming.

Mr. Schlidt currently lives in Casper, Wyoming where he enjoys the vast wilderness that is Wyoming and exploring its beauty. He is an active member of Rotary and a certified Advanced Open Water Diver. He enjoys world travel and has made it to six out of the seven continents.

John Glassburn headshot
John Glassburn

Assistant Director, IMPACT Casper

(307) 315-6404
glassbur@uwyo.edu

EDUCATION

B.S. Finance, University of Wyoming, Minors Economics, Banking and Financial Services
B.S. Accounting, University of Wyoming

SPECIALTIES/FOCUS

  • Cost reduction and business expansion
  • Financial preparation and analysis
  • Cost accounting across multiple industries

BACKGROUND & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

John joined the IMPACT 307 (formally WTBC) team in October 2011. John works with clients to make sure that they have accurate financials so that they can make proper decisions based off these financials. He also works with clients to research and explore areas for business expansion and cost reduction. Before joining the IMPACT 307 team, John worked in a family owned furniture business, where he worked as both a bookkeeper and builder.

IMPACT Sheridan

Scot Rendall headshot
Scot Rendall

Director, IMPACT Sheridan

(307) 675-1939
srendall@uwyo.edu

EDUCATION

B.A. Economics-Business, University of California, Los Angeles
MBA, Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

SPECIALTIES/FOCUS

  • Strategic planning
  • Business analysis
  • Cost reduction
  • Process improvement

BACKGROUND & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Scot joined the IMPACT 307 in April 2018. Prior to leading the Sheridan Incubator, Scot spent several years providing CFO leadership and business consulting to small and mid-sized, privately-held companies. He would work alongside business owners to improve their operations, establish strategic growth plans, and achieve a higher level of business success by increasing revenue, profits, and the overall value of their companies. His consulting practice covered a number of different industries, including oil field services, manufacturing, real estate, and construction contracting. Eight of Scot’s client companies went through business transitions, including one that resulted in a $50 million sale of a packaged foods company to a private equity firm. Scot began his career in accounting and assurance services for Ernst & Young, one of the “Big 4” international accounting and consulting firms.

After completing his Berkeley MBA, he spent 15 years in various operational financial management roles with Intel Corporation, Hewlett Packard, and Agilent Technologies. In addition to his financial expertise, Scot has acquired an understanding of success factors in all functional areas commonly under the responsibility of the CFO and Administration functions, including human resources, information technology, legal, and risk management.

Katherine Schrock headshot
Katherine Schrock

Office Aide, IMPACT Sheridan

(307) 675-1939
kschrock@uwyo.edu

EDUCATION

B.S. Department of Education, University of Minnesota, Parks and Recreation Administration

SPECIALTIES/FOCUS

  • Marketing & promotion
  • Motivational coaching
  • Event coordination
  • Customer Service

BACKGROUND & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Katherine joined IMPACT 307 in April 2020 and supports operations in the Sheridan incubator offices. Before joining the IMPACT team, Katherine and her husband, in the true entrepreneurial spirit, owned and managed the Family Swim School, Minnesota’s first large scale swim school operation in the state. Together they ran all aspects of a small business along with the joy of teaching and coaching thousands of children. After 28 years they sold their business, explored the west and settled in Sheridan, WY.

Katherine maintains all client records, ensures the smooth operation of the incubator facility, heads up IMPACT Sheridan communications, and plans program events.

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