You understand that Wyoming is changing. You witness this every day. You are helping to grow Wyoming’s most important natural resource: our young people.  A pitch challenge is an opportunity for youth to practice problem-solving, think critically, and share their voice. Consider using these modules and refer to this sample timeline: click here.


Module 1: How do you identify the problem?

  • Identifying the Problem: In this video, our team introduces the idea of identifying and understanding problems in Wyoming. Click here.
  • Talking to Potential Customers: In this video, our team discusses ways you can talk to potential customers and understand their perspectives. Click here.
  • Wacky Inventions: It’s time to play along! Our team looks at new uses for regular objects in this video. Find two items close to you and think of new ways they could be used. Let your creativity shine! Click here.
  • Customer Journey Map: One way to develop more empathy with — and gain new insights about — your customers is to look beyond the narrow definition of your offering and consider the customer’s total experience. The more broadly you define the customer experience, the more opportunities you can identify for improvement. Download the instructions, click here.
  • Stretch Your Entrepreneurial Muscles: Everyone is creative and here’s one quick, simple exercise to get your creative muscles warmed up. It’s called 30 Circles, and you can do it on your own. The goal is to push you to test your creativity by turning circles into recognizable objects in a very short period of time. The 30 Circles Exercise Instructions: Click here. Template: Click here.

Module 2: What’s your solution?

  • Identify & Create Solutions: Entrepreneurs imagine what COULD be. Join UW Host Heather Heath to explore ways to identify and create solutions. Young entrepreneur and founder of Square Top Designs Diesel Vrska is a featured guest (see his video below). Remember, your perspective is unique! Click here.
  • So What? Customers don’t buy features, they buy benefits! Use the “So What” template to practice this thought process. Grab a few items from around your home to get started. Bring your personal experience to flex your creativity muscles. Click here.
  • Combo Chatter: Learn how to use activities to generate ideas with this fun exercise. Download the instructions, click here.
  • Observation Walk: Join our friend Scott Mann from VentureLab for an Observation Walk to explore problems and opportunities. The more that you practice, the more ideas are going to come to you! Click here.

Module 3: Who’s your audience?

  • Identify and Connect to Your Customers: In this video, UW Host Heather Heath explores ways entrepreneurs connect with customers. She speaks with Lindsey McCoy of Crave Nutrition, RD in Cheyenne and Luke Knudson of The Old General Store Antiques in Sheridan. Remember, empathy is essential! Click here.
  • Pain/Gain Exercise: Now, complete this exercise to draw out the most important characteristics of your customer. Download the PDF.
  • Primary & Secondary Market Research of Your Customer: Researching your customers might include speaking with potential customers or analyzing already existing data. In this video, UW Host Heather Heath speaks with Lindsey McCoy of Crave Nutrition, RD in Cheyenne and Luke Knudson of The Old General Store Antiques in Sheridan to understand how they use market research in their businesses. Click here.
  • A Day In The Life Exercise: Now, complete this exercises to help you understand more aspects and key points of your target customer. Download the PDF.

#PitchWyoming EXTRA CREDIT!

  • Q&A with Scott from VentureLab: In this video, Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge participants (Ben, Kayleigh, Maui, and Sam) join WYAA team members (Heather Heath and Joan Evans) to talk with Scott Mann from VentureLab about their business ideas and challenges. Click here.
  • Wacky Inventions Take 2 with Scott from VentureLab: In this video, the Pitch Challenge participants (Ben, Kayleigh, Maui, and Sam) join WYAA team members (Heather Heath and Joan Evens) to play Wacky Inventions. This game helps entrepreneurs to look at items in new ways to spark fresh ideas. Click here.

Module 4: Who’s your competition? 

  • Identify Your Competition: In this video, UW Host Heather Heath explores ways entrepreneurs can identify their competition. She speaks with Kyrie Blaney of Build Mothers, Build the World and Carson Rabou of Rabros. Click here.
  • Favorite Cookie Exercise: Now, complete this activity to practice how to devise and identify the unique competitive advantages of your product, and in this case, your favorite cookie. Click here.

Module 5: How will you make money?

  • Selling Your Product: In this video, UW Host Heather Heath explores sales, business models, and revenue models. She reminds us that mistakes and failures offer opportunities to make improvements! She is joined by Alicia Bretzman with Piney Island Native Plants and Sara Von Krosigk with Hatch & Handle. Click here.
  • Revenue Model Examples: This resource will help you understand revenue models from Transaction Revenue (a one-time sale like clothing at American Eagle) to Service Revenue (the sale of a service like a haircut at your local barbershop). Click here.
  • Business Model Template: Use this template to develop your own business model. You’ll be better prepared to pitch your product or service to others and to be successful in your business. Click here.
  • Advertising Challenge: Complete this activity to help you learn how to communicate the most important information of your business model that will make customers want to buy your product or service. Click here.

Module 6: How do you pitch your idea?

  • How to Pitch Your Idea: In our final video, UW Host Heather Heath walks through the checklist for making an effective pitch. It takes courage to accomplish great things, but practice will help you succeed! Kyrie Blaney from Build Mothers, Build the World rejoins Heather to share her experience pitching for the John P. Ellbogen $50K Competition at the University of Wyoming. You’ve put a lot of work into your product or service and it’s time to put it all together! Ready. Set. Pitch! Click here.
  • Body Language Game: Confident body language and speaking in a loud and excited tone of voice helps all entrepreneurs appear more confident, even if they are really nervous about presenting their business idea. Try out the Body Language Game to practice. The document lists a few prompts, including angry, surprised, and confused. Can you come up with more? Click here.
  • Fill-in-the-Blank Template: Use this template to get started with your pitch. It will help you to remember to include the most important things, including the problem you’re trying to solve, your competitive advantage, and the value of the product/service. Click here.
  • Pitch Checklist: Download this handout from Young Entrepreneur Institute (YEI). The checklist for filming video pitches and elevator pitch essentials will help you make the most of your 90-second opportunity to share your business idea. Click here.

#PitchWyoming EXTRA CREDIT!

  • Tips & Tricks with Jessie from Young Entrepreneur Institute: In this video, Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge participants learned about tips and tricks for recording the best pitch video. Click here.

Final Step: Make your pitch!

  • Make Your Pitch: Whether you’re entering an official pitch challenge or advocating for your idea on another platform, the final step is making your pitch with confidence. Good luck!
  • Upload Your Video: For the the Fall 2021 Pitch Challenge, upload your video to StartUp Tree. Click here. Submissions are due December 15, 2021. To watch video instructions, click here.

Mission: The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is a statewide network working to create the conditions for young people to reach their full potential. We are a priority fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation.


1472 N. 5th Street, Suite 201
Laramie, WY 82072
Phone: 307-721-8300





(PQPs) are research-based guidelines that provide a common understanding of the essential components of quality practice in afterschool and youth development programs.

The PQPs provide programs, communities and stakeholders with a way to voluntarily examine the quality of programs and to engage in important discussions about program quality. They set the stage for development of a comprehensive and coordinated system of services that will best serve Wyoming’s children and youth. Most of all, they send the message that we believe quality is important, and we hold ourselves accountable for improving quality.

Download the PQPs (Updated in March 2022)


The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance with assistance from National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST – http://www.niost.org/) produced an informative 20-minute webinar to walk through the PQPs and information about how to put them into practice in your afterschool program!

  • Section 1: Introduction to the Wyoming Program Quality Practice
  • Section 2: Putting the PQPs into Practice
  • Section 3: Connecting Quality

The webinar was produced in partnership with Wyoming afterschool professionals: Tamera Allen – Program Director of Double AAces in Weston County SD #1, Karen Bierhaus – Education Consultant with 21st CCLC at the Wyoming Department of Education, Shannon Christian – Executive Director of the Worland Youth Learning Center, Kei Owen – former Grant Assistant with the Natrona County Prevention Coalition, Tamra Petersen – Program Coordinator with the Uinta County BOES Education Center, and Christine Turner – former Program Director with Lincoln County School District #1.

Watch the PQP Webinar


This user guide describes how the PQPs fit into WYAA’s quality improvement efforts and offers concrete ways to use the PQPs. All school age, afterschool, and youth development programs in Wyoming can use this guide to improve their programming. This guide may also be a resource for families, community members, funders, and advocates who partner with program providers to improve outcomes for children and youth.

The user guide provides context for the eight domains of the PQPs:

  1. Physical Environment, Curriculum, and Program Activities
  2. Assessment, Planning, and Improvement
  3. Relationships
  4. Child and Youth Engagement
  5. Families and Communities
  6. Safety, Health, and Wellness
  7. Leadership and Administration
  8. Professional Development

Download the User Guide


This tool was designed to help afterschool and youth development professionals develop high-quality out-of-school time programs. It may also be a useful checklist for families. This self-assessment is a companion to the PQPs, which are based on research on best practices in programs for afterschool and youth development.

Download the Self Assessment Tool


The National Afterschool Alliance’s Core Knowledge and Competencies enable afterschool and youth development practitioners to demonstrate expertise and gain a higher level of recognition within their communities–particularly from school officials–that has long been sought after.

Check out the Core Competencies


In 2010, the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, a C.S. Mott Foundation Statewide Afterschool Network and an initiative of the Wyoming Community Foundation, launched a research project to survey the capacity of public and private afterschool systems and to assess their effectiveness across Wyoming.

Download the Executive Summary.

Download the Wyoming Afterschool Quality Improvement Three-Year Initiative.


Program assessment is invaluable to creating the highest quality afterschool programs. WYAA, with support from National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST) implemented the initiative.

Outcomes from APAS include:

  • An upward trend in attitudes, skills and behaviors of youth
  • Peer networking and relationship building between programs
  • A statewide shared vision and understanding of high quality afterschool and OST programming

Learn more.


The Wyoming Career Development System Report identifies six components of a comprehensive career development system and makes recommendations for advancing each component in Wyoming. A cross-sector, continuum approach (one that supports those who serve a broad range of ages) is the most cost-effective way to provide quality programming for children and youth. With this in mind, these recommendations build on current systems and initiatives established in the early childhood field.

Download the Summary document. 

Download the Report.