The Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Initiative cultivated by the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance (WYAA) encourages young people to explore and practice entrepreneurship and develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge for Winter 2021 provided a platform for young people across the state to apply these skills and WYAA is proud to celebrate the standouts. 

Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Winners   

  • Spirit of Wyoming Award presented by the Frederick and Patricia Supper Foundation (This award is for a young person who is interested in community improvement through a social solution.): Tutor-Tastic Submitted by Molly Doss from Star Valley 
  • 1st Place: Unity Community Submitted by Eliza Petty and Holly Draney from Star Valley 
  • 2nd Place: Astrospace Submitted by Riley O’Brien, Ivey Goff, Mari Ford, and Julia Quintinilla from Thermopolis 
  • 3rd Place: Swim Gym N’ Games Submitted by Kiara Kemp and Ryan Heiner from Star Valley  
  • 4-H Craftsman Award: Hatch Tack, Handcrafted Rifle Scabbards Submitted by Levi Hatch from Saratoga 

Find a video introducing the winners at 

WYAA would like to thank the Pitch Challenge judges: Baylie Evans, gBETA Cheyenne Director; Minden Fox, Laramie County Community College Instructor of Marketing, Business; Kayleigh Lund, Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge Summer 2020 Winner; and Kyle Trumble, Central Wyoming College Instructor of Business.  

Michelle Sullivan, WYAA Director, stated, “The Alliance is proud to encourage young people to develop and apply valuable skills that will help them excel today and into the future.”  

Sullivan added, “Young people are truly making a difference in their communities. It was wonderful to see the diverse ways they answered the challenge to develop an idea for a business innovation or social solution. It demonstrates that we develop wealth not only by growing our economy but through growing our connection to community.” Entries ranged from artistic and functional leathercraft to helping middle schoolers transition to high school with a network of support in place. 

To support the effort, afterschool program providers participated in regular informational sessions with local and national entrepreneurship leaders including Ron and Carson Rabou, Rabou Farms; Matthew Fox, University of Wyoming; and Minden Fox, Laramie County Community College. 

In one coaching session, Ron Rabou captured the value of entrepreneurship activities like pitch challenges: “When you’re involved in a program like this, you learn how to see things differently. You are able to see things not for what they are but what they can be.” He said, “A lot of times we don’t try things because we think we’re not going to be good at them. But if we don’t try them, how do we know that? The key is that every day you’re putting your best effort forward.” 

“We were so pleased to have the opportunity to work with and learn from all of the kids who participated in the cohort,” Sullivan said.  

The Initiative is a result of a growing community of partners including Wyoming 4-H, Hilltop Bank, the University of Wyoming, Impact 307, afterschool organizations statewide, and many volunteers. This effort is made possible through a grant to WYAA from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which includes support for technical assistance from the Young Entrepreneur Institute and VentureLab. The grant is intended to promote innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset for youth in Wyoming.  If you would like more information, visit 


WYAA is proud to celebrate the winners of the Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge for Winter 2021!


WYAA invites your organization or club to participate in pitch challenges to think of a product, business or social solution that could make a difference to your community or to Wyoming. Learn more in the following video!


Are you up for the challenge? Pitch challenges are a great opportunity for any organization that connects to youth, including 4-H, FBLA, FFA, makerspaces, libraries, and others . Learn about past WYAA Pitch Challenges at the links below.


WYAA is proud to work with organizations that can offer age-specific resources to students from 6-18. Explore the links below.

  • I’m working with a group aged 6-9. Click here.
  • I’m working with a group aged 10-14. Click here.
  • I’m working with a group aged 15-18. Click here.


February 11:  The Do’s and Don’ts of Filming and Uploading a Pitch – Do you have a young person interested in submitting an entry for the Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge? Young Entrepreneur Institute Marketing Coordinator Matthew Podl has worked with hundreds of young people across the country and leads this presentation. While crafting a pitch may be challenging, filming and submitting one can be easy!

January 28: Special guests Ron and Carson Rabou shared ideas on using the Entrepreneurial Mindset to inspire young people and to encourage young people to see risks as opportunities that will help them to gain valuable experiences to last a lifetime. Ron Rabou is the founder of Rabou Farms and an inspiring public/motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur based in southeastern Wyoming. Carson Rabou is a first-place winner of the Summer Pitch Challenge. He and his brothers are the founders of Rabros, LLC. The business provides personally homegrown, wholesome, certified organic products.

January 7: UW Host Heather Heath and young entrepreneur Kayleigh Lund talked about ways that a pitch challenge can inspire young people to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Jessie Jones and Kelly Biggar from Young Entrepreneur Institute shared perspectives on ways afterschool programs and youth serving organizations effectively use pitch challenges as part of a wider effort to help young people practice problem-solving, think critically, and share their voice. Identifying the Competition with the “Favorite Cookie” exercise was the module highlight.

December 17: Special guest speakers Matthew Fox, University of Wyoming Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Minden Fox, Laramie County Community College Marketing and Entrepreneurship Instructor addressed “Identifying Solutions in Your Daily Life.” Matthew’s teaching interests include entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, negotiations, and strategy. Minden’s focus is on the newly re-developed Entrepreneurship program that focuses on supporting students with business ideas and helping them develop these ideas into something feasible.

November 19VentureLab Director of Education and Training Scott Mann focused on “Defining the Problem,” the important first step in the entrepreneurial process that helps young people think critically about the world around them so that they can be empowered to contribute solutions.


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


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