Laurie Nichols, the University of Wyoming President, along with other top echelons of the academic administration, presented the proposed diversification and economic development strategies to the executive council of the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) in the second day of meetings. The meeting was held at Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center of the university. The council has already begun to fine tune the draft recommendations needed for the report which must be presented to Governor Matt Mead on or before December 31.
Need for entrepreneurship
Nicholas gave an outline of how the university partners ENDOW via its present and proposed diversification and economic development efforts. These efforts form a part of the implementation of the 2017-2022 strategic plan made by the UW. The UW president said that visits to different communities all over the state and through a number of campus listening sessions have filtered out a common topic: the need for being more entrepreneurial. The UW, he added, could do a lot more to foster this effort.
According to Nichols, the principal priority for this university, in partnership with community colleges is increasing the Wyoming citizen numbers having post-secondary degrees. The same solution is being pushed by ENDOW council. These comments were followed by the concerned UW officials outlining the UW plans. Michael Pishko, dean, UW College of Engineering and Applied Science, said that the institute to foster entrepreneurship and innovation continue to be in the final planning stages and is on its way to become a major player in UW's approach towards diversification and economic development. He assured his audience that students favor entrepreneurship as well.
More companies in the pipeline
David Chicone, interim dean, UW College of Business, said that businesses and citizens of Wyoming state will enjoy access to the future Business Creation Factory. This factory, he said, will induct both new and existing resources, to assist people both on campus and off campus with ideas to begin start-ups or expanding an existing business. Business operational challenges and their solutions can also be brainstormed.
According to Chicone, there is a hope that the number of start-ups will increase five times the present number from UW and from all over the state. In his proposal, he expressed optimism; he said that there will be 25 start-ups in the first phase, with 10 of them moving into phase two and filtering to five in the phase three. Those who do not pass will, at first, be reviewed and then encouraged to correct problems so that they can transform into viable businesses.