Meeks gets startup funds in UW competition

LARAMIE – A Big Piney native’s entrepreneurial endeavor was one of six finalists to share a total of $77,000 in prize money from the University of Wyoming College of Business John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Perri Meeks, a senior mechanical engineering major, and her startup, B3, won two different categories in the virtual contest held April 23-24. B3 was named Top Submission, Female Entrepreneur and won the People’s Choice Award.

B3 is an online web application designed to optimize inventory management for online retail companies. Inventory management refers to the practice of maintaining optimum inventory levels. With the help of B3, entrepreneurs can feel confident knowing how long their current inventory will last, when they should order more and how much, according to the application’s description.

Winning top female entrepreneur submission gained B3 $1,000 in startup funds while the People’s Choice Award also came with a $500 bonus.

UW also announced that Meeks and B3 were finalists in the Fisher Innovation Launchpad competition. That was a virtual startup challenge for UW students funded by contributions from Donne and Sue Fisher.

Impact 307, a network of innovation-led business incubators whose purpose is to grow and strengthen the state’s entrepreneurial community, also helped with the event.

“The Fisher Innovation Launchpad is a great platform that UW has for helping to commercialize the innovative technologies that we develop on campus,” Impact 307 Director Dave Bohling said. “One of our very first winners, Resono, is actually heading to NASA later this month to do wind tunnel testing on the space launch system program and has grown to five employees since it was founded.”

Six companies, including B3, were determined to have viable paths forward after judging and will continue to receive business counseling from the Impact Laramie team.