Why Do Entrepreneurs in Casper Excel?
Outstanding state and local resources, along with a unique crowdfunding program, help propel startups to success.
It’s a good time to get your foot in the door in Wyoming – for many reasons – and that especially holds true for entrepreneurs in Casper.
Local and state resources are in plentiful supply, helping entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into action and their action into growth and prosperity.
With an international airport that includes a Foreign Trade Zone, Casper attracts business travelers and companies looking to save on taxes and maximize profits.
Unique Resources in Wyoming
New rules took effect in 2018 that allow every Wyoming citizen to participate in crowdfunding. The Wyoming Invests Now (WIN) platform allows everyone to be an investor, encouraging active participation in the state’s economy.
Since every startup needs capital, this funding source provides entrepreneurs with an equal playing field in turning their visions into thriving businesses.
Brian Deurloo, president and founder of Frog Creek Partners, took advantage of the WIN platform and raised over $2 million to help fund the introduction of his patented Gutter Bin stormwater filtration system to domestic and international markets. Gutter Bin removes pollutants from flowing water within a catch basin.
“Wyomingites are very friendly and helpful, and they are open to investment opportunities,” Deurloo says. “Anyone who comes with good intentions and good ideas, we welcome and support.”
Brian Deurloo, Frog Creek Partners
Deurloo also benefited from his association with Impact 307, a statewide network of innovation-driven business incubators that includes a location in Casper. The Casper facility hosts four anchor tenants and 10 client companies and offers a coworking space, conference rooms, two lab spaces and teleconference equipment.
Every year, Impact 307 hosts a Start-Up Challenge, with $50,000 of seed funding at stake. Deurloo took part in the Shark Tank-style competition in 2016 and won. In addition to the seed money, he was provided with free office space for his first year in business.
“I would encourage anybody to get involved with Impact 307 and enter their challenges,” he says. “Having a dedicated space to work every day, being involved in an entrepreneurial community, having access to accounting services – it’s just a really good network of people with all the resources you need to get your business up and running.”
In less than seven years, Deurloo has enjoyed revenue growth and rapid expansion, but he measures his success by the impact his company is making.
“We value the fact that our Gutter Bin stormwater filtration system protects at least four Great Lakes, one sea, two oceans, 14 North American river systems and a plethora of creeks and frog ponds. And we couldn’t have done that without the support of the Casper community.”
More Ways To Win
Ben Hauser, principal at Advanced Geotechnical Solutions Inc., participated in the Start-Up Challenge, and even though he didn’t win, the people at Impact 307 offered him discounted rent in one of their incubators and whatever support he needed to help him grow his company.
He says that although he didn’t technically win the challenge, he very much felt like a winner.
“The real prize is the business counseling you get there,” Hauser says. “Having access to accounting help, all the contacts they’ve grown over the years, their interns with skills needed for a startup, such as website design, and on and on – it just makes all the difference.”
Hauser saw leaps of growth as his business began to flourish, and six years later, he is enjoying steady growth in both profits and impact.
He says that along with the business incubator concept, his other key to success was E2E – Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur, a regular event that offers a steady stream of knowledgeable speakers and built-in networking.
And of course, Casper itself has been instrumental to Hauser’s success. “The community truly is the greatest resource,” he says. “I was taken aback by the overwhelming number of people who will encourage and celebrate your success. If you’ve got an idea, say yes to Casper.”
Get to Know Casper
Want to learn more about living and working in Casper, WY? Check out the latest edition of Livability Casper, Wyoming.