UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
February 03, 2016

Pursue Your Gift to Preserve a Passion

Ryan Kneedler of Line Cycle Fishing

Once an idea gets in your head, it’s tough to let it go.

That’s what Ryan Kneedler of Springfield experienced coming home from work one day. As an avid outdoorsman, he was troubled by the waste he saw along Missouri’s waterways.

“Used fishing line, old lures and abandoned hooks were everywhere. There had to be a better way to contain these items.” Inspired and encouraged by his boss at Crossbreed Holsters to create a solution, Ryan spent several months in 2009 developing a business plan for Line Cycle Fishing.

He quickly discovered that the process is a big project to take on alone. “A lot of time, energy and money goes into building a business. I learned fast I needed help.” That help came in the form of mentors. “Mentors add value that we otherwise would not encounter.”

Ryan is thankful to those that reached out to him to offer support, advice and unexpected opportunities he never would have found on his own. “Just writing a hand-written letter to the owner of Bass Pro Shops opened some crazy doors for me.”

However, Ryan admits that he’s in the midst of a scary situation. “Once I decided to commit myself to the idea, it became financially frightening.” He took a year off to pay off business-building debt, but to also rethink his plan. Despite his doubts, and challenges finding an investor for his product, his mother offered some solid advice: finish what you started.

Ryan pushed through his doubts to get his product built. He’s gaining traction with sporting goods retailers and continues to build momentum with his product, the Line Snatcher. “It’s very exciting to get your product in your hand that first time.”

For entrepreneurs experiencing their own doubt, Ryan advises, “Pray on it. If your gift is worth pursuing, you’ll find the answer and the momentum to know you’re on the right path.”

Get connected!

For more resources to start or grow your business, check out our Resource Navigator, our interactive database that will connect you to the right resources your challenge, industry and business stage. Looking for more hands-on assistance—or just like talking to real folk? Give us a call at 866-870-6500 and we’ll guide you to the right resources for your business.

Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.


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