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
By
January 19, 2017

Ideas are Easy but Effort Takes Perseverance

Innovative Missouri entrepreneur, Mike Seper of Eco Zipline Tours

Mike Seper had been a student at the University of Hawaii, enjoying the many outdoor activities available, with ziplines as a favorite. When he returned home to New Florence, Missouri, he realized there few outdoor activities available. His goal was to introduce people to the thrill of zipline touring, to learn about nature and to help them overcome their fears.

His first challenge was building a business in the midst of the recession. “I couldn’t get loans. It was a business model no one was pursuing and a service no one was looking for,” shares Mike. Additional obstacles included creating an eco-friendly course that wouldn’t destroy the forest. His vision became an expensive, risky undertaking.

With little support from friends and family, Mike pushed onward. “I put everything on the line because I believed this was a special way to bring families together and get them outside.” Through his perseverance, Mike established friendships with a renowned zipline builder and a land owner that believed in his vision. Eco Zipline Tours launched in 2010.

Since that time, the business has reached several milestones: Eco Zipline Tours is the highest-rated zipline in Missouri, the 2016 recipient of the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Tourism Pathfinder Award and they have a 100% safety record. Mike is also in the process of developing a new zipline safety and virtual reality business, Zipline Innovations, which earned 3rd place at the Mid-Missouri Innovation Week pitch competition.

Mike’s 2017 plan is to join the Mid-MO Tech Accelerator to further develop his ZipVR brake/virtual reality safety system, helping others follow their dream of starting a new business. “You will be told ‘it won’t work’ more often than those who tell you to pursue your idea. Entrepreneurship is a hot topic, but it’s a mindset and a belief. You’ll need a positive attitude and perseverance to push through the obstacles.”

Take a leap for your Missouri Business

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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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