SHERIDAN — University of Wyoming’s Technology Business Center hosted its e2e educational networking program Thursday night, providing entrepreneurs an inside-look at the ups and downs of successful startups.
With additional chapters in Laramie and Casper, the event is designed to help entrepreneurs by bringing them together and providing guest speakers who have thrived in their fields, as well as networking opportunities.
Founder and CEO of Synaptec Software, Inc. and cofounder of Biometric Technologies, Inc., Phil Homburger, spoke Thursday of a journey that took him from graduating with a bachelor’s in child psychology in 1978, to becoming CEO of a company behind leading software in today’s legal industry.
“I was hoping a couple things,” Homburger said about what he wanted the audience to take away from his presentation. “One, learn from my mistakes, specifically how not to sell the company.”
The lesson he’s referring to transpired after Homburger’s partnership with a veterinarian led to the creation and ultimately sale of a successful software business that tracked and organized information in the veterinary industry. When the company sold to, “New York swindlers,” Homburger gave up control but not responsibility of it.
“So it was my job to make sure the program would do what they told me that they wanted it to do,” Homburger said, “whether it made sense or not, whether it was possible or not.”
After the sale, Homburger had to start from the ground up once again. In 1987, his brother, Drew, joined the company that today is Synaptec Software.
LawBase, a case and matter management software package created in the early 1980s under Synaptec Software, is used in law firms as well as Fortune 500 corporate legal departments nationwide. Though offers to buy the company have rolled in through the years, Homburger is concerned about keeping the company’s integrity and family values intact. He said this set of morals is as important as any other lesson he could have taught entrepreneurs Thursday.
“It’s OK to be a lifestyle company, that’s probably as big as anything else,” Homburger said. “In my view, we don’t always have to be charging hard you know, going crazy all the time, hair on fire. You can be very successful, you can have a really good company but you can still see your wife and kids at night, you can still see their sports events, you can go to their plays and do everything that they need to.”
Steve Butler attended an e2e event for the first time Thursday. He said he came with the hope of gaining insight on options he could apply to a new software business of his own.
“I really enjoyed it,” Butler said. “It’s good to see other people’s experiences and how they’ve succeeded and some of the things to avoid.”