Between the Pipes: A New Invention Leads to Better Hockey
Becoming an entrepreneur can often come about by happy accident; a new product idea imagined in a previous line of work or recreation. Hockey was a little bit of both for Wylie Rogers, owner and inventor of The Wylie Post. Rogers is a USA NTDP Alumni who played D-1 hockey for UAF and continued on to play professionally in both North America and Europe. The style of play for goal tenders has evolved over the past 15 years and technological advancements have created a faster game. The goaltending position has had to adapt to the new speed by using the net to push off from to move around the goalmouth area. Thus the need arose for a stronger peg that would allow goalies to fully utilize the goal area.
After an injury in 2012, Rogers went back to school and quickly graduated with his MBA in 2014. He used his newly acquired business acumen and wealth of hockey knowledge to create a solution to the goalies’ frustration in the form of The Wylie Post; a molded urethane emulator top that secures a goal post but still allows the net to break free on player impact.
Starting a business from scratch means a tight budget and it’s important to optimize each dollar invested in your startup expenses. Fairbanks Director Russ Talvi helped Rogers see the “big picture” and assisted him in obtaining a $15,000 line of credit with Wells Fargo. Strategizing and completing financial projections allowed Wylie to grow his business effectively early on.
“The SBDC has provided constant mentorship and advice throughout every step of the startup process,” said Rogers. “Their guidance helped me meet key people who specialize in business processes willing to assist me in growing my company. I can always count on Russ and the SBDC for honest and valuable advice.”
After several iterations of the prototype, The Wylie Post has been perfected, patented and is now in full production. Learn more about Wylie by visiting their website and follow them on Twitter for updates!