In 1997, Jason Rule began developing a concept for an online posting of car inventories for car dealerships. At the time, services charged thousands of dollars to post and update inventories for dealerships. Rule developed a concept, learned the software applications required and hired a Web-designer to launch his less costly service. However, he needed help to develop a financial system.
Rule employed the help of the Fort Hays State University Small Business Development Center to build a billing and accounting system for his corporate structure.
The Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) assists small businesses by providing owners with knowledge, tools and resources that will assist them in the competitive economy.
After the FHSU SBDC developed an inventory management system for Rule, he began taking potential clients which resulted in his company hosting 15 clients in Kansas, California and Utah until it was sold to Nex-Tech Inc.
KSBDC successes, like Rule's in Hays, will be highlighted from 3-4:30 p.m. on March 17 during the SBDC 20th anniversary celebration in Topeka.
The reception will also recognize SBDC regional centers in Lawrence, Topeka, Emporia, Garden City, Johnson County, Wichita and Pittsburg.
Awards will be presented in the Statehouse and will include appearances by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, the Lt. Gov. John E. Moore, federal and state senators and representatives, Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University and master of ceremonies for the reception, Dr. Larry Gould, provost and interim dean of the College of Business and Leadership at FHSU, news media and many more.