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Wyoming is home to many small businesses, and I am always amazed by the ideas and ingenuity that comes from our state. The possibilities are endless when you have the right tools. That’s why I host an Inventors Conference every year aimed at helping and inspiring entrepreneurs in Wyoming. Maybe you already have a small business and you are looking to patent a new idea, or you are looking to start an entirely new business. Whatever your small business journey, may your dreams be realized.

I held my first Inventors Conference in 2004 as a way to help Wyoming's small business owners and inventors succeed in the continually evolving marketplace. The conference helps guide entrepreneurs by providing information about the patent process, business planning, funding options and marketing. This year, the Inventors Conference will be in Evanston at the outreach center of Western Wyoming Community College on Sept. 21. Regardless of background or experience, everyone is welcome to attend and learn how to build on their ideas.

You will hear from people who have turned their dreams into realities and learn about the resources available in Wyoming to help you do the same. You’ll be able to network with fellow attendees who have ideas and experiences you can learn from. Inventing isn’t easy. Inventors constantly have to learn the latest in patent law or find financing for their inventions. The experts at this conference are there to help with those problems.

This year’s keynote speaker is Susan Pieper, the founder and CEO of DMOS Collective, a company dedicated to turning something as normal as an actual shovel into a compact, portable feat of engineering. Based in Jackson, DMOS builds shovel hardware made to sustain everyday work. In 2014, Pieper grew frustrated watching her son break shovel after shovel in her Wyoming backyard. Susan turned the idea of DMOS Collective into a successful company.

There is no charge for the Inventors Conference and it’s open to the public. Doors open on Sept. 21 at 7:30 a.m. at Western Wyoming Community College Outreach Center at Evanston and events start at 8:30 a.m. Registration to help us know how many to plan for is available now by contacting my state director, Karen McCreery, at 307-527-9444 (office), 307-250-1489 (cell) or Karen_McCreery@enzi.senate.gov. If you’re unable to pre-register, registration will also be available the morning of the conference.

Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur, a small business owner or recently came up with an idea you’d like to pursue further, everyone is welcome to attend and learn how to build on ideas. I highly encourage anyone interested to register and take advantage of the knowledge and opportunities this conference provides. I hope to see you there.