Dane Casey and his wife moved to Kansas City from San Francisco, California in 2017 to pursue his dream to open Venturemen Barbering Shoppe. After years of research and training Dane will celebrate a grand opening this summer in the crossroads arts district of Kansas City.

Dane’s passion is to create a space that welcomes all people but specializes in masculine styling of hair and beards in a welcoming environment that encourages folks to gather, engage in conversation and build a community of sharing.

Plans include adding an apothecary section to Venturemen that will offer products for hair, beard, and skin care. He offers a shampoo included with the haircut at no additional charge. From the first glance at Dane it is obvious he takes his hair, beard and grooming seriously. His desire is to share that passion and knowledge with others. Venturemen harkens back to days of yesteryear when barbershops were a community gathering space. He has given an old-school concept a 2018 vibe where men and women are invited to hangout over a local brew, because it’s not just about the haircut, it’s about style, grooming, and community.

Shortly after arriving in a new city, Dane found himself a dislocated worker with little more than a great idea, enthusiasm, and a lot of questions about what to do next. In the summer of 2017 he enrolled in  ELEVATIONLAB™ NEW VENTURE at the Small Business Technology Development Center. During these five Tuesday sessions Dane learned that it would take more than passion and desire to make his dream a profitable reality.

“It’s very easy to come into NEW VENTURE with the unrealistic idea that opening a business is going to be easy.” Dane didn’t know what he didn’t know. NEW VENTURE provides the space to fill in all the knowledge gaps. “It didn’t kill the dream, but it made the dream realistic. It took the seed of my dream and planted it and the program watered it. I had spent years researching the business, but I felt like the program solidified things for me.”

He especially found the financial aspect of the class helpful. In NEW VENTURE Dane received a crash course in equity, bank financing, SBA loans, sales projections, balance sheets and more. “It helped me solidify my business plan. I was able to reroute my path because of what I learned in NEW VENTURE.”

As Dane prepares for the grand opening of Venturemen Barbering Shoppe, he continues to take advantage of one on one coaching through the SBTDC. “It’s a hustle every day!” he says with a smile, “But now I understand how much I’m capable of handling and when I need to ask for help.”