Brian Hemesath, photo by Duane Tinkey
Brian Hemesath, photo by Duane Tinkey

The whole entrepreneur thing isn’t so scary for Brian Hemesath.

Hemesath worked for a small company for about a year after his 1999 graduation from Iowa State University. The company closed, and Hemesath made a decision.

“I said, ‘I really don’t want to work for anyone else again and be stuck in that situation where I have to be looking for work,’” he said.

Today, his resume includes helping seven start-up companies get off the ground, either as a founder or as a partner. He’s currently involved in some capacity in four local start-ups and is a mentor at StartupCity Des Moines.

Risky business? Maybe. Hemesath is kind of numb to it. “Back in 2001, I don’t think I ever viewed it as a risk,” he said.

“I think I viewed it as survival, and this is how I’m going to make it.”

His first business, Diligent Information Services LLC, consisted of building websites with his brother. He sold it in 2010. In 2005, he was one of three founders of Catchwind LLC, a mobile marketing company where he recently became the sole owner.

Hemesath also helped incorporate Volunteer Local LLC in 2009, helped founder Rush Nigut build NotifyWorks Inc. in 2010 and most recently has stepped in to help Tikly LLC, a business founded by Emma Peterson housed in StartupCity.

His method of entrepreneurship is in many cases helping a recently launched venture get off the ground. Hemesath embraces his role as a jack-of-all-trades: He doesn’t claim to be the best at anything, but he can program, build products from scratch, create business models and market.

“I think that’s important in a start-up,” he said. “You’ve got to know a little bit about a lot of things. Even if you don’t end up doing the job yourself, you can sniff out whether there’s good talent or not to help you do it.”

Hemesath considers his largest challenge to be balancing the things he’s involved in, including his work/life balance. He credits his wife, Nicole, with keeping him excited about the work he does while helping keep his life balanced.

As for what’s next, Hemesath’s goal is to help Tikly, a local ticketing service that works directly with bands and venues, grow to the point that it is self-sustaining. He sees Tikly as a company that can be viewed as a good example of a successful technology-related start-up in Des Moines.