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Monday, February 19
by Toni Oberto
Reasons to Network with Casey:
Casey Helbling joined the Minnestar board in 2013, realizing it was a perfect fit for his interest in supporting entrepreneurship and the local tech community. (He was also in the room when original organizer Ben Edwards began talking about something called “Minnebar” more than a decade ago; Casey says, “I told him he was crazy.”)
Five years after joining the board, he continues to appreciate how Minnestar encourages and connects the Minnesota tech community to push boundaries. “I love to see hackers and makers building things just because they can,” Casey says. “Today, the barrier to entry of technology is way more accessible than it was years ago. Almost anybody can create the next big thing with minimal resources.”
Built into the fabric of Minnestar is the desire to see the Minnesota tech community thrive and succeed, and a prime example of this success is Casey himself. His career has spanned the breadth of software development from design, engineering, and implementation to founding and running one of the first benefit corporations in Minnesota, Software for Good. Starting his career building web applications at Imaginet under the leadership of Scott Litman and Dan Mallin, Casey quickly realized he was working in a community that managed to be hardworking, creative, and innovative, but also down to earth. Embodying these same attributes, he pursued a consulting role at St. Paul-based Fourth Generation and went on to found an Agile web development firm, Clear Consulting, in 2003. That firm evolved into Software for Good, which works with clients around the U.S. and internationally to solve complex problems and use tech for social change.
“Minnesota is home to some of the brightest technologists in the country. Our tech community is vibrant and mutually supportive, working together to make sure everybody wins,” Casey says. That mutual championing has helped Software for Good thrive. “Even organizations who should be considered pure competitors are actually very supportive,” he explains. “We all work together passing business back and forth as we need things.”
With Software for Good winning the Eureka! Innovation award in 2017, it’s clear Casey has helped create a boundary-pushing organization. To continue learning and growing as an owner and technologist, he reflects on sound advice from a friend: “When doctors say they are ‘practicing medicine,’ they are still literally practicing. That put my own imposter syndrome into perspective. I realized that I’m never going to know everything and I’ll also always be practicing, learning, and growing.”