Ralston startup company helping grow community, draw more businesses

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:35 PM CST
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RALSTON, Neb. (WOWT) - A local startup company fought its way through COVID, grew its business, and hired new employees. For its efforts, Event Vesta has been named the Metro Startup Company of the Year by the AIM Institute.

Event Vesta was founded by Billy Martin and Andrew Prystai. Their company promotes businesses and events.

The two-year-old startup grew from the founders to five employees and already has more than 500 clients.

Event Vesta is located in Ralston’s Granary District and the area is still under construction. The Granary is being built and is home to I See It Ventures, a business incubator that helps area start ups.

“Went from just having a couple of dozens customers mostly here in Omaha at this point last year to having over 500 around the country,” said Prystai.

Event Vesta grew out of Ralston-based I See it Ventures. Gordon Whitten is the CEO, his company is building and makes it home in the Granary.

“In one way or another, we’ve already been involved with four or five startups here in Ralston through investment or partnership and our goal is at least 10 within the next couple of years,” said Whitten.

Tony Veland is the AIM Director of Business Development. He broke the news early that Event Vesta is the winner of the AIM Tech Awards Startup of the Year that will take place later this week.

Veland says the award lets young hi-tech companies know they are appreciated and their companies can grow here.

“And to not want to leave our area, our borders in order to try to be successful we have plenty of talent here. We have plenty of resources here for them all to be successful and we want them to utilize it here,” said Veland.

The area will feature residential, entertainment, and commercial space. City officials hope this area will keep young talent here in the Omaha metro.

“We anticipate this will be kind of along the lines of what you see in Blackstone, Aksarben, and other redevelopment projects that have targeted those audiences and been successful,” said Rick Hoppe, Ralston City Administrator.

“I’m a hometown kid born and raised in Omaha, went to Creighton actually got my undergrad and MBA there so Bluejay twice over and frankly it’s because of opportunities like this, to build Event Vesta here in Omaha that I’m still here. When I first graduated, was considering moving to Denver or Austin, or Minneapolis and without that opportunity to build that here in Omaha, I wouldn’t be here today” said Prystai.

The AIM Institute is a nonprofit that works to grow and inspire the tech talent in our community. The AIM Tech Awards will be held Thursday, Nov. 11 at the Omaha Design Center.

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