Ruston Seaman, managing partner of New Vision Renewable Energy and founder of GLOgames Basketball, talked with Jim Matuga, host of The Positively West Virginia Podcast, about his non-profit social enterprise, his LED basketball rims and his advice to young entrepreneurs.
New Vision Renewable Energy, founded in 2009, is a Christian community development organization working to re-energize communities. It evolved from a rich 50-year history of ministry and development in rural communities in Appalachia and around the world.
How did you get into this business?
“I was a high school basketball player and one of five boys who would play driveway basketball in our neighborhood. Every night that was our deal. I have a lot of great memories with it. I was a state champion back in Nebraska, and during my college time, I got injured. So, my career ended. I’ve always loved basketball. When we made lights for families, we put the lights on basketball hoops, and it felt like full circle to me.”
Describe the GLOgames basketball rim light.
“When we discovered putting LED lights on a basketball rim, the big deal was could we make it in such a way that it would be durable,” Seaman explained. “We have a $100 challenge to see if anyone can slam dunk it and pull it off all at the time time.”
“There are lights on the inside and outside of the rim to maximize the light. It’s just enough light to enhance your ability as a shooter to see the rim,” Seaman said. “I am a general manager of a girl’s team in Kenya, and none of the girls have ever seen a basketball in their lives. Now, there are 250 girls that play at night time.”
“To do a business, you have to invest. We borrowed money, we mortgaged out everything we could. To create a market viable product, it costs real money, and unfortunately, investment capital in West Virginia for new and innovative ideas that grow out of small communities like Phillippi is almost nonexistent.”
What is one piece of advice you would give a young entrepreneur?
“Is it going to hurt, and you just have to love it,” said Seaman. “The American capitalistic system is there for everyone to tap into but the learning process as a new business leader, there is just some painful things that you have to do.”
Seaman was a guest on The Positively West Virginia Podcast. Listen to his full podcast here: https://positivelywv.com/podcast/
PWV QUICK BITS
- RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Email and Skype
- RECOMMENDED BOOK: Let Justice Roll Down by John M. Perkin
- RUSTON WOULD LIKE TO MEET: Jerry West and Mike D’ Antoni