KEARNEY — Kearney brothers Skylar and Spencer Hinrichs are passionate about helping businesses thrive in their hometown.
That’s why the Kearney High School and University of Nebraska at Kearney graduates started their own business, Hinrichs Labs LLC, in August. Through the company, Spencer said they build websites or software to help businesses reach their customers.
“Between Spencer and I both graduating from UNK with our business degrees and our dad, Gene Hinrichs, owning Hinrichs Photography since 1972, not only is entrepreneurship hardwired into us but also a really deep love of Kearney,” Skylar said. “So when you put those two together, we want to help small- to medium-sized business owners in Kearney succeed however we possibly can.”
Spencer, 29, and Skylar, 31, first designed and built a website for Brush Creek Brewing Company in Atkinson. The Hinrichs reinvested their earnings to begin developing a customer-focused software.
They plan to launch the software on June 1. Before then, they are closed-lipped about the details, but said the app will be marketed to small- and medium-sized businesses.
“The amount that we can reveal right now basically would be we are bringing technologies that right now are really only available to large businesses, very large corporations,” Spencer said.
Spencer, who by day writes code for a local corporation, said large companies may have the resources to build similar software. But it wouldn’t be cost effective for smaller businesses to build the software on their own.
“Because we’re building it and providing it for these smaller companies, it’s resourced in a different way. The cost is much lower,” he said.
Spencer’s talent for writing code pairs with Skylar’s experience in project management and customer success at a software company. Skylar is in charge of marketing while Spencer is the lead coder. Spencer earned a second bachelor’s degree in software development from Bellevue University.
Because both brothers have day jobs, they work on the software every night and weekends at home. When they need to check in with each other, they will meet in Spencer’s basement office.
Both Spencer and Skylar said they like working together.
“Growing up we’ve always gotten along. Being in business together, if we disagree on something, we can’t get personal about that,” he said. “We have to keep that behind the business doors.”
They split the company, 50/50, though Spencer said that usually is not advised in business because one partner needs to be able to override a decision if needed. But the split works for them.
“At the end of the day, we need to come to terms and make a decision on something, and we always have, whether it’s a feature in the software we’re writing or the general direction of the business, we’ve always sorted that out,” he said.
After the brothers release and sell their new software, they want to continue to develop products to help small- and medium-sized businesses.
“So we start here, businesses can begin using it and we just continue to fill the needs and build an entire suite that a business can use,” Spencer said.
And they will use the money they’ve earned on each project to fund the next project.
“So we’re not interested in investors,” Skylar said. “We just solely want to bootstrap and grow our business as we earn it.”
For more information about Hinrichs Labs, visit hinrichs-labs.com.