Justin Brooks, who was already friends with Jason Troutner, responded to a Facebook post about the opportunity. The subsequent interviews and vetting told him Cast21 was “no ordinary senior design project.” This fact suited him perfectly. The three engineers communicated throughout the summer while Brooks was working at Rockford at UTC Aerospace. That following August, he returned to the university, fired up and excited to have a project he could really sink his teeth into. “I saw that this was a project that would really challenge me as an engineer,” Brooks says. “Not only would I need to draw on the experience I’d gained at UTC to make the most precise, complete circuit and packaging that I could, but I would have to dig deep into the creative side of things, as well.”
Over the coming months, Brooks also saw he could fill a niche by managing the business side of the project. He naturally assumed the role of COO, working through financials, intellectual property protection, market research, publicity, and more. Brooks credits the accelerators the team has been a part of for much of his hands-on learning. He also says the Eagle Scout motto from his youth, to “be prepared,” serves as a invaluable mindset in today’s fast paced startup world.
Preparedness just might be this team’s middle name. Over the past year, Cast21 has won Saint Louis University’s “Real” Elevator Pitch competition, been a finalist for the 2016 CNVC Awards, appeared at TechWeek Launch Chicago, participated in Memphis’s “Summer of Acceleration,” and has been featured on WGN TV, Endgadget, and other numerous publications.
Learn more about Cast21 at the press page.