Wichita For Entrepreneurs
Looking for a place to start a business? Wichita might just be the place to do it. Many nationally-known companies have started in Wichita and the development of new business in our city continues to grow. Wichita has an undeniable entrepreneurial spirit. Over the past few years in particular, we've seen the growth of many startups and initiatives created to support them. Check out these Wichita entrepreneurial organizations and events.
1 Million Cups
1 Million Cups got its name from the idea that great ideas are discussed over a million cups of coffee. This program allows early-stage startups to present their companies to a diverse audience each Wednesday morning. Each presentation is six minutes long and is immediately followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer period.
Presenting companies receive feedback through a survey given to the audience and local organizers in their city.
1 Million Cups provides a supportive and neutral environment for entrepreneurs, where they can be open and honest about the challenges that they face.
Accelerate the Heartland
Last year saw the first annual Accelerate the Heartland, an event that brings entrepreneurs, government officials, mentors, innovators, investors, service providers and university representatives together for a day filled with interaction and collaboration.
With a mission to accelerate the economy of the Heartland, the event is a great way to get connected. Accelerate the Heartland helps to build and support the entrepreneurial eco-system in Wichita.
The Create Campaign was designed to strategically communicate and connect African-American and other underrepresented entrepreneurs with services and educational opportunities from which they can benefit. Depending on where they are in their business development, appropriate resources will be provided, whether that means helping to start, sustain or grow each business.
The Create Campaign has greatly impacted our community, leading two businesses to becoming structured entities in the state of Kansas. The campaign has also helped more than 100 entrepreneurs get engaged in programming.
The campaign plans to expand its cultural proficiency to include Latino culture and is set to expand beyond Wichita in 2017.
More information is available here.
The e2e Accelerator was the first program of its kind in Wichita. Focused primarily on activating, accelerating and mentoring entrepreneurs, e2e does not limit its services to startups. Rather, the program works with companies of any age.
e2e offers a 13-week program that provides entrepreneurs with the knowledge, resources, and mentorship they need to reach the next level. The program guides entrepreneurs through three stages: Customer and Market Analysis and Development; Operations and Organizational Development and Leardership; and Growth, Traction and Acceleration.
Wichita State University's Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) nurtures and supports ideas, concepts, and potential products that will eventually move into the marketplace. Developed to foster entrepreneurial activity that leads to the commercialization of technology-based ideas, this program is a great way to get your ideas off the ground.
Participants in the E-Launch program learn to clearly conceptualize their proposed product or service and how it can provide real value to customers. E-Launch also helps entrepreneurs to develop a business model that will deliver the value proposition to customers and provide a framework and methodology to create a viable startup company.
E-Launch takes place from 1-4 p.m. on Fridays through Mar. 3. Sessions will be held at the innovation Hub in Devlin Hall at Wichita State University. The cost to participate is $450.
More information is available through WSU.
Wichita has a great deal of entrepreneurial potential, and the founders of Groundwork recognize that. The organization aspires to establish Wichita as a contender in the global market for places to live and grow ideas. Groundwork aims to grow not just new jobs, but whole new companies.
With a goal of reshaping the perception of employment, of Wichita, and of what has been defined as achievable, this program offers support to Wichita's other entrepreneurial organizations in order to provide local entrepreneurs with the best resources available.
Details on Groundwork can be found on the website.
A product of Open Wichita, Hackathon ICT allows the local community of civic hackers the opportunity to use modern tools and technology to make our city better. Through this event, our community develops new ways to collaborate and get connected. Everyone has the ability to make a difference, and Hackathon ICT provides the perfect opportunity.
This event is open to anyone who enjoys working on meaningful and interesting projects that can make a difference in the community.
In a matter of 24 hours, participants will research, create plans, develop prototypes and more! At the conclusion of the event, a panel of judges will choose the best projects and award resources to help them move forward.
Check out Hackathon ICT online.
With a mission to innovate, learn, and build community at the intersection of art, technology, science, and culture, MakeICT provides a variety of resources that help our community to create. Check out these awesome MakeICT resources!
The objective of MakeICT's devICT is to connect, educate and empower Wichita-area developers. Encompassing all skill levels, from complete beginners to seasoned veterans, devICT welcomes anyone with a curiosity for programming. DevICT strives to make it's members better at what they do. To attain that goal, the program holds monthly events that are both social and educational and hosts a monthly speaker at Dev Talks. Maker Mondays are also held on every other Monday at the makerspace.
More information is available on the devICT website.
Kansas Linux Fest
Kansas Linux Fest promotes education and adoption of Linux and other free and open source software. Bringing entrepreneurs, speakers and professionals together since 2015, Kansas Linux Fest creates a community within its members.
More details are available on the Kansas Linux Fest website.
The Maker Academy provides opportunities to expand the knowledge of individuals and communities through methods of teaching and learning. Maker Academy connects those who want to learn with those who have the knowledge, skills, and desire to teach.
Featured topics vary based the involved learners and teachers. Previous topics include 3D printing and modeling, book binding, computer programming, electronics, greeting cards, laser-cutting, lock picking, paper beads and many more.
MakeICT’s flagship location, the Makerspace is an 8,700-square-foot facility located at 1500 E Douglas Ave. Active members who have completed the key process can access the makerspace at literally any time, as it is open 24/7/365.
Maker outreach generates an appreciation for creating and spreads maker culture by offering hands-on activities and presentations in public spaces. You'll likely see this occur at fairs, art shows, festivals, and other public activities or events.
Open Wichita improves the Wichita community by taking advantage of creative technological solutions and utilizing grassroots volunteer efforts.
The Open Wichita website offers more information on its activities and efforts.
Mini Maker Faire
Exploration Place's Mini Maker Faire allows young children to get in on the excitement of creating something that's entirely their own.
The family-friendly showcase of creativity, invention and resourcefulness recently introduced a brand new Kid Maker Zone. The special area, designed specifically for young makers, allows children to participate in a "Take a Part-y", where they disassemble electronic devices. Young makers are also able to draw with 3-D pens, build robots, build and engineer rockets and much more.
The event will be held on July 30-31 this year, operating from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Visit the website.
Shocker New Venture
Wichita State University's Center for Entrepreneurship hosts The Shocker New Venture Competition. Designed to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and inspire campus innovation, the annual competition offers students a chance to win start-up capital for their business.
Students from all academic disciplines are invited to participate. Working together in teams, students will be asked to describe their business concept through a clear value proposition, a market analysis and a sustainable competitive advantage.
The entry deadline for this year's competition is March 6. Entrants will be required to present a 10-page plan, due by April 3. The trade show will take place on 21, and the final round will be held on April 28.
Startup Grind is new to Wichita in 2017. The program, which is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, operates in 85 countries. Startup Grind serves to nurture startups through events, media and partnerships with organizations.
Startup Grind creates inspiration and connections for its 400,000 founders in over 200 cities. Overall, the organization has helped millions of entrepreneurs find mentorship, partners, hires and more. In 2017, Startup Grind comes to Wichita under Director Jacob Wayman.
Check out the local Startup Grind.
Wichita State University Innovation Campus
Wichita State University has further embraced the entrepreneurial community with the recent addition of its Innovation Campus. Sitting on 120 acres, the Innovation Campus offers students the opportunity to access the real-world applications and training necessary to easily transition into the workforce after graduating. Working closely with several local establishments, students are also able to develop connections with professionals in their field of study.
The Innovation Campus also highlights a community makerspace, where students and non-students can access technology and services to facilitate product development.