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Wichita events planned in September, October for entrepreneurs

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, August 14, 2013, at 5:34 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, August 15, 2013, at 9:56 a.m.

Two events are planned this fall for area entrepreneurs seeking advice, connections and financing.

On Sept. 26, the Kansas-based Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship will host a networking event in Wichita. Pipeline CEO Joni Cobb said Wednesday that details of a time and location are being worked out.

The Pipeline event will fall in the middle of its application gathering process for the next class of Pipeline fellows. The program’s aim is to educate and groom promising entrepreneurs in technology or biosciences during a year-long fellowship. Applications will be accepted between Aug. 19 and Oct. 21. They can be accessed at pipelineentrepreneurs.com/apply.

Since Pipeline’s inception in 2007, 10 Wichita entrepreneurs have graduated from the fellowship that originally served Kansans but has since grown to include entrepreneurs from Missouri and Nebraska as well.

Cobb said the Wichita event will give Pipeline graduates a chance to reconnect as well as to recruit area entrepreneurs to the fellowship.

“Wichita is one of our hubs,” Cobb said. “It’s important we are providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get together.”

She said Pipeline held a networking event in Wichita last year, but the group didn’t provide much advance notice of it.

The following month, the Great Plains Capital Conference will be held.

The annual event that links entrepreneurs with investors will break tradition this year with a two-day event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport. In prior years it had been held at the Wichita Marriott.

“It’s our 10-year anniversary,” said Trish Brasted, CEO of Wichita Technology Corp., which organizes the conference.

Brasted said she wanted to do something different to mark the conference’s first decade, so it partnered with Quantum Expositions to host a second day of events that will include an expo and break-out sessions for entrepreneurs and investors.

This year’s GPCC will be held Oct. 22-23.

GPCC selects a small group of entrepreneurs every year to pitch their business plans to a private audience of angel investors.

This year, it is looking to select 10 to 15 companies in the technology and biosciences sectors. It is accepting applications to present until Sept. 6.

Last year, GPCC had about 100 investors attending the day-long event.

“I expect we’ll go up again (in attendance),” Brasted said. “Now, we’re getting angels from Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri.”

For more information on GPCC or to apply, go to www.greatplainscc.com.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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