The official launch of Wichita’s e2e entrepreneur accelerator on Thursday afternoon was packed with well-wishers, evidence of both the excitement and expectations people have for it.
The accelerator is a large open space on the first floor of the High Touch building, 110 S. Main. In it, the first class of six entrepreneurs have started 13 weeks of intense schooling from a wide variety of local experts in their fields. They will also visit with mentors and potential investors.
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The idea is that the accelerator will take businesses with big potential, and give them the tools and knowledge to expand regionally, nationally or internationally.
“This is wonderful,” said John Dascher, CEO of e2e, said about the open house. “It goes to show that e2e is a community-based organization. Everything up until today was just an idea. Now it’s real.”
All six are operating companies with solid products and actual revenue. They are:
▪ Trevor Crotts and his company, Buddy Rest, a maker of high-end memory foam pads for pets.
▪ Miguel Johns, KingFit, which provides fitness and lifestyle planning and tracking via an online portal.
▪ Mike Mathia, Knoxx, which provides video resumes.
▪ Andrew Gough, Reverie Coffee Roasters, which sells its own high-end roast coffees retail and wholesale.
▪ Jeff Jones, Tru-Building, which builds highly energy-efficient “green” houses.
▪ Chad and Steven Cox, Visibility Optics, a technology that takes a picture of people’s faces and suggests glasses based on facial recognition characteristics.
e2e is a privately-funded accelerator. It operates under the umbrella of the Entrepreneurial Task Force, which is itself under the Greater Wichita Partnership, the area’s main economic development organization.