Chris Callen is fascinated with technology and entrepreneurship.
That’s why Callen, CEO of Builders Plus Construction, is not only putting his new office at the former Big Dog space, 1520 E. Douglas, but he’s putting in a space for early stage start-up companies called GroundWork.
Six recently created companies, all of which are still in development, will locate to the space. They include KingFit, BlueChip UAS, LawnBuddy, Quickdraw Studios, Air Capital Media and Matano.
GroundWork will encompass 2,200 square feet of space, with the normal amenities of an office, such as telephone, Wi-Fi, coffee, a receptionist and a conference room. Callen said there will be 24 people working for the six companies. There will be informal programming, bringing in people to talk about topics such as law, hiring and intellectual property.
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Callen intends GroundWork to be a collaborative office that helps the entrepreneurs succeed with advice, partnerships, education, training or simply adopting each others’ products.
“They are still working full-time jobs or just quit and are really starting to work on their own,” he said. “I just wanted to take away some of the … worrying about the menial details while they are trying to build a company.”
It’s about social responsibility, he said.
“… I think entrepreneurism is key to the future of Wichita, and this is our piece of helping, being able to contribute,” he said.
Callen sees GroundWork as a very basic entrepreneurial incubator, not in competition with Wichita’s brand new accelerator, e2e.
“I see us as kind of a farm team for e2e,” he said. “I hope that it may be able to take some of them and push them higher.”
He plans to have the offices open by Aug. 1.
Callen said he is seeking additional companies to apply for space, but doesn’t have room for them yet. He expects the current companies to grow out of GroundWork and open up space for new ones.
Future applicants can contact Callen at email@example.com.