Wichitans among Pipeline's new class

Two Wichitans — one an electrical engineer and the other a pharmacist — are among the 10 Kansans selected to the Kansas Pipeline entrepreneur fellowship program.

The entrepreneurs will be officially announced tonight at Pipeline's Innovator of the Year Awards event in Overland Park.

Gerald Rues, the engineer, is the founder and CEO of Electronic Sensors.

The company, 2063 S. Edwards, provides wireless tank monitoring systems for the lube and oils, fuel management and industrial chemicals markets.

Before starting the company, Rues was an engineer in the flight test group at Boeing. He has a master's degree in electrical engineering from Wichita State. He was not available for comment.

Brian Williamson is the other Wichita innovator.

Williamson is CEO of JCB Labs, a company that compounds customized, high-risk, sterile medical injections, ophthalmic products, and nasal sprays and irrigations for the ambulatory surgery centers industry, and ear, nose, and throat physicians. The firm, at 3510 N. Ridge Road, also has a clinical research department that provides formulation and manufacturing services for start-up companies bringing new drug products to market.

Williamson, who has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy in Winchester, Va., said he is interested in becoming a serial entrepreneur. JCB Labs is his second venture. In 2000, Williamson said he had a consulting company for a brief time.

"From what I hear about (Pipeline) it really prepares entrepreneurs for doing this multiple times," he said. "That's my main reason for applying."

The yearlong program includes four, three-day education sessions called modules. The modules are typically led by experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

The program also offers innovators access to venture capitalists as well as mentors to advise them for the duration of their fellowship.

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