Next Pipeline Innovator class to reflect regional expansion

– The Pipeline entrepreneur grooming program will reflect its regional expansion into Missouri and Nebraska when it announces its 2010 class of Innovators at its Innovator of the Year event Jan. 26 in Overland Park.

The Kansas-based program provides selected high-tech and bioscience entrepreneurs a year-long fellowship in how to grow their companies and attract venture capital. Earlier this year the program, which is in its fifth year, announced it had received an $800,000 challenge grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to open its training to entrepreneurs in states surrounding Kansas.

Pipeline CEO Joni Cobb said today that the number of entrepreneurs selected for the 2012 Innovator class will be the same number as in years past, which is about 10. She said that despite the expansion, selecting entrepreneurs from the Wichita area remains a priority.

“Wichita is a very important region for us,” Cobb said.

Since the program’s launch in 2006, eight of Pipeline’s 46 Innovators have come from the Wichita area.