Apr 02, 2024

StartUp Hutch to add staff, thanks to K-State 105

Posted Apr 02, 2024 1:25 PM
StartUp Hutch-Photo by Judd Weil
StartUp Hutch-Photo by Judd Weil

K-State 105

MANHATTAN — K-State 105 is partnering with StartUp Hutch to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem and foster additional economic growth in Hutchinson and the Reno County region.

The K-State 105 partnership will help expand entrepreneurial services in Reno County by adding an Entrepreneur Navigator, or E-Navigator, to StartUp Hutch.

The E-Navigator will be a pilot program that connects and convenes local entrepreneurs, fosters collaborations and supports new ventures in Reno County.

"We truly believe that all communities can experience economic growth through strategies that start at the local level, and our new K-State 105 partnership with StartUp Hutch aims to do just that by taking an innovative approach with the local entrepreneurship program," said Jessica Gnad, K-State 105 director. "Through K-State 105, we are supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses across all 105 counties, and it's exciting to help this program expand in Reno County."

Through the partnership, StartUp Hutch will expand its services by hiring an additional staff member to help continue coordinating and executing entrepreneurship programs in the community.

"Taking an ecosystem approach creates more connections between existing service providers and also between existing and emerging entrepreneurs," said Jackson Swearer, executive director of StartUp Hutch. "This creates a more resilient system of entrepreneurship support and more points of entry into that system, expanding opportunities for more residents to enter entrepreneurship, which in turn creates more jobs and improved quality of life in communities."

Other partners involved include NetWork Kansas, Hutchinson Community College and K-State Research and Extension.

StartUp Hutch is part of the NetWork Kansas E-Community Program, short for Entrepreneurship Community, which is an initiative that involves 73 locations across the state that support entrepreneurial work. NetWork Kansas will monitor the program expansion at StartUp Hutch with the goal of replicating the program at other E-Community locations across the state.

"Since 2013 Reno County has been an E-Community partner of NetWork Kansas," said Ciara Miller, south central E-Community manager. "Over the years we have come alongside StartUp Hutch in their entrepreneur support efforts. We are excited for this new partnership with K-State 105 to see how intentional efforts to navigate entrepreneurs through the complicated ecosystem of starting or growing a business can provide economic growth to Reno County."

K-State also recently collaborated with StartUp Hutch and local economic development leaders at the recent Reno County community visit.  

CLICK HERE to download the Hutch Post mobile app.
CLICK HERE to sign up for the daily Hutch Post email news update.