“The heart of Kansas isn’t a person, place or thing: It’s the collection of people who make it work.”
Each year since 2011, Ingram’s Magazine out of Kansas City selects 50 people from Kansas to recognize as those “to know.” In 2016, I was selected to the honor.
If there is a rebirth of the entrepreneurial spirit in Wichita, Kenton Hansen is something of a midwife. He’s helping start-up minded Millennials wring the most out of what Wichita has to offer. “I’m feeling good about the city,” he says. “Just this morning, there as a front-page story on another tech start-up.” Hansen, like a lot of young adults, is into multiple ventures. For one, he’s the software lab development director for Ennovar, an independent tech-focused resource group housed at Wichita State University, and founded a co-working space called The Labor Party in the city’s Old Town section, catering to creative start-ups. A Wichita native, he earned his degree in entrepreneurship at WSU, and he relishes the research-driven change in the city’s culture. Building on that will require more venture capital, something he says you won’t find enough of anywhere, even in Silicon Valley. The biggest challenge is shifting mindsets in a city where legacy sectors draw most investor attention.”The key now,” he says, “is to diversify away from those kinds of things.”