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New Group Wants To Promote The Tech Sector In Kansas

Ferran Rodenas
NetApp is one of the founding members of FlagshipKansas.Tech, a group that will promote the tech industry in Kansas.

Most Wichitans probably don't realize there are more than 100 technology companies in the city.

“It's like one of the best-kept-secrets type of a thing,” said Robin Huber, a vice president at NetApp.

FlagshipKansas.Tech plans to change that. The new organization wants to help tech companies grow by making the industry more visible in Kansas.

It also wants to attract tech talent to Kansas and retain talent already here. And it wants to work with colleges and technical schools on aligning curriculums with industry needs.

Huber says FlagshipKansas.Tech wants to remove any barriers that might prevent a tech company from relocating here by promoting technology in the state.

“We want to raise awareness that this already exists,” Huber said of the tech scene in Wichita. “Technology is thriving in this area, and we have great talent in the Midwest area, in Kansas.

“We would like to have other companies throughout the country consider Wichita as a location where they can open up a facility themselves.”

Several Wichita tech companies are among the founding members of Flagship Kansas.Tech, including NetApp, Flint Hills Group, PK Technology, High Touch Technologies, Netability, Cornerstone Data, CallCap and Keycentrix. The group plans to add tech companies outside of Wichita to give the group a Kansas focus.

FlagshipKansas.Tech board members say they want to work with Wichita State University and WSU Tech on educational curriculum. It also plans to offer an apprenticeship program in the future.

The group is planning a kickoff event Feb. 27 that will bring together community officials, tech companies and tech workers. More details about the event will be announced on FlagshipKansas.Tech’s website.

Tom Shine is director of news and public affairs at KMUW. Follow him on Twitter @thomaspshine.

Tom joined KMUW in 2017 after spending 37 years with The Wichita Eagle where he held a variety of reporting and editing roles. He also is host of The Range, KMUW’s weekly show about where we live and the people who live here. Tom is a board member of the Public Media Journalists Association, serving as small station representative, a volunteer coach for League 42 and an adjunct instructor in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.