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.