The Wichita Business Journal is on No. 1 cause in Wichita for business news and information. We publish a weekly newspaper covering breaking news and trends. Offering business leads and tips, and featuring special sections on a variety of topics. The Wichita Business Journal features local business news about Wichita. We also offer tools to help businesses grow, network and hire.

Wichita News

D&I honoree: Daniele Ramirez, ‘Being Wichita Women’

How did you come up with the idea of the book, “Being Wichita Women? I was sitting in the basement with my former co-worker. Jan Chandler, when the idea hit me like a ton of bricks. The camaraderie and encouragement I experienced with her pushed me to move forward. Upon Googling the term, “Being Wichita Women,” I was disappointed. Most of the search results detailed news articles of violence against women and centered the experiences of white women. Too often, violence against Black, indigenous, women of color, and especially transgender women, go unreported. We came together to share our stories of trauma, adversity. Resilience and healing. By doing so we are changing the narrative of what it means to be a woman in Wichita Business Journal.

How did you get your start in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion? I got my start when I joined Hope Street as a teen. Viewing the world through an equity lens was new to me and a lot of social issues started to make more sense. As they say, “the learning never stops,” and there is much I have to unlearn. Fortunately, I’m connected with leaders and mentors that walk the walk.

They hold institutions, but also people like me, accountable for how we show up and interact with the world — plus they do it with love and grace. During the creation of Being Wichita Women people like Shana Chivon Stephens and groups like Inclusive Growth Strategies, Center of Daring. Mamarazzi Communications and Center of Creative Change all stepped up to help make the book better. It was really important that this project be diverse, inclusive and rooted in anti-racism from the very beginning.

Wichita Business Journal Commercial Real Estate News

According to some local real-estate professionals. Interest in high-quality buildings in the city’s core has stayed strong, as businesses get a better handle on what their workplace of the future needs to look like.

The Wichita Business Journal talked with several commercial real-estate professionals about trends they’ve seen and — with clouds of economic uncertainty lingering over the nation and the region — where work in the city’s core could go from here.

Class A…and everything else

The real estate industry. Building off of last year’s trend, is seeing two office markets downtown and in the city.

There’s Class A space, which is in high demand.

“Anything that is really nice is gone before it hits the market,” said Jake Ram stack, commercial broker at Insight Real Estate Group.

Ram stack said the Wichita office market — with 45 office, bank or medical deals through May — is keeping pace with 2021’s 114 transactions for the year.

Then there’s Class B and C — where vacant space can linger and buildings face uncertain futures and potential makeovers.

“There is a real chasm between Class A office and Class B and C office,” Occidental Management president Chad Stafford said. “If you are a B and C office, you are having some issues.”

The local perspective aligns with national trends.

Wichita Business Journal Technology News

The Wichita Business Journal is looking for innovative companies setting the business community ablaze.

The Fire Awards are Inno’s premier recognition program, honoring the companies and organizations in Wichita that are fantastic innovators in the community. Large or small, if your business is on fire in 2022, submit a nomination here. The deadline to submit a nomination is July 15.

After reviewing the nominations, the WBJ Inno team and staff will choose the honorees and group them into categories. One winner per category will be selected and crowned the “Blazer Winner.”

What makes an Inno Fire Award company? Amazing stories of innovators reshaping the ecosystem.

Some areas considered include new funding, company and workforce growth, product launches, pivots and local impact.

Fire honorees can include later-stage tech companies, growth-stage startups, accelerators, venture firms, meetup groups and nonprofits. If your company or organization is on fire, submit a nomination. Self-nominations are accepted and welcomed.

Wichita Residential Real Estate News

Despite dark national homebuilder report, Wichita market not seeing as much gloom

This week, the National Association of Home Builders gave a sobering perspective on the national housing market, as the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index showed builder confidence fell in August for the eighth straight month.

In the index’s news release, NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz grabbed national headlines when he said construction costs and the Federal Reserve’s tighter monetary policy “have brought on a housing recession.”

But — while Wichita’s homebuilders and residential real-estate market are not immune to inflation and supply chain headwinds — the local market is not in dire shape, according to Wess Galyon, Wichita Area Builders Association president and CEO.

“We don’t see a sharp downturn coming anytime soon,” he said.

According to the latest data from South Central Kansas MLS, in July, Sedgwick County experienced a 19.9% year-over-year drop in closed listings (713 for the month). That followed a 10.6% year-over-year drop in closed listings the prior month.

But even with that move, Galyon said a slowdown in Wichita would not be to the degree seen in much larger markets in the U.S.

While the West Coast and metro areas, like Phoenix, had the hottest housing markets in the country during the pandemic are seeing sharp corrections, the Wichita area is pacing ahead of last year for new homes built, according to Galyon.

He noted that through June of this year, local single-family housing starts stood at 747 — 7.5% higher than the first half of 2021.

SCK MLS July data also showed local housing supply moving slightly higher, even if it is a long way from a balanced market.

“The challenge that we have here is that these inventories are still really, really low,” Longhofer told the Rotary Club of East Wichita.

Wichitainno

Makers, and a national spotlight, will return to Wichita. Make48, a competition featured in a PBS documentary series, will make a third trip to the city.

Make48 will be at Go Create on the Innovation Campus at Wichita State University June 10-12. The challenge, sponsored by Koch Industries Inc., held a similar event last year at Go Create, and the organization’s national competition was held in Wichita in March.

“This June will mark the third competition Make48 has held at Go Create, which is a testament to their world-class facility, rich with resources in both equipment and mentorship,”  Make48 CEO Tom Gray said in a release. However, “We are honored to remain our partnership with Koch Industries. As our brands share the values of innovation, creativity, and teamwork. Koch’s reach within the Wichita community, combined with support from the city itself, continue to foster inspiration in the maker movement and beyond.”

Applications for the June competition are available online.

The first place team in Wichita will win $2,000 and advance to the Make48 national competition slate for March 2023. And a chance to win $10,000.

Eight local teams will get just 48 hours to take an idea from design to prototype — including a promotional video and sales sheet — to be presented to a panel of judges.  Specific contest details are not reveled until the start of the challenge.

“Last year’s partnership highlighted the creative talents with Wichita.

Wichita Business Journal Startup Week outlines 2022 plans

Wichita Startup Week will return for its second year in October. Promising a packed string of days for local entrepreneurs and startup stakeholders.

Presented once again by Koch Industries Inc., organizers Thursday detail some of its plans for 2022 and asked for community engagement in lining out the agenda.

Moreover Plans for the 2022 event, Oct. 10-14 at Groover Labs, 334 N. St. Francis, include a diversity and inclusion discussion, presented by Fidelity Bank, as well as events centered around newcomer startups, an event centered around existing new companies presented by accounting firm EY (Ernst & Young) and an innovation talk presented by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Event organizers are asking for submissions on possible panelists and speakers for those events, which can be done online.

However, Other planned programming for 2022 includes an Oct. 10 kickoff party, an Oct. 12 NXTUS Inc.-sponsored enterprise engagement event, an Oct. 13 trade show sponsored by local cryptocurrency startup Voltage and a pitch competition presented by Cox Business, and a Oct. 14 finale presented by Martin Pringle Law Firm.

“We see the mutual benefit Wichita Startup Week brings to the local business and entrepreneurial communities. Koch Disruptive Technologies director Navin Maharaj said. Koch is excited to sponsor this event for the second consecutive year and we’re looking forward to seeing how sharing ideas can inspire others to develop that ‘next big thing’ in a principled way.

The inaugural Wichita Startup Week in 2021, also held at Groover Labs, host more than 40 events. Power by 300 registrants and more than 2,300 distributed tickets.

The local event is a partnership with TechStars. A Colorado-based seed accelerator that has host more than 280 startup week programs in 140 cities worldwide.

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