Latest Report 2021 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report
We help entrep​reneurs grow com​panies of signifi​cance.


75 startups

connected with community assets.


862K capital

mobilized to help early-stage ventures succeed.


500+ entrep​reneurs

engaged with business and community customer prospects.

We want
Wichita to
pay atten​tion
to the world
& the world to
pay atten​tion
to Wichita.”


People ask me why I am so passionate about our work at NXTUS. My love of innovation and entrepreneurship started in 5th grade with the gift of a Commodore computer. My family purchased it as a hand-me-down from a local technology entrepreneur. I was a young kid from Kansas who had always been a bit of an outsider – moving frequently and constantly being exposed to many different aspects of society. I quickly learned that technology and innovation opened doors to the world and were filled with opportunity. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was developing a founder mindset.

I grew up to learn that entrepreneurship is a powerful force for individual and societal improvement. I believe communities that can encourage and supercharge their entrepreneurs will thrive. This led me to my current role with NXTUS, where I am honored to be leading a team that is laser focused on helping entrepreneurs

Our focus is helping entrepreneurs grow companies of significance.

Our approach is simple. We believe every entrepreneur needs three things: community, capital and customers. And if Wichita is going to be the city that we deserve to be, we need more entrepreneurs and more people to support those who have chosen the entrepreneurial journey.

One of our core values is to make sure the face of entrepreneurship reflects the make-up of our community. For our region to thrive, we want—and need—as many entrepreneurs as we can get. Diversity plays a huge role in the success of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

We must make room and provide the customized help needed to support anyone who has the courage to take an idea and make it grow.

If you are a builder or innovator, we are on your team.

This model has propelled our growth in 2021. Even in a year of COVID, we were able to engage with 500+ entrepreneurs, mobilize more than $860,000 in capital and connect 75 companies with local community assets.

We could not do any of this important work without our innovative partners, dedicated board and generous donors. This year we were honored to be awarded several key grants that will help launch us into our next phase, our NEXT US.

Reach out to help a startup this year.

Josh Oeding, President and CEO, NXTUS
given my
new life.”

“NXTUS is creating community-building programs that cultivate relationships between startups and real customers, and they’ve expanded the network of investors both in Wichita and around the country.

Miguel Johns, Founder & CEO of mmnt* (fka KingFit)


NXTUS’ priority is the entrepreneur.
We know each needs three things.

01 Comm

To help highly scalable businesses launch and grow, NXTUS works to mobilize a community behind the efforts of innovators and entrepreneurs.

One-on-one and through organized programs, we help founders tap into the help, wisdom and resources they need. In addition, we work collaboratively with regional economic development, community, and industry partners to support diverse founders and improve the environment for entrepreneurs to take the risks inherent in bringing innovations to market.

In 2021, NXTUS ran virtual, in-person and hybrid workshops to expose entrepreneurs to regional and national experts and create collisions for local founders trying to build businesses and navigate pandemic disconnects.

NXTCONNECT by the Numbers

250+ attendees

7 national
& local events


NXTUS hosted startup legend and MIT mentor Bob Jones in August. He provided local entrepreneurs with a dynamic session on the importance of finding their customer base.

“Bob literally took my brain out, put it in a jar, shook it, added some secret blend of MIT spice and put it back in my skull.”
Steven Werner, Lawn Buddy Founder
“A good idea, like a matchstick, needs a little bit of friction and the right conditions to become that roaring bonfire.”
Bill Gardner, Owner, Gardner Design


NXTCONNECT’s June program was provided by the unique collaborative of highly respected professionals, Matchstick Alliance. Bill Gardner, Gardner Design, John Trowbridge, AGH, and Francis Baalmann, Foulston, provided top-tier marketing, finance, planning and legal advice to help spark Wichita entrepreneurs.

Special thanks to our 2021 NXTCONNECT Sponsor.

Success​ful entrep​reneurs don’t go it alone.”

“It is common to think of entrepreneurs as bold individuals striving to realize their vision through their indomitable, independent spirit.

The reality is that successful entrepreneurs don’t go it alone. They thrive in an ecosystem of support and investment. Our next great companies and the health of our region depend on us all helping innovators make the right connections, access mentors and amass the resources they need to succeed. It is a community effort, and we stand ready to play our part.”

Aaron Bastian, President and CEO, Fidelity Bank

02 Cap

Accelerate Venture Partners is a NXTUS program focused on providing early-stage support for founders’ ideas.

Investors meet monthly to provide feedback and evaluate investment in early-stage ventures. Since its start in 2018, AVP has deployed more than $3.5 million in capital to regional startups.

AVP by the Numbers

700 startups

325 teams

862K capital mobilized
for 6 ventures

“We bring together a regional angel investor syndicate to mentor and invest in high growth companies and educate a growing and diverse group of new investors.”
Quinn Robertson, AVP Senior Associate


In 2021, NXTUS provided business planning and community connection opportunities for QuickHire, a hiring platform.

In the early months of the COVID pandemic, sisters Angela Muhwezi-Hall and Deborah Gladney launched a hiring platform to support service-industry job seekers and employers.

Recently, QuickHire has secured over 1.4 million in funding to grow their business and plans to expand regionally in 2022.

1.4M funding

“NXTUS helped us grow from an idea to a business. They provided critical support including mentoring, capital and new clients.”
Deborah Gladney, QuickHire Co-Founder
The appr
oach is
& unique.”


Spinal Simplicity is a company dedicated to the creation of innovative, simple solutions for complex spinal problems. NXTUS was proud to partner with them in their initial stages to provide mentoring support and startup capital connections.

3X revenue

30+ hires

“The financial contributions of the AVP membership have enabled us to continue our growth trajectory with an increase in revenue of nearly 200% this year and over 30 full-time employees hired.”

Jonathan Hess, Spinal Simplicity

Special thanks to our 2021 AVP Sponsors.

03 Custo

We provide a series of pilot competitions that help startups grow by matching them with future-minded Kansas businesses and communities that are looking to become early customers for innovative technology tools.

2021 NXTSTAGE pilot competitions focused on two key areas: Community Health & Vibrancy and Financial Technology.


Shruti Gurudanti co-founded Televeda to empower community health and vibrancy despite a potentially socially isolating pandemic.

“The NXTUS Pilot competition is a phenomenal opportunity because it gives startups a chance to meet and acquire customers. It's what every startup wants.”
Shruti Gurudanti, Televeda Co-Founder
“This competition is so incredibly unique and unlike any of the other types of competitions or programs that we’ve been able to participate in.”
Stephanie Hoskins, Debtle CEO and Co-Founder

NXTSTAGE by the numbers

223 competitors

from 34 states and 21 countries

Finalists from 13 states and Canada


(of finalists) had ethnic minority or females as founders

22 industry-leading

brought to Wichita

9 Kansas

exploring innovation projects and providing market feedback to startups

5 pilot projects

putting startups’ innovations to work propelling progress in Kansas

We can
the Pilot
Capital of
the World.”

“The NXTSTAGE Pilot Competition challenges Kansas’ forward-thinking companies to engage with technologies that are improving communities and business elsewhere. Shouldn’t Kansas be more toward the front of the line to pilot test and adopt promising technologies?

We think Kansas communities and businesses can be great proving ground for all kinds of innovations offered up by startups. We believe the Air Capital of the World can become the Pilot Capital of the World, and we’re planting a flag to let smart, young companies everywhere know that they have the chance to grow their business in Kansas.”

Mary Beth Jarvis, NXTSTAGE Executive Director

Special thanks to our 2021 NXTSTAGE Sponsors.


President and Chief Operating Officer, NetWork Kansas
Senior Vice President, Entrepreneurial Growth Ventures, NetWork Kansas
Owner, Gardner Design
V. Kaye
VP of Strategic Engagement and Planning, Wichita State University
Chairman & CEO, Occidental Management
President & CEO, NXTUS
President, Keycentrix
President, Empowered


In 2021, these contributors helped power our work to support entrepreneurs, accelerate innovation, and move our region forward.

Wichita Community Foundation
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Fidelity Bank
Greater Wichita Partnership
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
Emprise Bank
Gary Oborny
Scott Schwindaman
Groover Labs
NetWork Kansas
Foreman Law
Capacity Communications
CK Communications
Gardner Design
Kent Audio-Visual
Method Productions
Relevant Audio-Visual


Learn more about how NXTUS works to help businesses grow.


Consider becoming a mentor, speaker, investor, or partner.


Meet up with a rep or email NXTUS at