W O R K 16 A vibrant urban ecosystem benefits individual businesses and their surrounding communities. Attracting and retaining dynamic commercial interests in the 21st century encompasses not only brick and mortar companies, but the infusion of entrepreneurs and iconic ideas into the economy to foster the growth of startups and scalable companies. Our ability to bring these sectors together to innovate and create jobs has a direct impact on the future growth of our region. Through the vision of the Entrepreneurship Task Force (ETF) of the Greater Wichita Partnership, key partners including entrepreneurs, investors, local leadership and service providers began convening in 2015, focused on fostering an entrepreneurial environment rich for startup activity. These strategic discussions led to the launch of the first entrepreneurial accelerator in Wichita – e2e. The physical space opened in 2016 at the High Touch Technologies building in Downtown Wichita. The e2e organization, an independent, 501(c)(3) entity, continues to work closely with the ETF to cultivate the entrepreneurial ecosystem by activating, accelerating, and mentoring entrepreneurs in the heartland. The e2e Accelerator is a mentor-driven program designed to provide an entrepreneur with the knowledge, resources and mentorship to take a company to the next level. The accelerator features a unique model; it is not restricted to startups, but will take companies of any age, provided they can be scaled. Companies that participated in the inaugural accelerator class graduated in 2016. In addition to the e2e Accelerator, the new space in Downtown is also home to the e2e Incubator, a co-working and event space. The Incubator is designed to promote entrepreneurial collisions. Learn more at e2ewichita.com. First accelerator in Wichita opens in Downtown