Entrepreneurs pack Union Station as Chamber showcases variety of KC’s small biz scene

Editor’s word: The Better Kansas Metropolis Chamber of Commerce is a non-financial companion of Startland Information, which serves because the media companion for the Small Enterprise Superstars program.

A various cross-section of Kansas Metropolis small enterprise homeowners crammed the Grand Corridor at Union Station with power and enthusiasm Thursday, Vicky Kulikov mentioned, noting a major variety of the entrepreneurs have been showcasing their ventures publicly for the primary time.

Melea McRae, Crux KC, a 2021 finalist for the Mr. K Award, speaks with Jamie Grayson, People of All Colors Succeed (POAC), during the Chamber's Small Business Showcase

Melea McRae, Crux KC, a 2021 finalist for the Mr. Ok Award, speaks with Jamie Grayson, Folks of All Colours Succeed (POAC), in the course of the Chamber’s Small Enterprise Showcase at Union Station

“Many of those companies have been began in the course of the pandemic so that they haven’t had many, if any, alternatives to share their companies with the group,” mentioned Kulikov, small enterprise director for the Better Kansas Metropolis Chamber of Commerce and lead coordinator of the Small Enterprise Superstars program.

Try a photograph gallery from the occasion on the backside of this story.

About half of the businesses on show Thursday on the Chamber’s Small Enterprise Candidates’ Showcase — a precursor to this summer season’s Small Enterprise Celebration and awards season — have been new members of the Superstars program.

Click on right here to study extra concerning the Small Enterprise Superstars effort and the way it’s making a tradition of belonging throughout the Chamber’s ranks.

The occasion featured a spread of firms and entrepreneurs — from Kansas Metropolis Startups to Watch like Kenzen, Homebase, Variety TeleHealth and Ronawk to such rising ventures as Brown Suga Bakes and runner! cocktails. Established manufacturers like Hen N Pickle, KD Academy and SnapIT Options helped spherical out the room.

Judges mingled with enterprise homeowners on the showcase, exploring their data and watching their interactions with members of the general public, organizers mentioned. These observations shall be used to assist decide the Prime 10 finalists for the Chamber’s Small Enterprise of the Yr “Mr. Ok Award.”

Vendors and attendees pack Union Station for the 2022 Small Business Showcase

Distributors and attendees pack Union Station’s Grand Corridor for the 2022 Small Enterprise Showcase

Finalists are anticipated to be introduced all through the day Friday, April 29 on social media.

The Mr. Ok Award winner is ready to be unveiled on the June 15 Small Enterprise Awards Luncheon, alongside different honors just like the rising enterprise and fairness awards.

“Attendees at Thursday’s showcase additionally offered suggestions that it was nice to see such a various group of companies and enterprise homeowners,” Kulikov famous.

Of the 55 cubicles on the Union Station occasion, 37 p.c have been minority owned; 74 p.c girls owned; and 33 p.c minority girls owned, she mentioned.

Nonprofit companions like Startland Information and KC BizCare additionally have been featured.

The 2022 showcase additionally marked the return to an in-person gathering for the occasion, after two years of digital programming.

Up subsequent: The Honeywell Fan Favourite award is ready to be introduced at 3:30 pm Monday, April 25 on the Chamber’s Fb web page. Voting for the consideration — voters might choose two of the 57 firms to help — shall be open till midday Monday.

Click on here to vote for the Honeywell Fan Favourite.

This story is feasible because of help from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Basis, a personal, nonpartisan basis that works along with communities in training and entrepreneurship to create unusual options and empower individuals to form their futures and achieve success.

For extra info, go to www.kauffman.org and join at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn

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Entrepreneurs pack Union Station as Chamber showcases diversity of KC’s small biz scene