Rural and Independent Innovators Conference

Do you have an innovative idea but are unsure of whether or how to move forward? Or are you a company looking to expand through innovation but do not know how to access innovative ideas? Are you wanting to learn more about how to become an innovator?

On January 28th and 29th, the Kansas SBDC will be hosting our first Rural and Independent Innovators Conference (RIIC). We are very excited about this opportunity to connect with innovators in rural communities and innovators who lack the support of a university or corporate research program.

RIIC is a day and a half long conference to help innovators – and businesses that want to be involved in innovation – understand how to get from idea to commercialization.  The conference will be geared toward, but not limited to,  those interested in products and technology.  (View schedule here.)

Our goals are to help rural and independent innovators recognize good ideas, understand the steps for moving forward with them and mitigate risks along the way so that they can successfully bring their innovations to market! Successful commercialization of innovations is vital for growing the Kansas economy and for supporting jobs growth, especially in rural communities.

Our presenters include subject matter experts and businesses willing to share their experiences: Alan Badgley (Kansas SBDC Technology Commercialization Center), Sara Butts (Wichita State University Libraries), Trish Brasted (Wichita Technology Corporation), Tom Byler (Kansas SBDC),  Bill Carey (Kansas SBDC Technology Commercialization Center), Tim Carty (EMP Shield), Jim Correll (FAB LAB, ICC),  Salih Doughramaji (Kansas Department of Commerce), Joe Fiorella (Central Funding Exchange), Debra Franklin (WSU Strategic Initiatives), Kent Glasscock (K-State Institute for Commercialization), Fred Goertzen (Goertzen Manufacturing), Nick Graham (Sileo Corp), Imagene Harris (NetWork Kansas), Doug Haverkamp (Central National Bank), Tim Haynes (FAB LAB, ICC), Pete Keegan (EMP Shield), Patricia Judd (Washburn Univ. School of Law), Karl Klein (Kansas SBDC), Scott Knapp (PTAC), Bret Lanz (Technology Development Institute), Rick LeJuerrne (Flow Capital LLC), Dennis Pedersen (GT Mfg. Inc), Tim Penner (Harper Industries), Lyle Peterson (MidAmerica Angels), Randy Snider (USDA Rural Development), and Ken Williams (K-State Institute for Commercialization). (Please check back for updates.)

Dates: January 28 – 29, 2019

Location: Bluemont Hotel, Manhattan, KS 66502

Space is limited. Register early by phone at our new office number: 785.215.8375 or online at 

Cost to attend Day #1 only: $70

Cost to attend Day #2 only: $50

Cost to attend both Day #1 and Day #2: $85

RIIC is sponsored by: Washburn University SBDC, Kansas SBDC, North Central Regional Planning Commission, NCKCN, Networks Plus, Central National Bank,  Junction City & Geary County Economic Development Commission,  Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration, Kansas Department of Commerce, USDA Rural Development and K-State Technology Development Institute.

For more information about the schedule or program, please contact 

We are looking forward the interesting conversations that are bound to occur at this conference and to seeing their results!

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Business Advisor

Washburn University SBDC

America’s SBDC Kansas

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