May 27, 2023 Supporting Manhattan-area entrepreneurs, businesses, events

Spark launch ignites entrepreneurial innovation in Flint Hills

MANHATTAN, Kan. – In an effort to further entrepreneurial activity and ignite innovation in the region, the entrepreneurial ecosystem driver and nonprofit organization, Spark, was born. Spark will be celebrating its launch on Sept. 25 and will serve as a regional hub of innovation with the mission to connect, resource, and successfully launch entrepreneurs and ignite a dynamic culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Greater Manhattan area.

Spark will be involved in building entrepreneurship networks for the success of every business type, with an emphasis on evolution and high-growth potential companies emerging from the assets of the region.

“We value the job creator and culture shaper roles of microenterprises and small businesses, and we’ll be connecting with several of our community partners who can assist them in building a successful business. But because Spark exists to nurture innovation regionally, we also need to zero in on that one person of entrepreneurs who innovate and disrupt in their field. In our area, those disruptors are likely to be in the fields of animal health, bioscience, and tech,” Spark Executive Director Sarah Siders said. “We want to discern the resources available to these founders and what the gaps are, and then really zero in on what support, capital, connections they need to start and build and grow their company here.”

Derek Richards, local business owner and co-founder of Spark, emphasizes the role of Spark in strengthening connections between entrepreneurs and area resources that support them.

“The most important factor for business success is access to the right networks: talent networks, money networks, networks of ideas and networks of vendors and services,” Richards said. “Spark can help grow and strengthen those networks using a combination of private and public funding.”

Spark’s Launch Event on Sept. 25, from 12-2 p.m. will feature regional entrepreneurship support organizations, local food vendors, and opportunities to learn more about Spark’s work. Learn more at


Spark is a nonprofit organization with a vision to connect, resource, and successfully launch entrepreneurs and promote a dynamic culture of entrepreneurship in the Greater Manhattan region. Spark is a non-profit, community-based hub of programming and networks designed to connect entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners to each other and the larger ecosystem in the Greater Manhattan area.

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