Hutchinson, Kan., May 19, 2020 – After months of work by the Reno County Entrepreneurship Task Force and the Quest Center board of directors, the Quest Center is expanding its purpose and changing its name to StartUp Hutch.
“The Quest Center has been a valued place for resources on starting a business, and now we’re expanding the organization’s purpose to become Reno County’s hub for entrepreneurs,” said Jackson Swearer, StartUp Hutch Program Director and Entrepreneur Navigator. “Changing the Quest Center name to StartUp Hutch helps us communicate this change and will help us facilitate connection among entrepreneurs, local business experts, and local regulators, so we can jump start the creation of new businesses.”
The journey to a new name and purpose began last year when the Reno County Entrepreneurship Task Force provided recommendations to the community. Task Force members and the Quest Center board of directors saw an opportunity to evolve the Quest Center to become the home of an “entrepreneur navigator” and the hub connecting entrepreneurs.
“We’ve realized that homegrown businesses are the best way to sustain our community long-term,” said Swearer. “Business owners who are deeply rooted in our area are usually the first to reinvest in the community that helped make them successful. Some of our best job growth comes from our startup businesses. This network is meant to help that happen more and more.”
In addition to fostering an entrepreneur community through online and in-person activities, StartUp Hutch will help entrepreneurs navigate the business start-up process. It will continue to provide services such as loan assistance, business plan review, and succession planning.
The first connection event will be held Tuesday, June 2nd, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This is the first event in a series called “The Hot Seat” and will feature Eric Spurgeon of Tarhun 3D. This event is free, and those interested in participating can learn more at StartUpHutch.com or the organization’s Facebook page.
“These events are designed to spark conversation,” said Swearer. “Those attending will also have the opportunity to give and receive feedback that may be useful in their businesses.”
Another piece of the entrepreneur community is a Facebook group, which will serve as an open forum and facilitate ongoing conversation about topics relevant to entrepreneurs. Members of the group can post conversation starters or participate in active threads where they may glean helpful insight for their own projects or businesses. To join the group, search “StartUp Hutch Idea Exchange” on Facebook.
"All of these efforts add up to a more connected community of entrepreneurs in Reno County, which will hopefully drive the creation of more businesses and root wealth locally," said Daniel Friesen, StartUp Hutch Board President. "We're no longer only about programming or 'services." We're about fostering a system that supports entrepreneurs at every step of their journey."