It’s my hope that most of us know the economic reasons for supporting entrepreneurship: growing local jobs, keeping more money in our community, diversifying our economy, etc.
Still other reasons to get behind our local entrepreneurs strike even closer to home: Entrepreneurs run companies that are a part of our community in a way that big businesses with headquarters far away can never really be.
The decision makers live here with us. They are part of community triumphs and our struggles. They are more likely to celebrate with us and step up when there is a need.
One such local entrepreneur is Mike Mathia. Mike is a Wichita native, and he wasn’t always an entrepreneur. He began his career in the realm of corporate human resources with a local company.
He learned the ins and outs of human resources that only experience can teach. Those experiences led Mike to create his own path.
He realized that high-level, creative resume development and career consulting were missing from this market, so Mike left his stable corporate job to answer those needs and opened Insight Career Consulting in 2013. He soon added employer services to aid companies that might not be quite large enough for an in-house Human Resources Department.
Mike heard over and over again the frustration of job seekers who were unable to get an employer’s attention, and he had been on the other side, frustrated with the limited information a resume could really give him on a candidate. The solution was KNOXX, a candidate video system designed to allow companies to first focus on the intangibles of a candidate and then review their background and resume.
The short video segments are designed to give employers a brief taste of just who this candidate is and how well they fit the position and the company culture.
Since the initial concept, the KNOXX system has evolved. The upcoming patent-pending version, scheduled for release later this year, will include analytics to score candidates on 12 attributes including energy, positivity and confidence.
Development is well underway, but the new KNOXX isn’t here quite yet. Luckily, Mike is not one to wait quietly.
Instead, he recognized that KNOXX in its original form is uniquely qualified to address a growing local concern: Wichita’s Human Capital Challenge cited in the the Chung Report.
Wichita continues to lose our best and brightest youth, and baby boomers are leaving the workforce in ever increasing numbers. Wichita may soon be facing a workforce shortage.
A shortage means difficulty attracting new business to Wichita. Failing to attract new business means a lack of economic growth.
Mike was speaking daily to bright, educated people who – despite loving the energy and culture of Wichita – were going to leave because they couldn’t find good jobs. So, Mike developed a program through KNOXX to help address the issue: The Hire Local Challenge initiative.
KNOXX helps local job seekers create video profiles and makes them available to local employers.
Mike is connecting people, building bridges and promoting awareness of Wichita’s potential to solve our own problems.
KNOXX also received a $5,000 grant from Network Kansas and is using that to support the costliest aspect of the Hire Local Challenge: advertising and recruitment.
Mike is only one example. Local entrepreneurs are among some of the most dedicated and passionate members of any community.
It’s really simple: If Wichita supports and invests in local entrepreneurs, not all will succeed in the way they pictured, but our community will benefit from all the ways they contribute every day.
Brandy Willett is manager of operations and the e2e Incubator at e2e Accelerator. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in writing for “Business Perspectives”? Contact Tom Shine at email@example.com or 316-268-6268.