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Kansas Leaders Stepping Up

Kansas leaders are stepping up to support innovation and collaboration!

What does it take to tackle challenges in an increasingly changing and complex world? From June 24 - 26, eight teams will see what’s possible at the 48-hour invention competition at GoCreate makerspace. Meet the Kansas companies who are sponsoring this unique maker challenge that helps attendees discover how to bring ideas to life in 48 hours.

Koch Industries

As the Challenge sponsor of the competition, Koch has crafted the team’s objective, Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship: Doing More with Less. As one of the largest private companies in America, the diversified Koch Industries owns subsidiaries that produce various goods such as resins, polymers, glass, oil pipelines, tissue paper, robotics, and more. The company is not really a single business, but rather a conglomerate of different companies under one umbrella.

Koch Industries has grown from modest beginnings into the second-largest privately held company in North America, according to Forbes, and a global conglomerate with annual revenues of more than $60 billion. They actively support mentoring and community programs that provide individuals the opportunity to discover, develop, and apply their talents in ways that transform lives and help others do the same.

Kansas Department of Commerce

Home to almost 3 million citizens, The Sunflower state’s Department of Commerce is an official sponsor of the Make48-GoCreate competition!

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Kansas Commerce accomplishes its’ mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas and nationwide and allows them to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative competitive landscape for new businesses.

Spirit AeroSystems

Based in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit AeroSystems is where Commercial & Defense Innovation begins. The world's largest tier-one manufacturer and supplier of aerostructures for premier commercial and defense aerospace programs is sponsoring the GoCreate event this month.

Spirit AeroSystems is engineering for the future. Their new research center, the Aerospace Innovation Centre (AIC) showcases Spirit’s distinctive capabilities as a global centre for design, digital manufacturing of current and future aircraft. The AIC will create a focal point to collaborate, innovate, train and develop skills for today and tomorrow.

Dondlinger Construction

The Kansas-based Dondlinger Construction has grown into one of the most trusted construction services since moving their headquarters to Wichita in 1925. Dondlinger has grown from working on small commercial and residential projects, into one of the most capable construction companies in the Midwest.

With projects of all sizes, levels and complexities; from small office renovations to some of the most complex civil operations in Kansas including stadiums and exhibitions, Dondlinger Construction is one of the largest and most diversified construction companies in Kansas.

Textron Aviation

What began as a small New England business in 1923 has grown into a $11.7 billion company, with a worldwide presence supported by 33,000 people in more than 25 countries. The aviation manufacturer of many, including Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker, Textron Aviation owns and operates 20 service facilities worldwide.

Textron Aviation develops, manufactures and maintains state-of-the-art flight or maintenance training devices for the needs of the civil and defense aviation markets. With a wide range of aircraft solutions, Textron Aviation provides airborne solutions for government, military and commercial customers. For more than 80 years, the aviation leader has supported the United States and its partner nations with their class-leading aircrafts.


Innovation lies at the heart of AT&T’s business philosophy and that’s been their legacy since the very beginning. AT&T is where people come to invent and inspire the future and human progress through the power of communication and entertainment.

In 2020, AT&T committed an additional $10 million to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for Black and underserved communities who face long-standing social inequities and higher unemployment, all of which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their key focus areas included; Workforce Readiness and Targeted Local Initiatives and Supporting Black Technology Developers and Entrepreneurs.

As a sponsor of the Wichita series, we are proud to align our mission with theirs to bring an ongoing culture of innovation to tackle some of the most difficult problems in our communities.

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