(Andover, Kansas) — NetWork Kansas is expanding its staffing as the organization continues experiencing significant growth across all of its business units.
Recent new hires include: Julia Look as the Manager of Impact Investments, Jamison Niewoehner as Venture Investment Manager for Entrepreneurial Growth Ventures (EGV), and Karishma Bhakta as Product Manager for the Impact Investment Center. These new team members support the organization’s growth across Kansas.
The organization is also looking to fill a Northeast Region coach through its Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership.
Look, who serves as Manager of Impact Investments, will support the deployment of capital to Kansas entrepreneurs.
“We are so excited to have Julia on board,” said Imagene Harris, Vice President of Impact Investment. “Her experience packaging loans and working with entrepreneurs and lenders is such an asset to NetWork Kansas. She has already proven her ability to adapt to the work quickly and we are thrilled to have added another great member to our team!”
Prior to her role with NetWork Kansas, Look worked in banking and economic development and is proud to call northwest Kansas home.
“I chose to join NetWork Kansas because I enjoy what NetWork Kansas has to offer small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the state,” Look said. “What excites me most about joining NetWork Kansas is getting the opportunity to connect with so many different people throughout the state and helping small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Bhakta , who joins the Impact Investment Center as Product Manager, is excited to connect entrepreneurs with needed resources to start up and grow.
“Karishma has been such a great addition to the Impact Investment Center team!” said Tiffany J. Nixon, Director, Impact Investment Center. “She brings experience in customer support, computer science, and has an eagerness to learn and be a part of the team. She is an absolute joy to work with.”
Bhakta brings a passion for learning and new experiences to her role with NetWork Kansas.
“The thing that excites me most about joining NetWork Kansas is being able to work with new and existing business owners. Getting to know these individuals and their businesses is so rewarding. It gives insight into how a business is created, and how much work is put in to create these local businesses,” said Bhakta. “I chose to join NetWork Kansas at this stage in my career because I wanted to help bring resources to small businesses in our communities. It is amazing to get to be a part of this process!”
Niewoehner joins NetWork Kansas as Venture Investment Manager for Entrepreneurial Growth Ventures where he is responsible for evaluating and preparing due diligence for prospective investments, providing portfolio management and supporting the investment process.
Niewoehner most recently worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas’ corporate venture capital fund and has more than a decade of experience as a pharmacist.
“The opportunity to join NetWork Kansas was a chance I could not pass up,” said Niewoehner. “The organization has an outstanding track record of supporting small businesses in Kansas and positively impacting economic growth. Having grown up in a rural setting, I felt this was a great opportunity to use my background and experiences to contribute to growing small businesses in Kansas through the equity investment programs. The EGV team has a strong background and experience in equity investments and I am excited to join them in working with entrepreneurs across the state to start and grow their businesses.”
About NetWork Kansas:
NetWork Kansas, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is dedicated to making entrepreneurship a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. NetWork Kansas connects aspiring entrepreneurs, emerging and established businesses, to a deep network of business-building and community development resource organizations across the state. NetWork Kansas is also the home of e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (e2). e2 provides best practice solutions to entrepreneurial ecosystem building in Kansas and nationally.
NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the E-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include availability of financial capital, support by local leadership and development of educational resources. All of these factors combine to increase entrepreneurial activity in participating towns, leading to increased startup activity, business expansion, job creation and more.