Topeka entrepreneurs meet at innovation space

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Only five weeks after its ribbon cutting, 712 Innovations has already begun to serve as a work-space for more than 50 entrepreneurs. The hope is that this space will continue to expand to help even more people in the community.

“Topeka has a lot of amazing talent, a lot of incredible people here, but they’ve just never had a place to gather,” says Mikki Burcher who has an office in 712.

In stepped 712 Innovations.

“Our mission is not just to build and operate the space where builders and entrepreneurs can come in and make and tinker and build their business, but to kind of help put a spot light of people that are in our community that we don’t normally hear about,” says Executive Director, Jared Starkley.

And people at this place are thinking big.

“There’s a guy that builds video games, that has a contract with Microsoft. We have a lady that does a digital fashion guide type service. There are guys that have gotten together that have decided they’re going to start making pinball machines,” says Starkley.

So while you might not think of the word ‘innovation’ when you’re describing Topeka…”There’s a lot of people working to change that, honestly,” says Burcher.

One of the ways that’s happening is through creating an affordable, creative space for start ups.

“The affordability of this space is critical for a beginning business because it really helps to create that sustainability…and you know cash-flow is everything, especially that first year,” says Burcher.

And at 712 Innovations, an office space is only about 50 dollars a month, something Burcher is thankful for.

“Im hoping to eventually hire someone, someday and because I was able to find affordable space, that may happen sooner than I had anticipated. Because I am able to reinvest the money that I’m saving in rent back into the company,” says Burcher.

Anyone is encouraged to apply for a membership at 712 Innovations, not just start ups. They offer work spaces, equipment training, and creative collaboration.

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