Success Stories

Sleeptopia

Kevin Kunz started Sleeptopia in January 2013 after three years of researching the growing sleep studies industry. Kunz had been a driver for a durable medical equipment sales company making $9.75 an hour, and worked his way up to being a sales representative for the company that sold oxygen service, CPAP machines and other medical devices. Kunz noted that home sleep studies was a concept that was gaining validity and market traction on the East and West coasts, and knew he could capture this new market here in Wichita.

Sleeptopia was the first business Kunz ever tried to start.  The home sleep study concept first struck Kunz when both his brother and mother paid for an expensive sleep study done in a sleep lab. They had to show up to the lab early, get several wires connected to them, and then were told when to go to sleep. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy for them to fall asleep on-demand in a strange place. In the end, they paid $2,000 dollars to be told nothing was wrong... Read More

Celco owners

In the agricultural town of Anthony, Kansas, 60 miles southwest of Wichita, you will find a unique company that does not seem to fit in the local picture of a farming community. They produce no material product; they don’t work for any local business; all their work is shipped to them, and they have very little competition. The company, Central Electropolishing Company, Inc. (CELCO), has been locally owned, operated and managed by the same family for 30 years. It was also started with the assistance of a SBA loan.

An Engineer’s Third Career Turned Brilliant

Ken Bellesine really enjoyed working with his design team at General Dynamics in the 1960’s. As a Senior Aerosystems Engineer, he thrived at creating new ways to design better products for the company. He was promoted after 14 years as a design specialist to a desk job in charge of program budgets. “When they took my design team away from me and ‘promoted’ me to doing budget work, I realized that I didn’t have the... Read More

Progressive Products' Apex Stage under construction

In business, growth is the number one goal. Foresight and flexibility are the attributes that often differentiate the businesses that continue to grow in a volatile marketplace. Progressive Products, Inc. has demonstrated those characteristics to keep their momentum moving forward.

Progressive Products, Inc., manufactures a wide variety of metal components and pipes at its 70,000 square foot facility in Pittsburg, Kansas. Progressive also has the distinction of being the market leader in the manufacture of mobile stages for the entertainment industry.

“We had been on a steep growth trajectory for the past four years, and 2015 was a banner year for us,” shared Todd Allison, President of Progressive Products. “However, the market for some of our core products – like, pneumatic conveying components – was starting to change.”

Progressive’s recent growth was aided by demand from the power industry for their activated carbon injection systems that help scrub the... Read More

Ruben’s Mexican Grill has been synonymous with great food for the last 17 years in Wichita. Ruben and Anita Acosta started their journey in 1997 when they sold flowers and other items at the farmer’s market in Old Town. Ruben recalled there was a man who sold tamales at the market for a couple of years, but then stopped. “His tamales were popular and he used to run out of product before the market closed each Saturday. When I found out that he quit due to a death in his family, I thought it would be a good thing to start selling at the market”, said Ruben.

Ruben and his wife Anita started to bring tamales and enchiladas to sell, and the investment quickly paid off. Ruben and Anita’s enchiladas and tamales were selling fast, and it wasn’t long before Anita added tacos and tostadas to the menu. Considering the demand and volume of sales, Ruben and Anita bought a kitchen trailer where they would fry the tacos and tostadas on-site. “We may have had one of the first food trucks... Read More

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