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What we do

The Center for Entrepreneurship supports the startup community from pre-seed to early-stage development. Whether you have an idea, a prototype, or your business is already started - we have something for you. 

The Center for Entrepreneurship strives to positively impact the university and grow Wichita’s economy by helping students, faculty and community entrepreneurs learn how to develop innovative ideas and guide them toward commercialization and venture creation. We forge strategic partnerships within the business community to work in concert with existing businesses creating sustainability. In these ways, we act as an essential educational and economic driver for Kansas.

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Bringing ideas to market

We will help you research, refine and strengthen your concept through cutting-edge design-thinking methods and input from industry partners.

Helping your startup thrive

Our expert staff and connections helps launch fledgling businesses and guides them toward profitability

Helping your business grow

We can assist with a wide range of support services, from succession planning to organizational assessments and market research


The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) was founded in 1977 by Wichita State University professor Fran Jabara, who decided it was time to change society's image of business people. With his own funds and university support, Jabara created the first program under the Center for Entrepreneurship, a workshop titled “Entrepreneurship: Your Future in Business.”

The Center expanded following the success of the initial workshop. In 1987, with a large donation from local entrepreneur and WSU alum Tom Devlin, a free-standing building was erected on campus to house the Center for Entrepreneurship, making WSU one of the first universities in the world to dedicate a building exclusively to entrepreneurship education. Not long after, academic programs in entrepreneurship were solidified.

The Center for Entrepreneurship serves emerging entrepreneurs from idea to commercialization of their venture. Student engagement programs, such as the Shocker New Venture Competition inspires campus innovation and develops entrepreneurial mindsets. In addition, the Center serves established entrepreneurs each year through community programs, such as Growing Rural Businesses and the Kansas Family Business Forum.

Through Wichita State University's W. Frank Barton School of Business, the Center offers an entrepreneurship major and an entrepreneurship minor for both business and non-business majors.

Past Programs


E-Launch helped entrepreneurs with early stage ideas in discovering their customer and validating value propositions.

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Launch Prep

LaunchPrep provided early stage companies access to a select group of Wichita's most successful entrepreneurs in order to accelerate their business.

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Start Building Your Business Dreams
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