SSTI Digest

Geography: Kansas

TBED People

Ken Berlack, formerly communications director for the National Commission on Entrepreneurship, has joined KCCatalyst, a regional organization dedicated to encouraging technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the Greater Kansas City area.


Matthew McClorey is the new president and chief executive officer of Kansas Innovation Corp. McClorey formerly served as vice president for business development & portfolio management at KTEC, a position now filled by Michael Peck.


Matthew McClorey is the new president and COO for Kansas Innovation Corp., beginning June 3. McClorey currently serves as the vice president of business development and portfolio management for the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp (KTEC).


Tracy Taylor has been named to serve as CEO for the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp (KTEC). Taylor fills the position vacated by Rich Bendis.

Kansas, Inc. Charts Ambitious Future for Kansas

Kansas, Inc., a nonpartisan public-private organization, recently released the findings and recommendations of its team of economic development consultants and more than 1,100 Kansans as a comprehensive update to Kansas' economic development strategic plan.

Making the Knowledge Economy Work for All Kansans emphasizes commitment to a cooperative environment by both public and private sectors in Kansas. Considered the state's most ambitious look at economic development in nearly 15 years, the report highlights five strategic objectives, including 47 policy recommendations, that address the challenges facing Kansas:

Kansas, Virginia Look to Fill Key Positions

Two of SSTI's sponsoring organizations, the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp (KTEC) and Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, are looking for strong candidates to fill two critical positions. A brief description of each opportunity is provided below. More detailed information is available on SSTI's website at:

Bendis Leaving KTEC for Philly

Richard Bendis, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC), has accepted an offer to lead the newly created Innovation Philadelphia Corporation. Mr. Bendis has been involved with KTEC since the organization was created in 1987. He was appointed to the KTEC board of directors by the Governor and served as the board’s first chairman. Mr. Bendis served as interim president in 1994 before being named president in 1995.

The decision to leave was tough, Mr. Bendis said, but the Philadelphia job appeals to his entrepreneurial spirit. “I’ll be starting with a blank sheet of paper to build an entity that can help make the Philadelphia region a more vibrant participant in the New Economy.”

According to an Oct. 17 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Innovation Philadelphia Corporation will create local companies to commercialize technology developed at the University of Pennsylvania and other area institutions. The city provided $2.5 million in first-year seed funding to get the corporation started.

At KTEC, Mr. Bendis was instrumental in the formation several affiliated seed capital funds across the state, and has been a tireless advocate for state efforts to stimulate greater access to seed and venture capital for small technology companies in Kansas. He also implemented Return on Public Investment criteria for all KTEC programs so that returns from successful client companies are re-invested to help new clients. During his’ tenure, KTEC has built an equity portfolio of 73 companies and has established royalty agreements with almost 150 companies.

A strong advocate nationally and internationally for state efforts in technology-based economic development, Mr. Bendis is a member of SSTI's Board of Directors and has served as chair of the Federal Business Investment Committee on the Science and Technology Council of the States. The committee's work under Mr. Bendis's leadership was instrumental in the design and creation of the new Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) administered by the SBA (see related story in this issue).

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SSTI has learned through the KTEC SBIR Bulletin that Clyde Engert will be retiring as Vice President of Innovation & Market Research at KTEC on July 1, 2001. Mr Engert has been a long-active champion of state SBIR outreach and financial assistance. His services will be missed by Kansas companies and the national SBIR community.

Billion Dollar Gift Boosts Biomed Research in Kansas City

With an eye toward helping to make Kansas City a leading center for biomedical research, James Stower Jr., founder of American Century mutual funds, and his wife are donating $1.114 billion to the Stowers Institute of Medical Research. The donation is considered one of the five largest philanthropic gifts in history. The Institute, opened last November after completion of the $200 million campus, is engaged in basic research toward long-term solutions for gene-based diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Already employing four molecular biologists recruited from California, Utah, Texas and London, England, and their staff, the Stowers Institute plans to have more than 50 independent research programs when fully operational.

The success of the Stowers Institute plays heavily in the plans of local efforts to transform Kansas City into a national biomedical center. Building a strong local research capacity and presence in academic and nonprofit research institutions as well as private companies is widely recognized as a critical element to building tech-based economies. Local leaders see the Institute as being a critical element of their tech-based economic development plans.

In addition to its own scientific and technical staff and any commercialization resulting from technologies spun out of the Institute, the sheer size and national eminence of the Stowers Institute is expected to serve as a magnet for other biomedical research investments and biotech companies growth in the area.

The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, a not-for-profit organization founded jointly by the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City Area Development Council, has been charged with implementing the community's three part life sciences strategy of:


SSTI is sad to report the October death of Gloria Timmer, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). Ms. Timmer was very helpful to SSTI on several projects in her capacity at NASBO and previously as the Kansas state budget director.

Kansas Releases New Technology Cluster Assessment and Strategic Plan

Using a new, proprietary methodology, the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) has conducted a cluster assessment, determining KTEC should focus its commercialization efforts on those specific technology areas where opportunity is high and where the elements are in place to delivery those benefits to the state’s economy. The results, published in Kansas Strategic Technology Cluster Assessment and a Plan for the 21st Century, form a unique blend of cluster analysis, indicator assessment, and strategic planning.

Eaton Corporation Donates Patent Portfolio

The Mid-America Commercialization Corporation (Manhattan, Kansas) announced that the Eaton Corporation is donating a substantial portfolio of patented technologies for the benefit of the corporation and Kansas State University.