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The Kansas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) developed the Rural & Independent Innovators Conference (RIIC) model to cultivate innovators and entrepreneurs in rural areas of Kansas and to assist independent innovators and businesses anywhere in the state who lack the support of a developed research program. 

By providing information, education, connections to resources and experienced entrepreneurs, this series of conferences across Kansas can help innovators start and grow their businesses and help existing businesses evolve and grow.  RIICs can also help local resources develop their entrepreneurial ecosystems to be better able to support innovators.  

Examples of RIIC opportunities include:

• Better understanding the importance of rural and independent innovators, and their innovations, for Kansas

• Learning about how to get from idea to commercialization

• Learning about loans, research grants, and other ways to raise money to fund an innovative business

• Learning about intellectual property and how to protect against various types of risk

• Hearing from entrepreneurs about their journeys, challenges, failures, and successes

• Meeting multiple resource partners and industry experts who can answer questions in person

Our goals with RIIC are to help individuals and businesses become successful innovators, to help those with good ideas move forward toward commercialization and avoid potential pitfalls, manage pain points and mitigate risks along the way,  to help businesses avoid stagnation and grow through innovation and to help our universities to commercialize their technologies.  In addition to the original RIIC, we also offer a series of mini-RIICs and industry-specific related RIIC events for rural and independent innovators and members of the supporting ecosystems in Kansas.

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"Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.” 

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