We hope you enjoy this monthly GO Topeka newsletter geared toward small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups. We'll provide all the local business-related news you need to know about upcoming events, opportunities and much more! To offer feedback or suggestions, contact GO Topeka's Erin Young at
Small Business Awards

The selection committee for the Greater Topeka Partnership’s Small Business Awards just worked through nominations for nearly 80 unique businesses and took on the difficult challenge of selecting winners and finalists to be recognized for their excellence at the awards banquet to be held on May 2nd. The committee was impressed not only by the quality of the award finalists and winners but also by the up-and-coming businesses that are surely to be award winners in future years. Please join us in recognizing the Dream Chasers, Opportunity Makers and Success Creators among our local small businesses. To attend the awards or for sponsorship information, please see

Congratulations to the following on being selected as a finalist!
  • Amused Gallery, DeAna Morrison
  • Axe and Ale, Chelsea Huston & Ashlee Spring
  • Bimini Pet Health, Sam Al-Murrani
  • Chavez Inc., Dan Chavez
  • Chef LaMona, LaMona Schley
  • Civium Architecture & Planning, David Heit
  • Counter Craft LLC, Andrew & Kristy Richards
  • Customskin Medspa at His and Her Salon & Day Spa, Trisha Williams
  • Cut Right Lawn Care LLC, Matt Bleier
  • Dialogue Coffee House, Caitlyn Halsey
  • Distinqué Gentleman, Theodis Williams
  • Giant Communications, Austin Taylor
  • Inspire & Company Candles, Ebony White
  • Linens by Marlen, Marlen Oliveros
  • Miller Precision, Dustin Miller
  • Onyx Salon & Wellness Spa, Heather Graves
  • Owl’s Nest Topeka, Lyndsey McKinnon
  • Phoenix Marketing Group, Seth Stevens
  • Plains Craft Covered Wagons, Dennis Steinman
  • Ricks Advanced Dermatology & Radiance Medical Spa, Matthew Ricks
  • Senne & Company, Matthew McGivern
  • South Wind Storm Shelters, Matt Cobb
  • Supersonic Music/Tree House Drums, Derek Sharp
  • Torgeson Electric, Jason Mack, Erin Duncan & Lance Dirk
  • Yes! Athletics, Deb North
Propeller Gearing Up For Next Journey

GO Topeka's Propeller program is gearing up for its next journey starting on April 13th! Propeller is a mentorship network created to help entrepreneurs set course, lift off, and arrive at their desired destinations with the guidance of subject matter experts who are volunteering their time to support Topeka’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The program is designed to offer some structure and guidance to participants while also allowing for organic connections and flexible scheduling.
Propel into your journey with the GO Topeka Propeller Mentorship Program. For questions or to become a mentor, email or visit the website at
Budget Increase for Small Business Incentives

GO Topeka is grateful to JEDO for increasing the annual budget for the Small Business Incentives Program from $300K to $500K. This is great news for small businesses in Topeka and Shawnee County looking to make investments into their businesses. The approval for the increased budget was based on several factors including the demand (i.e. total amount of requests submitted through the program) and the focus on impact creation through the competitive application process. For more information see For assistance, contact The next application deadline is May 8th.
The Topeka Social Entrepreneurship Engagement Project

Thank you to Networked Community Solutions for grant funding to jumpstart The Topeka Social Entrepreneurship Engagement Project. The project is a collaboration between resource partners to educate, inspire, and make connections to encourage for-profit businesses that have a social impact mission to help our community through addressing local needs or to have larger global impact. The response to the initial phase of the project - which culminated with a public talk by James Rhee of the Red Helicopter has been overwhelmingly positive. For information about upcoming events including another community bus tour, training on business models for social ventures, resource connections and more, please see our events page or contact
Washburn School of Business Hosts Community Innovation Challenge

Washburn University, with support from the Topeka Community Foundation, recently held its first-ever Community Innovation Challenge, a new competition that allows students to showcase their ideas for new business ventures that focus on solving social issues facing our community, region or the world. Participants competed for a total of $25,000 in cash prizes, with finalists receiving between $2,000 and $10,000 and semi-finalists taking home $1,000 each. This year's finalists were (first place) Peyton Price for Kansas Community Consulting; (second place) Nico DeGreeff for Ease; (third place) Andrew Foreman for the Topeka Greenhouse Project; and (fourth place) Chase Ast, Carter Bussone and Tyler Ladson for Cause Connect. For more information about the Community Innovation Challenge, click the link below.
Women's Forum

In March, the Greater Topeka Partnership held its annual Women’s Forum at which Washburn University’s first female president Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek shared parts of her journey and advice for young women. Presenting sponsor M.B. Piland also launched its Period Poverty project to help young women in financial need. Click the link below to learn more!

Athena Leadership Program

Taught by Phelica Glass and Angel Zimmerman, the Athena project is teaching leadership skills to aspiring women entrepreneurs, business, and community leaders. Part of the programming supports equity and inclusion in Topeka and Shawnee County by providing professional development to enable and support women to become drivers of equitable and innovative opportunities in our community.
ASTRA Innovation Center

As the ASTRA Innovation Center in downtown Topeka comes closer to reaching its preleasing goal, excitement continues to generate. If you are interested in looking at spaces to potentially lease or are interested in innovation and commercialization initiatives, contact
Small Business Council

At the March meeting of the Advisory Board, Topeka’s Small Business Council elected a nominating committee to help identify potential new members. Kathleen Urbom (Urbom Law), Debra Harris (Harris and Sons Construction), and Tami Cortez (Cortez Transportation) are the new nominating committee. To learn more about the SBC or to get involved, contact or visit the website!

The Small Business Council is a leadership group of area entrepreneurs dedicated to work with the support of GO Topeka to promote small business in Shawnee County and equip those businesses for success. GO Topeka empowers small business by relying on local business leaders to influence and shape the conversation about how best to support existing businesses, and assist those who wish to learn how they can grow.
Save the Dates for Upcoming Events!
May 2, 2023
June 15, 2023
August 31, 2023
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