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Startup Topeka: Building Topeka's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is a half-day workshop designed for Topeka Entrepreneurial Ecosystem stakeholders that provides the information and connections Topeka businesses need to make decisions and act now. Startup Topeka is inspired by the Kauffman Foundation's ESHIP summit and will bring ecosystem policymakers, private and public business investors, and service organization executives together to hear from local entrepreneurs and national thought leader, Dell Gines. Dell is a community and economic development professional who works as a Senior Community Development Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Dell will share his specialty and give advice on how to grow your own entrepreneurship-led economic development strategies. Together using practical tools, we will take the first steps to strengthening our burgeoning Topeka Ecosystem.

Dell Gines

Senior Community Development Advisor

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Omaha Branch

Dell Gines is the Senior Community Development Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. His primary focus is small business and economic development. He has developed a national reputation around his speciality, entrepreneurship based economic development, which focuses on using entrepreneurship to develop rural and urban core economies. He has authored four guides and one eBook as well served as the keynote speaker at several national and international conferences on the topic.

In 2011, he was recognized by the Omaha Jaycees as a TOYO award recipient for being one of the top ten Omahans under the age of forty making an impact in the community. In both 2014 and 2019 he received the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s President’s award for his innovative community development work in urban communities.

Michelle Cuevas Stubblefield

Senior Vice-President of Strategy

Greater Topeka Partnership

Michelle currently serves with the Greater Topeka Partnership, leading Leadership Greater Topeka - a 36+ year community leadership program dedicated to developing one’s capacity to lead and become involved in moving Topeka and Shawnee County forward. She also serves as the strategic lead for MOMENTUM 2022 - the communities’ five year strategic plan. This work is preceded by a 28+ years career in the marketing industry of: concept and graphic design, strategic planning, branding, web design, social media, focus group facilitation, usability testing, project management and partnership engagement. Michelle is a lifelong resident of Topeka-Shawnee County and is engaged with a number of organizations working to advance the lives in our community.

Andy Stoll

Senior Program Officer, Ecosystem Development in Entrepreneurship

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Andy Stoll is a serial entrepreneur and a senior program officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he is responsible for the implementation and management of the Foundation’s ecosystem development strategy. Before joining the Kauffman Foundation, Stoll co-founded Seed Here Studio, a social good company specializing in building innovation ecosystems in unexpected places. He is the co-founder of six entrepreneurial-focused organizations, most recently The Startup Champions Network, the nation’s first professional association for full-time entrepreneurial ecosystem builders. His past work includes projects with The Case Foundation, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and The Bohemian Foundation.


Registration and Lunch Buffet Begin at 11:30 am

MC-Michelle Cuevas-Stubblefield

SVP of Strategy, Greater Topeka Partnership


Matt Pivarnik, President & CEO Greater Topeka Partnership

Firestarter - Why?

Introduction - Glenda Washington, EMBD GO Topeka

Dell Gines, MBA, MSF, CECD

Community Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of KC

Firestarter - The Power of Community    

      Diana Brauer, Jasira Monique, Emmanuel "Manny" Herron

Firestarter – The Power of Networks

Tara Dimick, Gary Satter, Kristi Dunn


Firestarter - The Power of Connection

Andy Stoll, Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Firestarter - Taking Action

Michelle Cuevas-Stubblefield  

Wheelhouse Graduation

Reception Celebration

Upcoming events


See Differently, Think Bigger!

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