Tech Companies

New Year, Renewed Commitment

FlagshipKansas.Tech officers, board members to further boost mission, grow support

(Wichita, Kan.) Technology companies continue to find themselves accelerating to meet current market needs and position themselves for the future. According to CompTIA, the tech industry makes a 10-billion-dollar impact on the Kansas economy.

FlagshipKansas.Tech, in its commitment to lift up Kansas’ powerhouse technology industry, has announced the appointment of three new members and a slate of new officers to its board of directors.

Rick Ehresman, President of Spectrum, Inc.; Megan Harper, Marketing and Sales Manager for Twin Valley and SKT; and Scott Sproul, President and CEO of Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, Inc. have joined the FlagshipKansas.Tech board of directors. Each will serve an initial three-year term.

In addition, FlagshipKansas.Tech 2022 board officers will include:

  • Chair – Luis Rodriguez, President of Keycentrix
  • Vice-Chair – Ben Sebree, Vice President of R&D and Technology for Civic Plus
  • Treasurer – Amanda Duncan, Vice President & Chief Development Officer for Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas
  • Secretary – Rick Ehresman, President of Spectrum, Inc.

“We, of course, love to help attract new tech companies to Kansas, but we are even more eager to champion the amazing technology companies that are already here,” said Luis Rodriguez, President of Keycentrix and FlagshipKansas.Tech Board Chair. “Our state is a place where tech companies can thrive. We will do all we can to support the growth of technology companies in Kansas.

“The diverse experience from our new board members will enhance our commitment to amplifying Kansas as a top priority for tech companies, talent, and education,” said Ashley Scheideman, Executive Director of FlagshipKansas.Tech. “I look forward to our board members contributing their leadership gifts and ability to get the job done to help Kansas technology reach new heights in 2022,” Rodriguez added.

This year, FlagshipKansas.Tech will gain even more momentum in its efforts to raise awareness, attract and retain technology talent, and support technology workforce training and education initiatives in the state. Those interested in learning more about FlagshipKansas.Tech’s mission, membership, and/or collaboration opportunities can contact Executive Director Ashley Scheideman at or (316) 469-6800. The FlagshipKansas.Tech office is located in Suite 351 of Groover Labs, 334 N. St. Francis Avenue, Wichita.


Originally published by the Greater Wichita Partnership

Wichita, Kan. – Novacoast, a cybersecurity and identity and access management company that provides end-to-end technical solutions to a global customer base, including managed security services, advisory and software development, announced today it is opening a new Security Operations Center in Wichita. In addition to the 24-7 Security Operations Center, the Wichita office will include sales, software development and cybersecurity engineering. The company plans to initially hire 60 employees with plans for continued growth.

According to Novacoast CEO Paul Anderson, the company was planning an expansion in another area of the country and had not considered the Wichita region. It wasn’t until the Greater Wichita Partnership proactively asked about the company’s business needs and shared information about the region’s information technology and cybersecurity assets that Anderson saw what a perfect fit Wichita and the surrounding area is.

Anderson said, “We were intrigued with the Partnership’s message and then with the entire community because of the overwhelming support from industry, education and elected leaders. I’ve been running companies for over 25 years and haven’t come across such a welcoming and exceptional place to do business as I’ve found in Wichita.”

Novacoast will establish its principal office in the Epic Center in downtown Wichita. “On our site visits, we experienced first-hand the investment in downtown and were extremely impressed,” said Anderson.

Founded in 1996, the privately held company, headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif., has more than 350 employees. The company currently runs Security Operation Centers in California, Michigan, Manchester, United Kingdom and Guatemala City, Guatemala.

“This is a great company with a global reach and an impactful business attraction win for the Wichita region and Kansas,” said Jeff Fluhr, President of the Greater Wichita Partnership. “Our community’s collaborative approach to promote our assets and share insight into our information technology and cybersecurity ecosystem was key to securing this new global business and new jobs for our community.”

Novacoast cited the following cybersecurity and IT assets in its location decision:  the 184th Intelligence Wing for the Air National Guard at McConnell Air Force Base; Wichita State University and the National Institute for Aviation Research and National Institute for Digital Transformation; education partners, including nationally-certified cybersecurity programs at WSU and Butler Community College, IT training at WSU Tech, and Friends University Cyber Security Lab; and leaders from among the 110 local tech companies and FlagshipKansas.Tech.

According to Fluhr, leaders from more than 20 local and state organizations worked together through multiple interactions and three site visits with the company to demonstrate the region’s cybersecurity assets, information and support for business, including Governor Laura Kelly, Lt. Governor David Toland and the Kansas Department of Commerce, United States Senator Jerry Moran, Sedgwick County Chairman Pete Meitzner, Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple as well as other community leaders and partners.

“Novacoast is, without question, a perfect fit for Wichita,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Our interconnected, digital world makes cybersecurity even more critical now and into the future for Kansans and our industries alike. To have a well-established cybersecurity leader decide to put down roots here in Wichita and Kansas is spectacular. Congratulations to Wichita and to Novacoast on this exciting new partnership.”

Cybersecurity and IT systems and support are identified as target industries for growth in the Regional Growth Plan, a strategy to grow Greater Wichita’s economy, attract new businesses and expand existing industries. In addition, it is also in the State of Kansas’ Framework for Growth, created through the Kansas Department of Commerce.

“Congratulations to Novacoast, and thank you for expanding your cutting-edge security solutions here in Wichita, and in Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Cybersecurity is the first initiative of the Framework for Growth’s Kansas Competitiveness Project, designed to bring new skills and technologies to drive our economic performance. We’re excited for your future here, and the important work you will do every day to help protect people and places in Kansas and well beyond.”

The majority of Novacoast’s customers are highly regulated global firms such as global banks, healthcare and energy companies. Its subsidiary Novacoast Federal provides services to agencies such as NASA, US Patent & Trademark, IRS and the Federal Reserve System among others.

“As a national leader in cybersecurity development and implementation, I am pleased that Novacoast has chosen Kansas as the location for its new Security Operations Center,” said Senator Jerry Moran. “The Wichita region has already proven itself as a leader in cyber technology at institutions like Wichita State University, Friends University and the 177th Information Aggressor Squadron at McConnell Air Force Base, and Novacoast will certainly benefit from the impressive cyber talent pipeline located in the region. Novacoast’s move will bring more cybersecurity jobs to Kansas, and, more importantly, will foster powerful research partnerships to help our nation address its most critical cybersecurity challenges.”

According to Anderson, Novacoast plans to begin hiring immediately, primarily for security analysts and with jobs for software development positions already posted on 

“Wichita is thrilled to welcome Novacoast to our city,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple. “This will not only provide well-paying high-tech jobs to Wichitans, but Novacoast’s selection of Wichita is evidence of our focused efforts to diversify our regional economy.”

Sedgwick County Chairman Pete Meitzner said, “I have had the privilege of meeting this very exciting company and the Novacoast leadership. I am excited they have chosen our city and area to further their world market in the growing field of cybersecurity.”

The Wichita region was named No. 1 in digital service job growth in 2018 by Brookings Institution and recognized as the No. 3 engineering hub by Engineering Daily.


About the Greater Wichita Partnership

The Greater Wichita Partnership is focused on one primary objective: to fast-forward regional economic growth in Wichita and South Central Kansas. The organization works within three key priorities – jobs, talent and quality of place – to accelerate this objective.

Bellwethr dreams of bringing artificial intelligence to the masses

A northeast Kansas start-up venture is having substantial success applying modern technology to an ancient proverb. From a business perspective, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” speaks to the value of retaining your customer base. That’s precisely what Bellwethr wants to help its clients do.

“As much as growth takes the majority of the emphasis, retention is arguably more important,” said Matt Moody, founder and CEO of Bellwethr, which has offices in Wamego and Kansas City. Happy customers lead to strong word-of-mouth, Moody said, which is the best way to attract new business.

Bellwethr has developed a form of machine learning – often called “artificial intelligence” – designed to help companies increase customer retention as well as reduce the cost of acquiring new customers. While the technology can be applied to almost any industry, Bellwethr is focusing on companies with monthly recurring revenue, such as subscription services. Various companies have developed machine learning to identify customers at risk of taking their business elsewhere, Moody said, but Bellwethr takes it a step further by implementing actions automatically. “Most of the time, when businesses got involved” in machine learning, “all they got was another chart” identifying at-risk customers “and somebody else has to figure out what to do with it.” Employees still had to figure out how to respond to that data. With Bellwethr’s program, “it’s more of an automation and less of an insight,” he said. “Not only is it going to outperform much of the manual work, it’ll do it in a more efficient way.”

Technology that can improve retention by 20 to 30 percent and doesn’t create extra work for employees is going to get attention, Moody said. “They can instantly get an increase to the bottom line,” he said. They can also free up more employees to focus on the creative process.

Recognizing opportunity

Moody was building platforms to help clients identify which of their customers were most at risk of leaving when the idea for this venture came to him. “I saw the value of what we were delivering for them,” he said. He realized it was time to go out on his own again and start what would be his fourth company. He took the concept to tech conferences in Germany, where he was introduced to venture capitalists, and ultimately was introduced to the managing director of Tech Stars in Kansas City. Bellwethr was accepted into the Tech Stars incubator, which allowed Moody to find the holes in his concept. “That really fixed some things” and also connected Moody to more investors and capital.

Matt Moody, Founder/CEO Bellwethr

Bellwethr was named one of Startland’s 2019 Kansas City Startups to Watch, and investors were noticing. Last May, the company announced $2.5 million in seed funding to help finance growth. The effort was challenging, Moody said, because his company is something of a ‘tweener. Seed funding typically goes to companies just starting out, and Bellwethr had already generated $400,000 in revenue in its first year. To access Series A investors such as angel investors or venture capital funds, a company has to reach $1 million in annual revenues – and Bellwethr isn’t there yet. “We were kind of in no-man’s land” between the firms who seek to raise large sums of investment right out of the chute – “the Silicon Valley way,” as Moody put it – and the companies that are generating revenue levels that catch the eye of venture capital firms. The seed funding goal was $2 million, Moody said, so to exceed it by such a substantial amount was gratifying. “It told us we were doing things right,” he said.

‘In the hands of anyone and everyone’

The funding comes at a key time for Bellwethr, which rolled out its latest technology seven months ago and is looking to build out its product and sell more aggressively. But Bellwethr’s vision extends beyond growth. Tools powered by machine learning are currently restricted to large organizations with significant resources. Moody would like to make it accessible to smaller companies as well. “We believe that for this technology to reach its full potential,” he said when the seed funding was announced, “it needs to be in the hands of anyone and everyone.”

Bellwthr eBook

As an extension of that philosophy, Bellwethr just released a free e-book called “The Dreaded Exit: How Customer Retention is Broken and How Machine Learning is Fixing It.” Moody said the e-book is a way to share information about what’s coming. “I’m of the inclination that the blog-wave is going to die soon and you have to put out some actual metrics and research,” he said in an electronic response to questions about the e-book.

As Bellwethr was developing its latest technology, “people kept telling us we were going to have to leave” the Midwest, “to go to the coast to find more talent,” Moody said. “That was proven completely wrong. We’ve attracted quite a bit of top-notch talent.” Many of Bellwethr’s employees have come from nearby Kansas State University. The company has been growing 10 percent a month since the seed funding was announced. The company had four employees at the end of May and is now up to 14, with more hires to come.   

Bellwethr Team

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Moody said. “We’re not there yet. We have a way to go.” Moody heard about Flagship Kansas through a couple of the company’s investors. “They’re smart, so I figured it must be a good idea” to become a member, he said.

Advice for entrepreneurs

Bellwethr’s trajectory tells Moody that the landscape for entrepreneurs has changed. “You should basically go test the market when you have ideas,” he said. “Throw twenty dollars in some ads and see ‘Is anybody interested in this?’ “There are tools out there to see if there is a market. ‘Does anybody else think this is cool other than me? How much are you willing to pay for it?’” If there’s nothing there, he said, you can either tweak the idea to improve it or move on.

TJ Frevert, Matt Moody and Jason Toevs at 2019 FlagshipKansas.Tech event in Manhattan, KS

“It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as it used to be, where you make one big decision and throw all your cash at it.” Modern tools allow creators to test the waters and perfect an idea before taking the plunge, he said.

Author Credits | Stan Finger | @StanFinger | Stan is an award-winning journalist who twice earned nominations for the Pulitzer Prize over the course of a distinguished career at the Wichita Eagle. A native Kansan who grew up on a farm in central Kansas, Finger has also written two books: Into the Deep, a look at the deadly flash flood in the Flint Hills in 2003, and the novel Fallen Trees.

Understanding Customers Better with Kansas Technology

“Phone calls are becoming more important, not less important,” said Frevert, vice president of product and technology at Callcap, a conversation analytics company based in Wichita.

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A Taste of Silicon Valley in the Flint Hills

view from the windows of CivicPlus in Manhattan Kansas

They’re one of the fastest-growing private tech companies in the United States.

Their headquarters look like something you’d find in Silicon Valley rather than the gateway to the Flint Hills of Kansas.

They’re considered an industry leader in providing integrated technology platforms for local government.

Yet when you ask a CivicPlus executive what propelled the Manhattan-based business from humble origins to dizzying heights, the answer may be surprising.

“It comes down to maybe more luck than foresight,” said Sascha Ohler, vice president of research and development.

Recognizing future needs

CivicPlus started more than 20 years ago as Networks Plus, which focused on network and computer equipment management – servers, desktop systems, tech support – for customers around Kansas.

The company began building websites for customers as the new century arrived, “and we very quickly realized that’s where the future growth would come from for us,” Ohler said.

photo of Sascha Ohler VP for R & D at CivicPlus
Sascha Ohler, VP of Research & Development speaks to crowd at Scaling Up Tech

Websites for city and county governments became the company’s focus, and little more than a decade later the company sold off Networks Plus.

Ohler cites luck as a factor because when company officials debated what their target audience for building websites should be, they selected local governments.

“We were fortunate in that we selected a market to go after that is very stable and is very cohesive and so there’s not a lot of variability there,” Ohler said. “Whether you’re a city in California or Kansas or Florida, there’s not that much different” in what they need.

“We didn’t have to be the ones with the latest and the greatest, we just had to be better than the rest of the competition.

Sascha Ohler, VP Research & Devlopment, CivicPlus

Most smaller governments, if they had a city or county website at all, offered basic information on static pages. Residents still had to go to city hall or county offices to pay bills, obtain information or request services.

As CivicPlus built its clientele, Ohler said, “We didn’t have to be the ones with the latest and the greatest, we just had to be better than the rest of the competition.

“It allowed us to open up a market for ourselves that didn’t force us to be a Silicon Valley-type start-up in order to succeed.”

Dramatic changes in local government

But that has changed in recent years.

The general population is getting younger and the expectations of local government are changing as more and more professionals are returning to their hometowns or migrating away from crowded, expensive urban centers in search of a higher quality of life.

Generations of residents now are used to being able to pay bills, go shopping and gather information online whenever it’s convenient. They have higher expectations from local government as well.

“It’s no longer okay to just be open 9 to 4,” Ohler said. “They expect ‘round-the-clock access from their mobile devices.”

In response, CivicPlus began creating more sophisticated websites that allow residents to pay bills, ask questions and look up a wide range of information about city and county services online.

photo of CivicPlus employee working on customer website

“Local government is changing pretty dramatically,” he said. “We’re increasingly less and less patient so we want to have stuff at the tip of our fingers. We’re seeing local government wake up to that.”

Katrina Rubenich, communication and information specialist for the Wichita suburb of Valley Center, has witnessed those changes. The city hired CivicPlus to update its website about four years ago and has seen usage soar.

“They want to be able to go online and take care of everything they need to without having to interact with a real person if they can,” Rubenich said.

It saves time for city staff as well, sparing them from repeatedly fielding calls for information that can easily be found on the website.

Having a strong website is important for cities and counties in the modern era, Rubenich said.

“I know that personally if there’s a company or a city that I want to go to if they don’t have a website, it kind of makes me think, ‘Why not?’ and ‘Are you legit?’” she said.

The city of Louisburg is another CivicPlus client, and communications coordinator Jean Carder said an intense hail storm that struck the region last year showed how valuable it is to have a sophisticated website.

“When the hail storm went through and roofers started showing up, they didn’t necessarily have to come into the office to get their permits,” Carder said. “They could fill it out online and email it to the guy that handles the permit. It makes it easier to do business with the city.”

Business is booming

As local governments recognize the need to offer more on their websites, business is booming for CivicPlus. The company has grown 30 percent a year for the past several years and Ohler said similar growth is anticipated “for the foreseeable future.”

“As our clients are looking at new ways to utilize technology and really figure out how to lead change inside their organizations, it has forced us to become more than just tech experts, but become experts in local government as well.

Sascha Ohler, VP Research & Development, CivicPlus

CivicPlus now has 3,800 clients around the world, including more than 175 in Kansas. The company has grown to 350 “team members,” with 280 of them working in Manhattan.

According to data released earlier this year, more than 60,000 local government employees use CivicPlus software solutions. More than 75 million constituents view the company’s local government websites, registering more than two billion page views.

CivicPlus has been an INC. 5000 fastest-growing company for the past eight years and has made the GovTech 100 list every year since its inception.

But this is no time for CivicPlus to relax, Ohler said.

“Change is kind of a constant in this business,” Ohler said. “As our clients are looking at new ways to utilize technology and really figure out how to lead change inside their organizations, it has forced us to become more than just tech experts, but become experts in local government as well.

“It has definitely forced us as a company to grow both from a number of employees and from a skill set perspective.”

Most of the company’s early growth was organic, but in the last three years, CivicPlus has also undertaken acquisitions.

In 2016, CivicPlus acquired Rec1 in Atlanta, which specializes in parks and recreation management. A year later, the company bought another Atlanta firm, BoardSync, and rebranded it as CivicClerk. Last year, CivicPlus purchased Virtual Towns and Schools, a website business in Foxborough, Mass., that caters to towns with less than 10,000 people.

More acquisitions are likely, Ohler said. To help facilitate the growth, BV Investment Partners of Boston announced a minority investment in CivicPlus. BV is a middle-market private equity firm focused on the business services, software and IT services sectors.

“We went through a careful vetting process to find the right partner who can help us achieve our ambitious goals in the years ahead,” CivicPlus Chief Executive Officer Brian Rempe said in a prepared statement released when the investment was announced.

Rempe called BV “a like-minded partner” and added, “I’m confident that the partnership…will put us in an even stronger position to offer more and more value to our clients and their residents.”

Author Credits | Stan Finger | @StanFinger | Stan is an award-winning journalist who twice earned nominations for the Pulitzer Prize over the course of a distinguished career at the Wichita Eagle. A native Kansan who grew up on a farm in central Kansas, Finger has also written two books: Into the Deep, a look at the deadly flash flood in the Flint Hills in 2003, and the novel Fallen Trees.

Photo Credits | Jeff Tuttle | Website | Jeff is a native Kansan from Augusta and a Kansas State University graduate. He married his high school sweetheart Laura, and they have two children, Erin and Zach and a handsome Cardigan Welsh corgi, Wembley. He is a former newspaper photographer with a 25-career at The Herald, Jasper, Indiana, and the Wichita Eagle, Wichita, Kansas. He is currently a freelance photojournalist in Wichita.

Viaanix sets its sights on being ‘the Amazon of IOT’

Viaanix owner Jatin Talreja from Wichita Kansas

Nestled in a small, nondescript brick building in the heart of downtown Wichita, a fledgling business few people have heard of is on its way to subtly changing the world as we know it.

Viaanix, which started several years ago in founder Jatin Talreja’s basement, is emerging as a national leader in the Internet of Things.

“We can make anything smart or wireless,” Talreja said. “Our goal is to make it a billion-dollar company in five years. We have decided to go big or go home.

“We want to be the Amazon of IoT.”

Worldwide technology spending on the Internet of Things is projected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2022, and Viaanix is well-positioned to capture a share of that.

“We want to be the Amazon of IOT.”

Jatin Talreja, Viaanix, Wichita, Kansas

Viaanix is working on sensors for sectors as varied as agriculture, construction, logistics, transportation and Smart Cities.

What helps set Viaanix apart

While smart technology – a network of devices, vehicles and products embedded with sensors that allow them to collect and exchange data – has become commonplace, Viaanix’s engineers have centralized services into one app you can use on your phone.

Currently, Taljreja said, a consumer might have one provider with a service telling them whether their garage door is open and another letting them know if someone is at the door and another monitoring if the lights are off.

“That’s three different apps, three different services you’re working with,” he said.

Viaanix can provide sensors for something as basic as letting you know how much milk is left in the refrigerator, how full your trash cans are and if there’s a leak near the sump pump.

The company has developed universal “plug and play” hardware with software that can be configured to meet a client’s specific needs.

“We’re working with the city of Wichita on a whole ‘smart city’ platform,” Talreja said. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, you’ve got LED lights in your streetlights – you’re a smart city now,’ but it’s so much more than that.”

‘Helping tech to grow here’

The city is exploring a variety of initiatives using sensors to collect and synthesize data that will ultimately make operations more efficient and thus lower costs, said Mike Mayta, chief information officer for the city of Wichita. At this stage, most are still in the exploratory phase.

“One of the things we’re really interested in is staying local – helping tech to grow here,” Mayta said.

Working with Viaanix is an example of that, he said.

“Some of this could really explode into a large, large venture,” Mayta said. “From an economic development standpoint, we can have an impact there.”

Talreja learned about FlagshipKansas.Tech from city officials and signed up because he saw it as a way to network with other tech companies in the state and also to help increase exposure for Viaanix.

“One of the things we’re really interested in is staying local – helping tech to grow here.”

Mike Mayta, City of Wichita, Kansas

The company’s profile is increasing in other ways as well. Talreja was a panelist for a session on modern cities at a conference in San Diego in mid-September.

Helping cities become more efficient by investing in smart technology is a billion-dollar industry, Talreja said.

Viaanix is currently focusing on corporate clients, but their goal is to eventually expand into consumer products as well.

“The growth is exponential,” Talreja said.

The demand is so great Talreja is looking for investors to help finance the company’s expansion. Up until now, he said, he has paid for everything out of his own pocket.

The company has 14 employees in the U.S. and more than 20 in India, Vietnam and China.

Those numbers will surge as the demand for Viaanix’s products grow. Talreja is working with WSU Tech to provide “some of our tools and gadgets” so students obtain hands-on experience. The hope, he said, is to hire those students once they graduate so Viaanix can continue to grow.

Discussions are underway with the University of Texas at Austin for a similar arrangement, Talreja said.

“What Jay’s doing over there with that company is significant,” said Joe Varrientos, lead faculty in electronics technology at WSU Tech. “We’re just trying to help.”

Talreja is on an advisory team at WSU Tech and “he directly influences the kinds of training we provide for students,” Varrientos said.

“There’s no doubt that this technology…is of tremendous interest to a significant number of employers and industry leaders across the globe,” he said.

Why Wichita?

Viaanix is based in Wichita because this has become his family’s home, Talreja said. He was recruited to work at Hawker Beechcraft 12 years ago.

“Once the family was here, the home was here, we knew a lot of people here,” it was natural to stay, he said.

But “there are a lot of obstacles” in his efforts to build the business in Wichita, he said. Skilled workers have to be recruited from elsewhere because there isn’t a local talent pool in IoT. That challenge is also why he is working with WSU Tech and the University of Texas.

He’s confident any other obstacles that emerge can be overcome as well.

“Our goal is to make it a billion-dollar company in five years. We have decided to go big or go home. “


He started his own company, Viaan, in 2012, providing engineering design for other companies as a contract engineer.

As he was creating smart software solutions for businesses, he said, he recognized limitations – and saw universal hardware as the best way to overcome them. Viaanix launched about a year ago.

The company has signed partnerships with Sprint, Comcast and Tektelic, with more partnerships with “very big company names” to be announced soon, he said.

How ‘smart’ impacts your life

Smart technology can bring efficiencies to just about any industry and even in your homes, Talreja said.

Hospitals can use them for something as basic as keeping track of meals being served to patients. Sensors can sound alarms if a meal is accidentally taken to the wrong room, so the hospital can avoid serving something that the patient is allergic to, he said.

Auto dealerships can use sensors to keep track of not just every vehicle on their lot but every key, he said. While GPS has been in use for many years now, it typically only works when the vehicles are outdoors.

Farmers can use sensors to check moisture content and pH levels of their soils so they can maintain the best growing conditions possible and maximize yields.

Viaanix has developed a wireless temperature and humidity sensor for freezers. Hospitals, restaurants and grocery stores are just some of the places temperatures have to be monitored and logged regularly to make sure they’re at proper levels.

“Currently, everything is done manually” to chart those figures, Talreja said.

The new sensor logs the temperature, creates a report and sends it where it needs to go automatically.

Smart technology will be transforming our bathrooms, too.

Viaanix has developed sensors that keep track of how much toilet paper, hand soap and paper towels are left in a particular bathroom and send alerts to maintenance crews when more is needed.

“You don’t know what kind of usage is going to happen at the airport,” Talreja said. “These analytics will allow them to be…more efficient.”

Instead of waiting to check every bathroom first thing in the morning, he said, maintenance crews can go directly to the bathrooms needing replenishment as needed at any time during their shift.

Developing a global presence

Liquidynamics, a Wichita-based company that sells lubricant and diesel exhausts fuel equipment, has worked with Viaanix and its predecessor for years.

Talreja’s business has developed tracking sensors for fuel management systems.

An estimated 15 percent of fuel oil and other lubricants is unaccounted for at any given time, said Frank Russold, president of Liquidynamics.

“That is a lot of fluid lost,” Russold said.

The sensors developed by Talreja’s company “allow the owners to keep track of every drop of oil that is being dispensed,” he said.

Liquidynamics has expanded fluid management to incorporate tank monitoring, Russold said. By being able to track how full tanks are, oil distributors can plan their routes “so they don’t have to make special calls to fill one tank.”

“Everyone wins,” Russold said. “The consumer wins in the long term” because the greater efficiencies help keep the price at the pump down.

While other companies offer tank monitoring systems, he said, they’re tied to desktop computer systems that can be rendered useless by platform upgrades. Liquidynamics relies on its own system within its mini-computer and it can be accessed on a client’s smart device.

“Viaanix has done a great job for us,” Russold said.

“We will be a corporation that has a global presence. Our software, our devices will be everywhere. People may just not notice it.”

jatin Talreja, viaanix, wichita, kansas

When Varrientos hears his friend talk about Viaanix becoming a billion-dollar company in five years, he doesn’t blink – even though that level represents a substantial increase from where Viaanix is now. He’s known him long enough to recognize that when Talreja sets a goal, it’s realistic.

Talreja insists his goal is no pipe dream.

“We have leads, we have letters of intent from very large corporations to work with us and customize solutions for them,” he said.

“We will be a corporation that has a global presence. Our software, our devices will be everywhere. People may just not notice it.”

Just like most don’t notice the unassuming brick building in the heart of downtown.

2:02 pm CST | December 18, 2019

Author Credits | Stan Finger | @StanFinger | Stan is an award-winning journalist who twice earned nominations for the Pulitzer Prize over the course of a distinguished career at the Wichita Eagle. A native Kansan who grew up on a farm in central Kansas, Finger has also written two books: Into the Deep, a look at the deadly flash flood in the Flint Hills in 2003, and the novel Fallen Trees.

Image Credits | Fernando Salazar | @fsalazar58 Amazing photojournalist. Okay, we said that because he’s so humble, but seriously, look at his incredible work!

$5 Million dollar technology hub to open in former Printing, Inc.

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