Our Mission

The Enterprise Center in Johnson County is a non-profit organization that connects entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow and scale. We select local entrepreneurs in their early stages of development and provide them with support, financial education, mentoring, consulting and affordable work space to position them for venture development and commercialization. Our mission is to stimulate business creation and employment in the region by providing resources and services to early stage, high-return, high-growth companies.

Meet Our Team

George Hansen President & CEO

George Hansen joined the ECJC team in June 2013. Most recently, George was CEO of Zave Network, an online commerce company where he led the company through an acquisition by Google. He has also worked as a director of TGP Investments, CEO-level leadership roles at Midwest-based Corporate Lodging and CARSTAR. George has also held senior positions at Thorn EMI, PLC, Denny’s Inc. and Wendy’s International

Mr. Hansen has more than 30 years experience managing businesses in multiple industries in both North America and Europe. In addition to managing for exceptional growth, he has also been principally involved in a variety of transaction types, including acquisitions, de-mergers and exits in both the public and private markets.

A graduate of the University of Maine, George also holds a certificate in Management from Columbia University.

Jenn Hackett Administrative Assistant & Office Manager

Jenn joined the Enterprise Center in February 2011 after graduating from Pittsburg State University with a degree in Commercial Graphics.

Jenn completed an internship with a printing company, Spangler Graphics and also was an eCommerce intern at the Kansas City Sports Commission.

Jenn lives in Olathe, KS with her husband Jay. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, Chiefs football, KU basketball, and traveling.

Angela Laville VP of Finance and Administration

Angela began her career in public accounting at Ernst & Young. Her career has also included corporate roles at Sprint and as Chief Financial Officer for the Casualty Product Line of GE Insurance Solutions Global Finance Division. She also served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer for TranSystems, a transportation consulting firm headquartered in Kansas City. 

Angela then moved to focus her career on supporting the not-for-profit industry serving as Chief Financial Officer of Community Living Opportunities and ultimately joined Enterprise Center of Johnson County in January of 2016.

She received an undergraduate degree in accounting and a master’s of business degree with a concentration in Finance from Rockhurst University in Kansas City.

Kathryn Golden Program Manager

Kathryn Golden joined ECJC in January 2018. She oversees the Growth Mentor Service (GMS) program, Pitch Perfect boot camp, and entrepreneur workshop series while seeking to expand educational and growth programing for entrepreneurs.

Originally from northern Missouri, Kathryn has lived on both coasts. She has worked for a number of startup organizations, both locally and in the Bay Area, and managed projects and teams across multiple industries. While in San Francisco, she also owned a small retail business and co-founded a non-profit jazz performance space in Berkeley, CA. Since returning to Kansas City in 2012, she has launched several arts events, notably PorchFestKC, a community music festival, and The Flame, a storytelling series.

Kathryn received her undergraduate degree from Truman State University (Northeast Missouri State) and lives in Kansas City, MO.

Laura McCoolidge Classen Managing Director, MAA

Serving as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Angels from 2013 – 2018, Laura led the network to significant growth in deal flow, membership and investor participation as well as growing relationships with other angel networks. During Laura’s tenure with the organization, the network invested over $13M in capital across 29 portfolio companies located throughout the United States, although largely focused on the Midwest region.  Dedicated to improved efficiency of deal syndication across Midwest angel groups, Laura served as a founding member of the Midwest Angel syndicate.

As the current Mid-America Angels Managing Director, Laura looks forward to continuing her work with angel investors and early-stage companies and believes this new opportunity will only strengthen the angel syndication relationships already established in the Midwest. Laura’s background is in private equity, with a focus on manufacturing and bank acquisitions. Prior to her role with Nebraska Angels, Laura founded her own consulting business, collaborating with clients to develop and analyze strategic growth initiatives. Laura also serves as a Director on the Stone Medical Corporation and NE Enterprises board of directors, as well as the College of Business Alumni Advisory Board for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has been recognized for her work as a recipient of the 2015 ’40 under 40 Award’ and as a finalist for the 2017 Inspire Awards, honoring women with significant community impact. Laura is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Maggie Kenefake Managing Director, Midwest Seed Capital Consortium

Maggie most recently directed fund operations for Portfolia, an investment community focused on engaging female investors. At Portfolia, Maggie closed funds I, IV and V, oversaw the investor experience, managed the investment pipeline, closed deals and managed relationships with Portfolia invested companies.

She brings years of experience in operations, strategic partnerships, and program and product management. Maggie was at the Kauffman Foundation for a decade and worked on the Kauffman Fellows Program and Initiatives for Women Entrepreneurs. She was also a program officer in grant-making for collegiate entrepreneurship and women’s entrepreneurship. After exiting the Foundation, Maggie worked in the health-care field, including venture-backed RelayHealth. Maggie holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and an MBA from the University of Missouri.

Maggie’s goal is to create an enriching and rewarding investing experience for both investors and the companies we back. She is also focused on activating the networks and knowledge in our community to enable the Seed Fund’s portfolio companies to more effectively capture their markets and grow successfully.

Sherry Turner Executive Director, Women’s Business Center

Kelly Sievers Managing Director, Women’s Capital Connection

Brande Stitt Program Director at Women’s Business Center

20 Years of Entrepreneurial Success

For the past 20 years, the Enterprise Center in Resources for Entrepreneurs ImageJohnson County has been a mainstay in Kansas City for entrepreneur resources. By providing affordable office space, consultation, mentoring, education and connections to capital, the ECJC has had a $1.4 billion impact on the regional economy. ECJC-assisted companies have created over 2,000 jobs, leveraged $261 million in debt and equity and generated over $200 million in sales revenues.

Johnson County forms an "Incubator Task Force,"
conducts study on startup economic development
1989
Johnson County Business Tech Center opens
1995

Renamed Enterprise Center of Johnson County, 
begins management of early-stage, equity risk
capital in Kansas City 

1999

Bi-State Investment Group and
Kansas Women's Business Center formed

2000

Mid-America Angels investment network
(MAA) created

2006

First successful MAA exit:
Rush Tracking Systems acquired

2009
Graduate company Rhythm Engineering
listed in Inc. 500 | 5000
2011

Second successful MAA exit:
Zave Networks acquired by Google

2011

Another successful MAA exit:
Aratana Therapeutics IPOs

2013

Enterprise Center in Johnson County rebrands,
relocates, begins mentoring program

2015

Our Board

Jay Meschke

Chairman

CBIZ Human Capital Services

Startup Mentors and Startup Programs Leader

Rudolf Beese

Dentons US LLP

Startup Mentors and Startup Programs Leader

Mary Birch

Lathrop & Gage LLP

Wayne Morgan

Growth Mentoring Service

Angela Hurt

Veracity Consulting

Ryan Sprott

Great Range Capital

Mike Maddox

CrossFirst Bank

Chairman Ed Eilert

Ex Officio

Johnson County Commission