Founders

Stan Brannan

Stan G. Brannan is a founding member and active angel investor who also serves on the Board of Directors of select technology startups. At age 24, he was the Founder and CEO of Mycro-Tek, Inc., which grew to be a major supplier of customized computer systems for newspapers in over 50 countries around the world. He sold this company to Allied-Signal in 1980 and later became the President of the Allied Division that acquired his company. In 1984 Mr. Brannan started another company, Brite Voice Systems, Inc. As founder of Brite Voice Systems, Mr. Brannan served as Chairman, CEO/President from its inception until resigning as CEO/President in December 1996, and as Chairman of the Board in January 1998. Brite Voice Systems, Inc. merged with InterVoice to form InterVoice-Brite, Inc., for which Mr. Brannan served as Vice Chairman for three years. Mr. Brannan graduated from Wichita State University, where he earned his BS in Electrical Engineering.

 

Trish Brasted

Trish Brasted, an entrepreneur and active angel investor, currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Wichita Technology Corporation (WTC).  She is the Managing Member of Wichita Technology Ventures, (WTV), an early-stage technology fund, and is the Managing Member of the Midwest Venture Alliance, a Kansas based angel group, all of which serve high-growth entrepreneurs in the region.

Ms. Brasted has a long history in finance and entrepreneurship and understands the risks entrepreneurs’ face, the courage it takes to start a new venture and the process of growing a successful organization. This passion for young businesses, growth opportunities and helping entrepreneurs succeed has paved the way for many years of success in early stage ventures and investment management.  Under the leadership of Ms. Brasted, the WTC team has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs, invested seed capital dollars in more than 75 technology companies, representing 100 patented technologies in diverse technology areas such as advanced materials, manufacturing technology, biotech, broadband and telecommunications, proprietary engineering services, consumer products, information technology, and software solutions.

Ms. Brasted is a CPA, earned her bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University, and her MBA from Baker University. She is a frequent speaker on accessing venture capital and angel investing and serves on the boards of several private technology companies.

Venture Fund Management:

Wichita Technology Ventures, LLC
Managing Member 1999 – Present

Midwest Venture Alliance
Managing Member 1999 – Present

 

Dick West

Richard (Dick) L. West is a founding member and is currently President of West Consulting Group, Inc. and co-manager of Wichita Technology Ventures (WTV). WTV is a seed fund looking for opportunities in early-stage high growth businesses. Mr. West has provided management consulting and business valuation services for a diverse group of companies throughout his professional career. Prior to forming West Consulting Group in October, 1991, Mr. West was a shareholder in the firm of Peters, Gamm, West & Vincent, Inc. where he was responsible for managing the Firm’s Corporate Finance activities. In that role, which included the management of a venture capital fund of $60 million, he supervised the valuation of hundreds of businesses for purposes of financing, acquiring or selling. Mr. West is a Certified Public Accountant with a bachelors degree in accounting from the University of Kansas.

 

Gene Bicknell

Gene Bicknell, is a founding member and also the Founder, President/CEO of Pittsburg, Kansas-based NPC International, Inc, the world's largest operator of Pizza Hut franchises and the 11th largest restaurant operator in the U.S. Mr. Bicknell has founded four other companies including Pitt Plastics, one of the country’s largest manufacturers of plastic can liners; National Mills, Inc., a T-shirt manufacturer and screen print company; Zouire, a national promotional apparel and supplies company; and M.S. Productions Inc., an oil development and reserve operation. In addition, Gene has dabbled in sports announcing, professional acting, and political and community activism. He served as the youngest mayor in Pittsburg’s history and also ran for governor of Kansas. He has chaired a number of charity and fundraising events, one of which has raised $1.5 million over the years. Bicknell also founded the O. Gene Bicknell Center for Entrepreneurship at Pittsburg State University. Currently, he is finishing his second book, The Land of Ores, on lead and zinc mining in Northeast Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas. Gene was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2004. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Master’s of Business Administration degree and Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Pittsburg State University.

 

Eric Ferrell

Eric Ferrell, is a founding member and is currently the Managing Member of Milestone Ventures LLC., President of Alliance for Technology Commercialization, Inc. and Milestone Management, Inc. in Pittsburg, KS. Prior to joining Milestone in 2000, Eric served in bank operations and commercial lending functions for 20+ years. His present position includes facilitating the start-up and expansion of technology based, high growth enterprises, technology transfer from regional academic institutions and the development of support networks and infrastructure, related to technology management. Originally from Wichita, KS, he graduated from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, WI and the Venture Capital Institute in Atlanta, GA. Eric serves in multiple economic development roles ranging from Chairman of Economic Development Council of SEK Inc, to a Member of Plastic Technology Engineering Advisory Council-College of Technology, Pittsburg State University.

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