Particle SEPT. 17 | 4:00 P.M. INNOVATION SHOWCASE Watch The Showcase

This pilot competition is hosted by

The NXTSTAGE pilot competition helps entrepreneurs grow their young companies by connecting them to interested customers ready to implement innovations that can improve their operations and help serve their markets better.

NXSTAGE is open to startups around the world that have deployment-ready technologies able to add immediate value to businesses and communities.

Our focus areas


Wichita is home to a number of regional banks whose leaders are looking to drive that transformation in ways that help them serve their customers better.

Community Health & Vibrancy

Fostering connections between young, sector-leading companies with Kansas communities to create real solutions can meaningfully and tangibly improve the health and vitality of our urban, rural and suburban populations.


This track is designed to provide the region’s diverse manufacturers with unique access to promising developments in advanced data analytics, machine learning, process efficiency and related areas.

Meet our Finalists


Startups around the world that have deployment-ready technologies in these areas:

  • FinTech – Banking and Financial Services
  • Industry 4.0 – Advanced Manufacturing/Industrial IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Community Health and Vibrancy

It is a fast-moving program, with most of the steps concluded by May 2020 and pilots/deployments running through the remainder of the year.

  • Application period on f6s: Jan. 15 – Feb. 15
  • Screening of applications by partners ready to become customers: Feb. 15 – Mar. 15
  • Applicants contacted for follow-up evaluation and in-person visits: Feb. 15 – Mar. 15
  • Promising startups hosted in Wichita, Kansas, USA for face-to-face collaboration: Trips of 5 to 10 days each, scheduled between Mar. 1 and April 15
  • Finalists hosted for NXTSTAGE culminating event (public pitches for program partners, investors and community participants; pilots awarded): April/May, exact date TBD

This is a pilot competition, where you can secure customers to run pilot programs or larger deployments of their technology. In addition, participating startups will have the opportunity to forge relationships with corporate innovation teams, industry mentors, members of the regional investment community and others.

Overall, you need to have products and services in market and ready for customer implementation. In addition, here are the focus areas for each track:

  • FinTech – Capabilities that can add value for banks and financial services companies, including customer-facing innovations, data analysis/integration tools and other technologies
  • Industry 4.0 – Machine learning, advanced analytics, process efficiency and related technologies
  • Community Health/Vibrancy – Innovations that show promise for improving people’s health and making urban, suburban or rural communities more vibrant

Competition applications will be screened and directed for evaluation to partners interested in piloting promising technologies. For example, the FinTech track is backed by three leading regional banks. They are NXTSTAGE founding partners, committed to engaging with startups and deploying promising technology: Emprise Bank, Fidelity Bank and INTRUST Bank. NXTSTAGE will announce additional partners as the competition unfolds.

This program is all about helping young companies with deployable technologies grow revenue and get market validation for their products. This can help you in multiple ways:

  • You get a clear path to presenting solutions to potential customers in a region in which you may not have connections
  • You get valuable feedback about market needs vs. your product
  • Interaction with corporations helps hone, customize and/or improve your product
  • 10-12 startup teams in each track of the competition will get a sponsored, organized opportunity to collaborate in person with interested customers
  • Challenge finalists hone their pitches and can emerge having secured an early customer

Have more questions?