About Us

Igniting Tech Growth

Supported by the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Office of Rural Prosperity, Ignister is a new NetWork Kansas initiative; serving to advance the Kansan technology sector.

The model is structured upon three key elements: education, certification, and employment, and works in conjunction with a collaborative partnership network to develop and implement inclusive, statewide computer science resources.

The initiative extends tech opportunity to individuals, businesses and communities across the state, while developing an essential pipeline of skilled talent to address current and future hiring needs.

As all sectors of industry become inherently more reliant upon technology, the associated need for tech talent has increased. Even the smallest of startups now require websites, apps, databases and analytics.

With more and more companies adopting remote work policies, there is growing potential for new job creation in rural and underserved communities throughout Kansas.

Aligning with KDC Framework for Growth objectives, the provision of tech education and employment opportunity in rural communities will work towards addressing unemployment, youth retention, and professional development.

Ignister provides all Kansan K-12 schools and community partners with the tools they require for the development of local talent.  These will include educational materials, teaching support, accessible options for participant qualification, employer/employee resources and tech startup support program.

meet the team

Ignister is powered by a council of advisors from across the state, fueling the forward momentum with their collective expertise and knowledge. In collaboration with our partner organizations, this group is dedicated to the sustainable development of tech opportunity, accessible to all Kansans. 

Nick Poels
Nick Poels

Program Manager, Ignister

Marquetta Atkins
Marquetta Atkins

Director, Camp Destination Innovation

Erin Christensen
Erin Christensen

Program Manager, KC Tech Council

Jennifer Mahin
Jennifer Mahin

K-5 STEM Teacher,
USD 109 - Republic County

Corey Mohn
Corey Mohn

Director, Blue Valley CAPS

Lindsey Patterson Smith
Lindsey Patterson Smith

Director, Patterson Family Foundation

Steve Riat
Steve Riat

Director of Sales, Nex-Tech

Ashley Scheideman
Ashley Scheideman

Director, FlagshipKansas.Tech

Mark Torline
Mark Torline

Director, WSU Center for Entrepreneurship

SK
Stephen King

 Education Program Consultant – Computer Science, KS Department of Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Q-01

What Is Ignister?

A

Founded from concept in 2020, this developing model is designed to be not only accessible to every community across Kansas, but inclusive of all individuals regardless of age, gender, cultural or ethnic diversity or position of financial wellbeing.

Q-01

How Does Ignister Work?

A

Ignister serves to align high quality educational and employment resources, and to spur the development of a talent pipeline that supports both new and existing tech companies throughout the state.

Q-01

Why Is Ignister Important?

A

Kansas has a growing number of tech-based companies, and much of our current industry has become increasingly more reliant on technology. Many associated, lucrative career opportunities can be learned using online tools and resources, and conducted from any remote location served by a reliable broadband connection.

Q-01

How Do I Get Involved With Ignister?

A

If you are interested in a tech focused career, take a look around this site. We have information on how and where to learn, and how to move up into an exciting and rewarding position of employment.

Q-01

Does Ignister Provide Jobs

A

Although we do not hire directly, we provide connection to many amazing hiring companies and organizations across the state. Take a look at our jobs page to see what is available right now.

Q-01

Who Is Behind Ignister?

A

Ignister is a service that was originated in partnership with NetWork Kansas and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Operating under NetWork Kansas, we serve as a non-profit organization for the benefit of the state of Kansas.

Q-01

What Are The Long Term Goals of Ignister?

A

Fundamentally, this project has the capability to significantly impact and address: Unemployment, underemployment, workforce development, youth retention, business and individual recruitment, and quality of life issues throughout the entire State of Kansas.”

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