Past Issues

Vol. 28 Issue 2

Vazquez Commercial Contracting: Constructing a legacy

It didn’t feel like it then, but getting fired was one of the best things to ever happen to Joe Vazquez.

Losing his job as an accountant led the Kansas City entrepreneur to found Vazquez Commercial Contracting, one of the city’s fastest-growing construction firms — one that can tackle everything from stormwater projects to demolitions to historical restorations.

The Midtown-based company was on pace to end 2018 with about $40 million in revenue, and it already has $50 million in backlog scheduled for 2019. (more…)

The place to be: Johnson County uses unique incentives to draw small businesses

For years, downtowns were the cool place to be. Companies moved their offices to attract urban-minded millennials.

Development continues in Kansas City’s downtown, but Johnson County hasn’t conceded. In fact, growth is strong in its office market.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, 61 percent of multitenant buildings under construction were in Johnson County, accounting for 383,797 square feet, according to a report from global commercial real estate firm CBRE. (more…)

A virtual boom: Businesses find various uses for VR, AR

Toss out your 3-D glasses. These days, there are newer and better headsets for your technological needs.

Across Kansas City, more and more small businesses are incorporating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tech for various purposes.

Primary among these services for clients are “experiences,” a popular term among VR/AR teams to describe users’ novel engagements with the technology. (more…)

Matt Druten: Making space for change

From looking at his resume, you might think that Matt Druten, cofounder of Edison Spaces, makes for a somewhat unlikely entrepreneur.

The Kansas City, Kan., native and University of Kansas graduate spent years working in the financial space, where his employers included Deloitte & Touche, American Century Investments, Atrium Doors & Windows and SPX Cooling Technologies. Those adventures led him from Kansas City to Dallas to Maine to Kansas City to Charlotte to Kansas City and hops to three foreign countries, too.

But when you dig a little deeper, you find that Druten may have the brain of an accountant, but his heart is all entrepreneur. He attributes that to following the examples set by three men:  his father, his uncle and his business partner. (more…)

Allen Press: New tech, marketing services keep commercial printer at forefront

For almost 85 years, in the face of evolving technology and the digital era, Allen Press has kept the presses rolling.

Founded in 1935 in Lawrence, Allen Press is a publishing and printing company of 175 employees that specializes in publication and commercial printing as well as scholarly publishing and marketing services. Its scholarly publishing unit creates, edits and prints scientific and academic journals for hundreds of nonprofit societies around the world. (more…)

Social Apex: Marketing firm channels millennial enthusiasm

Founded in July 2018, Social Apex Media is a multimedia marketing agency that helps companies cultivate and distribute a personal brand across the digital landscape.

“Our specialty is translating and communicating business’ stories and qualities across the digital space,” said Chief Experience Officer (CXO) Sam Kulikov. “We want to convey a business’ personality and brand across any and all channels.” (more…)

Rau Construction: 148-year-old firm specializes in historic rehab

There aren’t many companies in the Kansas City area that can claim roots as far back as the 1870s, but Rau Construction is a rare breed.

The family business was founded in 1870 in Solingen, Germany, then moved to Kansas City around 1905. Since then, Rau Construction has been maintained and operated as a family-owned company.

The company’s projects include structures such as churches, office buildings, retail, schools, industrial complexes, renovations and interior finishes. (more…)

KC Hemp Co.: Marketing through education

How do you market a business when traditional advertising methods aren’t an option? If you are Heather Hobbs and Kyle Steppe, owners of KC Hemp Co., you turn to Facebook, Instagram and old-fashioned word-of-mouth to find customers.

Hobbs and Steppe have used social media to their best advantage to get the word out about their retail store, which just opened in September. They are also regulars at area chamber of commerce events and at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market. (more…)


  1. (913) 432-6690
  2. 116 W 3rd St., Suite 203
        Kansas City, MO


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