Kansas City is suddenly “the next hot thing” in entrepreneurs’ minds. In fact, Kansas City just landed on the Top 30 list for Under30CEO’s Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs. It’s not surprising that companies like Google are flocking to this Midwestern town — big things are happening under its big skyline.
Google launched the beta version of Google Fiber in the Kansas City area last year, which offered connection speeds 100 times faster than any other broadband service today. With a business-friendly environment, sprawling suburbs, and a thriving tech community, Kansas City was a great test market for this technology.
This is also why it’s a great host to budding entrepreneurs looking to start their businesses and test ideas.
KC’s Entrepreneurial Scene
Kansas City is hitting the ground running in terms of its entrepreneurial scene, and The Kauffman Foundation has been instrumental in this development. Launched in the ‘60s, the foundation was started to encourage and aid entrepreneurs and those seeking to further their education. The organization functions as a resource hub for entrepreneurs within the community as well as around the world. They’re sponsoring initiatives like the Kansas City Startup Village, where they are creating a physical village of startups in surrounding Kansas City neighborhoods that act as collaborative workhouses to inspire, house, motivate, and sponsor. Their goal is to make Kansas City the premier destination for startups, and their efforts received national recognition from CNN’s Anderson Cooper this past November. Trellie, Handprint, and Rivet Creative are just a few current residents of Startup Village.
Google has really spiced up the energy within the city, and it’s beefing up the competition. The Feld KC Fiberhouse, as it’s been dubbed, was offered as a prize for the entrepreneur with the most unconventional idea for taking advantage of Google Fiber’s gigabit Internet speed. The house is located in the heart of Startup Village, placing it in a prime location to attract startups, entrepreneurs, and innovation.
KC’s Tech Development
Kansas City is also attractive to many tech-based companies, like Triple-I. Organizations like KC Next help recruit talent, resources, and support for those businesses. They’re focused on enhancing the tech scene within the Kansas City area through networks, assets, and employment. It’s little wonder that Kansas City’s tech scene is beginning to resemble Silicon Valley’s.
And if you haven’t heard about KC Source Link, it’s time to. They’re taking the KC startup scene by storm (no pun intended — sorry, Dorothy). They provide the community with resources in order to take advantage of — and capitalize on — their innovative ideas by putting entrepreneurs in contact with the right people. They host several networking events throughout the year; their network includes partners specializing in business-related services, ranging from marketing to finance to government contracts. And they hosted the event that broke the world record last year for speed networking.
Just a couple weeks ago, for the first time ever, Kansas City welcomed thousands of entrepreneurs to the Big Kansas City conference. The conference, based around innovation and entrepreneurship, brought some of the nation’s brightest minds together. The conference was held in an airline hanger, and Jason Zone Fisher was the emcee — just two more unique aspects that are reflective of the culture in the city. There were some excellent, thought-provoking takeaways from the conference — here are a few that were shared.
To make your company as big as it can be, visit Kansas City. You may never go home.
Natalie Stezovsky is a Vice President for DTA, a company that helps experts build their businesses through thought leadership and content marketing. She’s directly involved in developing agency partnerships; when she’s not doing that, she’s usually at the barn with her horses. Connect with her on Twitter @nstezovsky or LinkedIn.
Image Credit: Bloomberg Businessweek