Washington, D.C. – At South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive – a conference for startup companies and tech enthusiasts held in Austin, Texas, last week – there was ongoing chatter about Kansas City’s reputation as a growing tech hub and hotbed for startup companies. Since then, the buzz has been echoing on both sides of the Atlantic.
“The rest of the world is now learning what we’ve known for some time: KC is a great place for entrepreneurship and innovation,” U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said. “Kansas City’s economy benefits from the innovations of our region’s fast-growing startups and a willingness among long-standing area companies to invest in the community. Companies like Sprint, Cerner and Hallmark, as well as Kansas City’s own Kauffman Foundation and a number of individual community leaders, recognize that innovation is the key to economic growth. Their efforts have helped Kansas City leverage its local resources to become America’s most entrepreneurial city.”
- March 9 – The Economist SXSW panel: Local Tech Economies (Sen. Jerry Moran, Sen. Mark Warner)
- March 11 - Financial Times: The Secret Life of Startups in Kansas City
- “Kansas City affords a unique environment that promotes, supports and motivates a remarkable group of young people and innovative minds that are able to combine incredible intelligence with a Midwest work ethic.”
- March 12 - The New York Times: Supporting Start-Ups With Connections, Advice and Caffeine
- “A six-block area there is now known as the Kansas City Startup Village, home to 15 properties housing about 25 start-ups, all taking advantage of the growing community and the high-speed [Google Fiber] broadband.”
- March 18 - Tech Crunch: For Tech Investors, The Midwest is Flyover Country No More
- “In the last five years there have been 52 companies [from the Midwest] that have either gone public or been acquired for north of $1 billion.”
Research published by the Kauffman Foundation shows that from 1990-2010, Kansas City had the third highest increase overall among the largest U.S. metropolitan areas in high-tech startup density. Kansas City ranked first for the highest increase among the largest metropolitan areas in high-tech startup density from 1990-2010 in the United States when based only on information and communications technology.