Education
4:53 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Play Takes New Meaning In Kansas City IT Venture

A collection of Missouri corporations have added a million dollars to a similar federal grant creating what’s being labeled the, “Digital Sandbox.”

Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR

The subtitle reads:  ”Where Innovators Come To Play.” The plan by program creators is to brand Kansas City as “American’s Most Entrepreneurial City.”

The program works from the bottom up to encourage development of information technology based business start-ups.

Support for the venture comes from an early seeker of funding, Missouri’s 5th District Member of Congress, Missouri’s Governor, Kansas City’s Mayor and UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton.

It is echoed at differing levels by a virtual who’s who in the area business community.

The idea teams University of Missouri-Kansas City, private companies and government agencies.

The operation is led by the Innovation Center at UMKC.

Kansas City Congressman Emanuel Cleaver sought and got the million dollar Commerce Department grant-- “this effort champions job creation by spurring product development and the formation of start-ups. It takes great ideas from our smartest thinkers and lays out a road to reality.”

First round of applications are due March 1st and may include emerging, start-up and existing companies.

People from outside the Kansas City region may apply but any resulting company has to be located in the region.