Kansas City’s civic and business leaders are mounting a push to spawn high-tech companies here.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced the Launch KC initiative on Monday: "We can build Kansas City into the place, the place, for startups to call home."
James says private sector businesses will do a lot of that, providing free office space and mentoring for new businesses. The city plans to come up with some money to help tech entrepreneurs offset equipment costs and build out Wi-Fi around the downtown area.
Mike Burke, who co-chairs the mayor's Bistate Innovations Team, says this is all about growing small companies rather than attracting larger ones from outside.
"We don't aspire to be Silicon Valley. We aspire to be Kansas City," says Burke, who credits Google Fiber with energizing the tech community and helping to get the ball rolling on Launch KC.