The Kansas City metro area has become home to numerous tech startups over the last few years, in part because of Google Fiber, but also because low rental prices and large cutting-edge tech companies that call the city home.
Out of his single floor office space in Kansas City's startup village on 45th and Stateline, in Kansas City, Kan., Toby Rush gives a demo of the mobile phone application he’s developing, and it is like something out of a spy movie.
While Google has cast a spotlight on Kansas City that has the country excited about high speed internet, like most cities around the country, access is not equally available.
Internet activists believe that the arrival of Google Fiber has highlighted the so-called digital divide. But Google says it wants to work with the communities and organizations involved in bridging the gap.
Long before Google Fiber arrived in 2011, Kansas City has had a thriving technology sector, with cutting-edge companies like Cerner, Garmin and Sprint (whose roots go back to 1899 in Abilene, Kan.). Many of these companies have spawned other technology startups, which you can see on this impressive KC tech genealogy map.
One Million Cups, a weekly showcase and get-together for Kansas City's startup community, a has become the place to be and be seen. Every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation opens its doors, puts on coffee, and some weeks, welcomes as many as 400.
Last week, a few of the regular entrepreneurs, Brendan Reilly, Jonny Kot and George Brooks, join others hovering around the Kauffman Foundation’s long coffee bar before presentations begin. Engrossed in excited conversations, they trade twitter handles and the occasional business card.