KC Startup Hoopla.io Is Causing A Ruckus In The Event Space

Hoopla.io, Kansas City startup, startups, event startupTo many the event space is an extremely crowded one for new startups. It seems everyone and their grandmother wants to challenge the stranglehold that LiveNation/Ticketmaster has on the event industry. Others feel that they are safe battling the likes of Eventbrite and TicketLeap, and then there are the dime a dozen startups aggregating events in your local area.

Well when we heard Kansas City startup Local Ruckus was pivoting to something new in the event space we were intrigued.

Basically the problem is that event repository websites are everywhere with none really having that big a piece of the pie. That problem stems from the content. Typically these event sites have a sentence or two about the event leaving potential attendees wondering what the event is really about. Without a more indepth look at the event itself, event organizers are leaving would be patrons on the table, or at least still at home.

Adam Arredondo and Matthew Marcus set out to change the way events are marketed and promoted by putting an emphasis on the content and content distribution.

Here at nibletz we must get 25 emails a day from entepreneurs and event organizers that ask us to publish their event. Well it’s hard to write five sentences much less 300 words on an event when all we get is the name of the event, date, time and if we’re lucky, cost. So unless we want to go digging through the internet to find the relevant information and build a story we have to pass on it, and it may have been an amazing event.

Marcus described Hoopla.io like this: “Many local businesses don’t have the time, money, or expertise to effectively promote their events. Publishers struggle to provide high quality, relevant local events to their audience. With a focus on content distribution, Hoopla.io solves both sides of the problem and will create a nationwide local events syndication network.”

In it’s previous life Local Ruckus was trying to do what many local event sites are doing. While it may not sound like it, Hoopla.io is offering a new, and definitely refreshing approach to local events on a national scale. Local Ruckus had hit a wall that other startups like Louisville’s Impulcity and Nashville’s Wannado have hit. That all changed.

“We had been working on our original startup Local Ruckus for a couple years now, and it hit us that Ruckus didn’t have the scalability or force of disruption needed to spread across the country like we had planned. With that epiphany, we knew we needed to change our direction, and change it fast. Hence, Hoopla.io was conceived and born in the span of two months. With Local Ruckus, our passion to help local businesses better promote their events, and consumers more easily discover local events, was always simmering on the back burner of our minds.  Hoopla.io was created when our goals and mission really started to boil. And everyone knows to take action when things start to boil.” Marcus said in an interview.

Hoopla.io has already received significant validation. They’ve already partnered with Kansas City corporate giant Sprint. They’ve also acquired over $100,000 in non-dilution capital, been named “Best Young Company to Work For” by Turnstone, and they’ve also been accepted into the Digital Sandbox program.

Hoopla.io  is also preparing to pitch in the semi-finals of the Miller Lite Tap The Future startup contest. The contest pits startups against each other in regional pitch offs judged by ABC Shark Tank Shark, Daymond John.  Miller Lite held their first semi-finals in Phoenix Arizona on October 15th. The remaining pitch offs include Atlanta, October 22nd, Dallas Texas, October 30th, Philadelphia , November 1st and Chicago November 5th. Hoopla is pitching at the Dallas event.

Find out more about Hoopla here.



Show Your Team Pride With Your Socks With Sock 101’s New Kickstarter Campaign

Sock 101, Kansas City startup, startup, kickstarter

Sock 101 is all about the socks. The startup built in Kansas City is bringing fashion back to socks. We’re not talking about your average Gold Toe or even the latest in argyle socks. Sock 101 makes a fashion statement with socks that complement any man’s fashion-sensible wardrobe.

Speaking of fashion sense, the durable, nice looking socks are affordable as well. Every pair of socks the company sells are only $7. The have awesome names as well like the blue infused “KC,” the red, white, and blue “Patriot,” the polka dotted “Dapper Dot,” and President George H.W. Bush’s favorite “The Johnny,” a crimson and white sock that the former President insists will be “perfect for days in College Station, Texas.”

In true startup fashion, Sock 101 also offers a subscription sock service where you get a new pair of socks delivered to your door once a month without even having to think about it.

If you’re like me and have a different pair of shoes to match every outfit, the socks from Sock 101 are absolutely perfect.


Now the company is looking to expand on their “Johnny” sock and do color combinations to match every major school.

Not convinced yet? Sock 101 offers these 5 ideas where your socks from Sock 101 will be a huge hit:

1. At the Game

Lift a little pant leg and show of your school spirit at the game. You have hats and shirts. Why not socks?!

2. At the Office 

The first thing that most people notice about your look are your shoes. The second? Your socks! Imagine sitting down in a meeting and crossing your legs. The next thing you know, somebody is wide eyed staring at your socks. Will they think you are cool? You betcha.

3. At the Bar or Party 

Whether you are watching the game or looking for love, our socks are guaranteed to make you stand out. Please see our warning above. Although we’d love to hear from you, please do not send us complaints about too much attention from the opposite sex.

4. On a Date

Do you want a second date? Wear our socks with your outfit. You will look more fun and more stylish. We guarantee it. If you don’t want a second date or are designated wingman, just wear plain white socks or gold toes.

5. On the Course 

These socks are great for golf! They are lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and durable. One of our owners has walked eighteen holes over a dozen times this year in the same pair of socks with no holes, rips, or tears. They still look great. As you can see, our socks are seriously versatile!

They’ve got several winning testimonials on their Kickstarter page where they are looking to raise $25,000 so that they can bring the team line to fruition. Nothing is as telling as the testimonial from President Bush, sent in a personal letter you can even read on the Kickstarter page.


ThinkBig Accelerator Partners With Microsoft Ventures

KC, Thinkbig, Microsof, startups, acceleratorKansas City’s ThinkBig accelerator announced this morning a brand new partnership with Microsoft Ventures. This new Microsoft partnership compliments the Microsoft BizSpark program to the select few accelerators that have been chosen.

Microsoft Ventures currently has accelerator locations in Tel Aviv, Bangalore and Beijing and will open or partner with several more soon, including ThinkBig.

This announcement comes ahead of Blake Miller’s presentation at the national Everywhere Else Cincinnati conference that kicks off Sunday evening. Miller was going to save the news for the upcoming iKC conference in Kansas but chose to reveal the news now so that he is available to speak with other accelerator heads and startups at next week’s Everywhere Else conference, about the new partnership.

Think Big Accelerator in partnership with Microsoft Ventures will be one of only a few partnerships of its kind in the United States. Microsoft Ventures will act as a strategic partner for promising startups in the Think Big Accelerator program focused on business growth, customer development, industrial strength technology and beautiful usable products.

According to Cliff Reeves, who leads the Microsoft Ventures Community team, “Entrepreneurism is a local phenomenon everywhere, and Think Big Partners represents the best of KC as well as startup reach nationally and globally. We’re very pleased to be working with them to find and support great startups.”

The partnership between Think Big Accelerator and Microsoft Ventures will provide accelerator companies access to even more mentors, resources and connections. As Microsoft Ventures is a corporate run partnership with the intent to engage and support a select few independent accelerators per geo, the local Microsoft field office will play an active role in day-to-day support and mentorship of Think Big Partners’ startups as part of this partnership. While the Microsoft BizSpark program will be providing software, support and visibility to the startups, Microsoft Ventures will be providing additional resources through this limited partnership to better enable the startups success on the Microsoft platform while they develop their business as a whole. Along with providing consistent access to Microsoft technical resources and devices, startups engaged in the Think Big Accelerator will have the opportunity to qualify for additional benefits via the BizSpark Plus program where startups qualify for a rich set of offers including Office 365 and Azure.

“We at Think Big Partners are very excited to grow what has already been a great learning relationship with Microsoft,” says Miller, Director of Think Big Accelerator.  “The resources that Microsoft adds to our checklist-oriented process will help us get entrepreneurs from idea to first customer faster and even more efficiently.”

While many accelerators do offer the BizSpark program, the Microsoft Ventures sponsored accelerators have even more amazing benefits.

You can find out more about Think Big KC here.


Techstars & Sprint Announce Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator

Techstars, Sprint Accelerator, Kansas City startups, startup accelerator

Techstars, one of the most recognized accelerators in the world, is expanding its US footprint into the already lively Kansas City startup community. Earlier this year Techstars co-founder and Foundry Group founder Brad Feld bought a house in Kansas City to house a startup to work on their company, utilizing KC’s 1gb ethernet. Kansas City was the second city in the country, behind Chattanooga, to offer 1gb ethernet to residences and businesses.

But it wasn’t Kansas City’s Google Fiber that attracted Techstars to the region. They’ve partnered with Kansas City’s biggest tech company, Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the country. Sprint has always been a friend to innovation. They were the first wireless carrier to hold an annual developer summit for developers to collaborate, and learn about developing on Sprint’s wide range of services.

sprintacceleratorSprint and Techstars are centering this accelerator around the growing mobile health segment. Monitoring devices, e-prescriptions, mobile EDR’s and other health based mobile technology startups will work in the three month Techstars-modeled accelerator format at the new accelerator.

“We have been watching Kansas City from afar, seeing it come together, and now we’re excited to join the community and help it grow. It’s great to see Sprint giving first through their tremendous network of resources and executive knowledge. It makes all the difference for the companies we fund through the program,” Techstars co-founder David Cohen said on the official Techstars blog.

Kevin McGinnis, Sprint’s Vice President of Development, will help oversee the program which is taking applications now through December 6th. Startups that are selected will be notified in early January 2014 and the first session will kick off in March.

“Kansas City increasingly is gaining recognition on the national level as an emerging entrepreneurial technology center,” McGinnis told Cohen. “Sprint has been expanding its work with startups and other ventures that are developing intriguing innovations. The Sprint Accelerator will act as a catalyst for growth in this market.”

You can apply here.


Kansas City Startup Trellie Makes A Splash At NY’s Fashion Week

Trellie, KC startup, wearable technology, New York Fashion Week

The Trellie device (pictured here) was featured at New York Fashion Week. (photo: trellie.com)

It’s Fashion Week in New York, and while New Yorkh is growing as a hub of technology, it’s all about fashion throughout Manhattan and the surrounding areas. Tens of thousands of designers (the fashion type), stylists, and others in the fashion industry make a pilgrimage to New York to show off the latest trends for the spring season.

One of the companies making the trek out to New York this year was Kansas City startup Trellie. This tech startup makes a fashion accessory that attaches to a woman’s purse and lights up to alert the owner when a call is coming in or they’ve missed a call. Because women keep their phones in their purses, they can miss calls because they can’t hear the phone ring or feel it vibrate. This device gives them a subtle way to know when there is  a call coming.

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that a New York Daily News writer called the startup “wearable productivity meets fashion.”

Heidi Lehmann a Trellie advisor added, “Many retailers are creating floor space now for such products apparently. We were the only brand called out in such a manner during the panel discussion.”

It’s been a great month for Trellie, the startup closed a $900,000 seed round last month and with this showcasing at Fashion Week they were also featured in the nationally syndicated Parade Magazine.


Kansas City’s Think Big Accelerator Holding Demo Day August 28th

ThinkBig Partners, ThinkBig Accelerator, Kansas City Startups, Startup Demo Day, Startup Accelerator

The multi-faceted startup support organization, Think Big Partners in Kansas City is preparing for demo day for their accelerator program companies and other midwestern startups from across the Silicon Prairie area. ThinkBig is graduating their second cohort, but this is their first demo day.

This week, ThinkBig Parters is hosting a two day “PitchKamp,” which will be taught by the ThinkBig Partners and help prepare the teams pitching on the 28th for demo day in front of investors and media.

Here are the ThinkBig Accelerator startups pitching at demo day.

  • Fully:  Fully is a kiosk-based mobile phone charging station that provides digital out-of-home targeted advertising to the consumer.
  • Kahootz: Kahootz is a consumer-focused online calendar platform that provides users with easier ways to combine, share and manage all obligations and profiles on one easy-to-maintain social-based platform.
  • Keyzio: Keyzio is a consumer-driven marketplace that connects people and helps them find, buy and sell real estate.
  • Phone2Action: Phone2Action makes a digital take action advocacy platform to power organizations and individuals to make change happen.
  • WeeJay:  Weejay is a rewards-based social jukebox for bars, restaurants, and other businesses.

Here are the other regional startups pitching as part of the demo day festivities.

  • Katasi:  Katasi provides an effective technological solution to the growing epidemic of texting while driving through partnerships with telecom providers.
  • Moblico:  Moblico’s mobile engagement platform uniquely combines cloud based backend services for app developers with content, communication and loyalty management tools for application marketers.
  • PlanetReuse/InvenQuery:  PlanetReuse is a consulting and brokering company focused on matching reclaimed building material with designers, builders and owners. InvenQuery provides technology to help retailers of unique merchandise handle inventory, point-of-sale and ecommerce. 

“As a venture investor, there are increasingly more quality, early-stage investment opportunities that are emerging from the Midwest,” said Pat Doherty, Managing Member of St. Louis-based Saturday Capital.  “I look forward to working more with groups like Think Big Partners, who have helped identify and support growing and innovative companies that are attractive investment opportunities.”

If you’re in the area and want to attend demo day you can register here.

Blake Miller, the Managing Director of ThinkBig Accelerator is speaking at Everywhere Else Cincinnati, September 30th. A few discounted tickets and discounted startup village booths are still available here.


Meet Everywhere Else Cincinnati Speaker Blake Miller, Managing Director Think Big Accelerator

Blake Miller, ThinkBig Accelerator, Kansas City, Startups, Everywhere Else Cincinnati, EE CincinnatiWith Everywhere Else Cincinnati rapidly approaching, we’re going to spend some time introducing you to our great speakers. There are still a limited number of early bird discount attendee, investor, and Startup Village tickets still available at eecincinnati.com

As a partner at Think Big Partners, Blake Miller is the Managing Director of the Think Big Accelerator program, consults for both local and national startup companies, and manages the Think Big in-house dev team (also known as Think Big Labs).  Blake’s strengths are in ideation, innovation, UI/UX, growth hacking, and connecting the dots.  Blake has co-founded a number of tech startups, including BodeeFit, WeeJay, Inboun, and Pitchcaster. He sits on the board of Keyzio and is an adviser to SquareOffs and Kahootz.


What was your first experience with startups?

I’ve always kind of had my own “startup” in that I’ve been building websites for small businesses since I was 13.  However my first true startup was not in tech.  About 4 years ago, I got into a new Consumer Packaged Good called The Secret Sauce.  The BBQ Sauce was outstanding, it won the American Royal BBQ Competition (out of 500+ sauces) 2 years in a row.  We did well at first when we started bottling, but starting a CPG company is REALLY HARD and EXPENSIVE.  We ended up failing after getting a large purchase order from Costco, but couldn’t get a bank to loan us the money to produce the order because of Costco’s terms.

What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

Doing the same thing the rest of my life terrifies me.  I just can’t imagine having the same routine for the rest of my life.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But I get to work with some of the smartest people anywhere day in and day out solving real problems.  It also probably stems from my parents, they’ve been entrepreneurs ever since I can remember.

What has been the most important thing you’ve learned running an accelerator?

Two things actually: no matter how experienced the entrepreneur… EVERYONE NEEDS help because building a company is hard. Two, there’s no such thing as “the traditional accelerator model.” We realized this early on.  Although many problems that arise for entrepreneurs start to look the same, every company is a bit different and needs a slightly different approach.  To add to that, not everyone is always in the same space and not every company can naturally progress at the same speed.

What has been your  biggest failure and biggest success at Think Big Partners and what did you learn from them?

We’ve made A LOT of mistakes and I think depending on who you ask in our organization, you’ll probably get a million different answers. I’d say the biggest is our initial approach to the accelerator model. It was definitely a “me too” approach, which I think you are seeing a lot of across the country. We quickly realized that we needed to do a lot more then just hand an entrepreneur a check, tell them here’s our list of mentors, let us know if you want to be connected, and “oh yea we will have office hours once a week.” This model obviously works for some, but what we experienced was that entrepreneurs need more resources.

In my opinion one of our biggest success is a result of that failure. We quickly realized that many entrepreneurs need help actually building their product. Luckily we didn’t realize this too late. We built a team of devs and designers so that we could help the entrepreneurs build MVP’s and get to market faster. Our success in this instance is that out of 6 companies in our first cohort, 5 are in the market, gaining customers, and generating revenue.

What do you like most about working with startups?

Solving Problems. I could expand on that a million different ways, but it always comes back to the challenge of solving real problems. It sounds far reaching but there is something extremely sexy to me about waking up every morning and solving problems for potentially millions of people. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to wear Jeans and T-shirt every day.

How can people keep up to date with you online?

Follow me on Twitter @ImBmills

Connect on Linkedin 

Find ThinkBig at thinkbigpartners.com

Truckily Connects Food Trucks & Fans, Closes Seed Round

Truckily, Kansas startup, Ark Challenge, startup, accelerator, fund raisingFood trucks are becoming popular in cities across the nation. Hot food–often gourmet–out of a truck? What’s not to love?

Well, for one thing, you can never find them. Seriously, never. No matter how closely you watch Twitter or Facebook, you always seem to just miss the truck you’re craving.

That’s what happened to Truckily cofounders Derek Kean and Matthew Berkland on a trip to San Francisco. Their frustration with downloading several apps, watching trucks drive by, and STILL not being in the right place at the right time led them to dream up a one-app stop for food trucks and their fans.

Enter Truckily. For $30 a month, trucks can use the service to update their location just once. Then, the new location appears on the Truckily map, Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. The app is free for users, and when they open it up, they see a map of where all the food trucks are parked.

We talked with Truckily back in September. They were fresh from their time with the ARK Challenge and credited that experience with the ability to focus on the business and make important connections. At that point, their next step was to raise funding to continue building their product.

Now, according to Silicon Prairie News, they’ve done it. This month Truckily closed a seed round of $120,000. The round includes Gravity Ventures and Kea Ventures. The money is technically invested in RTF Logic, but the founders will use it to build out the Truckily platform.

Cofounder Derek Kean gave Silicon Prairie News a hint about what they’ll do with their new funding.

Once our team is comfortable with our progress, we will begin expanding the platform into other areas that are currently identified, while keeping our ears open for markets that are open for growth. We are ramping up our efforts once we iron out any remaining ‘face-palm’ errors.

When Truckily launched its public beta for iOS in April, they focused on the Midwest. According to their blog, they are also seeking to expand into the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. They hope to be available for Android by the end of the summer.

You can check Truckily on their website.

Kansas City & Kauffman Foundation To Host Teen Conference


One of the big benefits to growing your startup in Kansas City is the proximity to the Kauffman Foundation. The group is constantly backing, helping, and innovating in the startup community space. Kansas City often gets the earliest access to the Foundation’s newest programs like 1 Million Cups.

Now, our friends at Silicon Prairie News are reporting that KC is about to see a new one day seminar/conference program geared towards teenagers.

William Robison, a Kansas City-based self proclaimed “Solopreneur,” came up with the idea for Teen Idea Labs when his own kids started asking questions about owning and starting their own businesses.

“As a business owner, for as long as they can remember, they have only witnessed this side of the world,” he told SPN. “As they mature, I challenge them to explore opportunities of their own.”

Robison took the idea to Kauffman Foundation’s Nate Olson, and now the all-day program becomes a reality.

The first Teen Idea Labs will be held at the Kauffman Labs next Wednesday, June 12th and will kick off with the teenage attendees taking part in that morning’s 1 Million Cups meet-up.

“These younger minds are willing to challenge these belief systems and develop with better forward thinking minds. These are the next generation of incubator and Kansas City Startup Village residents.” Robison told SPN’s Megan Bannister

Interested teenpreneurs and innovators can find out more at Silicon Prairie. They can register free here at eventbrite.

Handprint Selected For Brad Feld’s Fiber House


Brad Feld,Fiber House,Kansas City,Kauffman Foundation,Handprint,StatupWhat do Brad Feld, Kansas City, and Google Fiber have in common?  Well combine them all together and you have the subject of a social experiment that Feld is doing to further the startup community in Kansas City.

Kansas City was the second city in the United States to get 1 gb fiber available to consumers, the first was Chattanooga Tennessee. Unlike Chattanooga though, Kansas City was the first city chosen for Google Fiber, the search giant’s first soiree into the land of internet providers. In Kansas City, and soon to be Austin, Google is running 1gb fiber optic lines for internet which allows ultra fast downloads and uploads. This will also put them in competition with several cable companies in markets where they expand their fiber product.

So how did Brad Feld get involved? The Kauffman Foundation’s Lesa Mitchell spoke at SXSW about how she took a phone call from Brad sometime over the Christmas holidays and he was excited about putting his money where his mouth is. He wanted to buy a house in the Google fiber neighborhood in Kansas City, but he wasn’t going to live there.

Feld teamed with the Kauffman Foundation and Startup America CEO Scott Case, who quickly devised a plan. They ran a contest for startups, where one startup would get to live in the house rent free for one year, and with the Google Fiber internet paid for as well.

Is crazy as this idea seemed at first, it was done before, right in Kansas City. Back in October we reported that Ben Barreth had the idea to buy a house and let hackers live in it rent free, again with Google fiber, to work on their startups. Barreth, who’s just an average guy, leveraged his own personal finances to put together his “Homes For Hackers” project and open up the first house.

Feld credit’s Barreth for inspiring him to do this. The two met at the Thinc Iowa startup event where the idea for the Fiber House was made.

Now, the judging committee, which included Case, has selected Handprint as the first year long occupants of Brad Feld’s Fiber House. Handprint is working on 3D printing and editing technology which Feld said “really captured our imagination”.

Handprint founders; Mike Demarais, Alexa Nguyen, Jack Franzen, and Derek Caneja will move to Kansas City and into the Fiber House where they can continue to develop their startup.

For more check out this story at Startup Revolution.

This was the first house purchased for hackers in Kansas City.

Are you a member of Brad Feld’s alternative to Hacker News, Startup Revolution?

Want To Get Into Investing? Start With $1 And KC Startup TreeSwing [video][sxsw]

TreeSwing,Kansas City startup,KC Startup,investing,startup interview,sxsw,sxswiIf you’ve always wanted to start an investment portfolio, but getting thousands of dollars together was out of reach, than you’re in luck. A new Kansas City startup, TreeSwing, is releasing a mobile app that will allow investors to start investing in mutual funds with as little as $1.

If the company takes off, TreeSwing will open up a new world of investing to people across the country, with no brokerage fees, no minimum balances, and no required monthly investment, investors can contribute any amount they’re comfortable with.

TreeSwing will allow investors to select from a marketplace of professionally managed mutual funds offered by some of the top names in the industry. By keeping the marketplace purposefully small, using plain language, and providing independent data from Morningstar, TreeSwing aims to give investors an easy way to make informed choices.

According to Brian Smith , Design and Product Manager for the TreeSwing application, the app was created specifically to serve the millions of Americans who aren’t currently investing.

“I believe we’ve built something that will lower the financial, behavioral, and emotional barriers to the investment process,” said Smith.

We ran into TreeSwing a bunch of times while in Austin for South By Southwest. Their entire team was at the TechCocktail celebration of startups event at The Stage on Sixth, talking to people about their new way of investing.

We finally caught up with Smith at the SXSW trade show who took a little time to explain TreeSwing in the video below.

While crowfunding is gaining world wide popularity, TreeSwing offers an option for people who want to get their feet with with investing, at a much lower risk and barrier to entry.

Check out the video below and for more info visit TreeSwing.com

Check out all these other great startup stories we found at SXSW 2013

Kauffman Foundation Follows Hackanooga’s Footsteps With “Hacking The Gigabit City”


Over the course of last week’s everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference people saw that Tennessee was a contender in the startup and entrepreneurial space. What some may not realize is that it Chattanooga Tennessee that was the first to offer wall to wall gigabit Ethernet.

Two years ago Chattanooga, the city known for it’s choo-choo, became “The Gig City”. As the gig came online, Chattanooga’s startup leaders like Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock, and CoLab founder Sheldon Grizzle quickly embraced the high speed Internet and developed several startup focused initiatives around it. All the while Google was still vetting out locations.

The first such initiative was The Gig Tank a hybrid accelerator that welcomed not only a cohort of startup teams but students as well. The program ran the entire summer last year and resulted in a student team winning $50,000 and a startup team, Banyan, winning another $100,000 and relocating (at their own accord) to Chattanooga.

This fall the Gig City welcomed a hackathon event that drew developers and hackers from across the country. The event was intimately known as Hackanooga.

Now with its big budget roll out almost complete, Kansas City is starting to embrace some of the ideas already tried and proven in Chattanooga.

Deep rooted startup supporters, the Mozilla Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation have teamed up to bring a hackathon to America’s newest gigabit city, Kansas City.

Both organizations continue to support the efforts in Chattanooga as well.

The Kansas City event is being held March 22-24, 2013. During the 54 hour period participants will hack together apps utilizing and taking advantage of Kansas City’s gigabit fiber

“We are looking for hackers to use the speed of the Google Fiber network to build applications that push the tech envelope forward,” said Cameron Cushman, manager in Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “We are trying to invent the future, and Kansas City is at the forefront of ultra-high-speed internet access. This event is for people who want to work and build something that can truly help others and improve lives.”

The event will begin on Friday, March 22 with dinner and rapid-fire project pitches, culminating with the formation of teams in specific areas, including health care, public safety, education and gaming. The next two days will be focused on designing, creating, making and building. The event concludes on Sunday, March 24 with demos of the applications to a panel of judges.
The applications created during the event could evolve into a submission to the Mozilla Ignite Challenge, which on April 3 will award $250,000 of seed money and mentorship to help the most promising projects get off the ground.

They are offering scholarship for free travel to Kansas City to a limited number of hacker, for consideration you need to apply here by February 26, 2013.

Kauffman Foundation Takes 1 Million Cups Startup Pitch Event Global

One Million Cups, Kauffman Foundation,startup,pitch eventA startup pitch event that the Kauffman Foundation created this spring, is going global. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has been driving startups through global events by participating heavily with Startup Weekend, Startup America and sponsoring many startup and entrepreneurial events across the globe.

1 Million Cups is an informal weekly meetup, that until now, only occurred at Kauffman’s Kansas City headquarters. Each Wednesday morning two startups get to pitch a group of their peers over coffee. The Kauffman Foundation has already seen 64 pitches during the first 35 meetings.

Last month, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Des Moines Iowa became the second city to host 1 Million Cups events. Nate Olson, a Kauffman Foundation analyst, and the 1 Million Cups coordinator hopes to add 20 more cities by the end of 2013. In Q1 2013 the foundation plans to bring Cedar Rapids IA, Omaha Neb, Lincoln Neb, and possibly Columbia MO online as well.

“We are expanding from the interior of the country outward, so don’t look for us on the coast just yet” Kauffman Foundation Vice President Thom Ruhe said in an email to the Kansas City Business Journal.  Rhue hinted that bigger startup hubs, like Silicon Valley, are more “entrepreneurially aware”.

The Kansas City meetups host 120 people each week, from the tech sector. They’re attracting entrepreneurs, wantrerpreneurs, outside advisers and others.

To continue their expansion the Kauffman Foundation is seeking out entrepreneurs in other cities that can host the weekly pitch events and of course provide free coffee.


Check out 1 Million Cups Here

Source: KC Business Journal

More startup news from “everywhere else” 

The biggest startup conference in the US can be found by clicking here.

Kansas City Startup: InvenQuery Raises $1.1 Million For ReUse Industry Software


Over the past few years, reuse has become. $250 million dollar industry. In the United States there are over 1200 reuse stores.

Reuse stores, like the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, sell used or overstocked building supplies, and household goods at a huge discount to get these items out of landfills and repurposed for other projects. Reuse stores sell anything from wooden wall paneling to electrical outlets and everything on between. Yes, reuse stores also sell kitchen sinks.

InvenQuery, an offshoot from Kansas City startup, PlanetReuse. PlanetReuse, as you can probably tell by the name, is also in the reuse industry.

InvenQuery offers web, and mobile solutions for inventory and store management for the reuse industry. The startup reported last week, that they have raised $1.1 million dollars this year. Earlier in the year the company raised $450,000 in an angel round. They recently closed a $650,000 series A round for Dundee Venture Capital of Omaha Nebraska.

“Making e-commerce and inventory management simple for an industry that has historically lacked technology tools will transform the way people shop for used building materials,” says Dundee Venture Capital Founder Mark Hasebroock. “We see tremendous potential in InvenQuery for retailers of unique items.”

The idea is simple and the results could be revolutionary: millions more pounds of usable surplus materials kept out of local landfills. A stark contrast to the nearly 40% of U.S. landfill waste that comes from building construction and demolition waste today. Plus more profits are generated for the social missions of non-profit reuse centers. If HDTV, Pinterest and the $250 Billion per year Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (Lohas) U.S. consumer segment are any indication, reuse is one trend that will last.

“We are thrilled to partner with Dundee Venture Capital,” said InvenQuery Founder Nathan Benjamin. “Mark Hasebroock and his team bring deep expertise in e-commerce and web services that will accelerate our success in the reuse industry and in subsequent vertical markets we are researching like surplus materials from construction and demolition projects that get lost in warehouses.”

“As more and more reuse centers use InvenQuery to showcase their inventory live online on PlanetReuse Marketplace, the $250 Million reuse industry will become more top-of-mind and ultimately an easy alternative to explore before buying new materials through the $110 Billion new material home improvement industry,” said InvenQuery partner Willow Lundgren.


Checkout InvenQuery Here.

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