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Kansas City’s First “Startup Crawl” Planned for Feb 8th
KANSAS CITY, MO - On Friday evening February 8th several local entrepreneurs will be opening their doors and demos for the Kansas City metro's first Startup Crawl. The shuttled loop will include locations in the Crossroads district, the Plaza and Westwood areas.
The project sparked as collaboration between Venture Fridays, a not-for-profit entrepreneur meetup group managed by Red Nova Labs, and Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV), a grassroots initiative to create a concentrated startup community. The event has since grown to include a handful of Kansas City's most successful entrepreneurial organizations--resulting in a public showcase of nearly fifty startups and related services.
Participating organizations with stops on the Startup Crawl route are Red Nova Labs, Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV), Kauffman Foundation, Think Big Partners, Office Port and BetaBlox.
The goal of the event is to make the Kansas City startup arena even more accessible to local hopefuls, new arrivals and the community in general. Interested entrepreneurs, developers, designers, tech folks, and the curious public can get an inside-view of several different startups, meet the founders and teams, and be inspired to get involved.
Red Nova Labs' CMO Carrie Royce, explains, "This started out as a little meetup brainstorm between Venture Friday and Startup Village, but then we saw the opportunity to make it more inclusive and widespread. The result is another great example of KC organizations coming together to support a healthy entrepreneurial community."
"It's more than fun and games," said Royce. "The vast majority of net new job creation in the last few decades has come from new startups. They are leading the way in creating ideas, products, services, and jobs. Ongoing community support and enthusiasm is essential if we want to see this kind of growth continue in the Midwest."
Royce launched Venture Fridays two years ago out of Red Nova Labs--which is technically no longer considered a startup because it has been operating for more than three years. The company hosts Venture Fridays to "give back" according to Royce, which is what inspired representatives of KCSV to get involved.
Matthew Marcus, CTO of Local Ruckus based in the KCSV, said he appreciated the opportunity that Venture Fridays and similar events gave him to network with people and companies who could potentially help him grow his business. Marcus met his business partner, Adam Arredondo, at a Venture Friday last year.
"We've been able to meet a lot of people, build relationships and take our business forward," said Marcus. "These kinds of get-togethers give entrepreneurs like us the opportunity to tell our stories better. So when we decided to work with Carrie on a Venture Friday, we were trying to think up a way to make it just as meaningful for others. What better way than a crawl, where people get to come right in to your place and see what's up?"
Adam Arredondo, CEO of Local Ruckus, described the upcoming event, "It's like a pub crawl, but instead of bars, it's a looping tour of startup spaces. It gives a chance for homegrown entrepreneurs to tell their stories, extend hospitality and connect with a lot of different interests--while also catering to different schedules and obligations people might have on a Friday night."
Four small shuttles will be operating from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., as they pick up and drop off participants at each location through the evening. Participating organizations welcome entrepreneurs, business owners, developers, investors, marketers and anyone interested in experiencing Kansas City's entrepreneurial community.
Tickets are available on EventBrite: http://kcstartupcrawl.eventbrite.com/
Attendance is free, sponsored by Red Nova Labs & Venture Friday.
Donations are being accepted on EventBrite to help cover transportation and beverage costs.