Kansas City Startups and Tech Companies Show Spirit at Global Entrepreneurship Week

By Steve Roatch, CEO of Twentyseven Global

It’s been an exciting week for tech companies and startups! Innovative thinkers and technology thought-leaders took center stage as Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) kicked off in Kansas City.

Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash

Things got off to a heated start at the Kauffman Foundation on Nov. 18 when entrepreneurs clashed with each other at the inaugural Get in the Ring 2013 International Start-Up Competition. EyeVerify, a KCSV startup and biometrics security system for mobile apps sparred against several other startups. The bout ended when Tobias Rush, CEO of EyeVerify, claimed victory and took home the big prize, which included $10,000 cash. On Nov. 22, he will compete on the international stage in Rotterdam, Netherlands for a chance to win $1.3 million in angel funding.

KCnext Reverse Pitch

On Nov. 21, the KCnext Reverse Pitch event took off at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Board Room. Reverse Pitch is the only event in the United States in which large corporations pitch business ideas to tech startups and entrepreneurs.

Presenters included

  • DST Systems – Nick Doyle, software architect

  • H&R Block – George Guastello, vice president, corporate strategy

  • Kansas City Chiefs NFL football team – Jeremy Zimmer, director of digital media and strategy

  • Sprint Corporation  – Kevin McGinnis, vice president, Pinsight Media/Sprint

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City – Jim Baxendale, manager, Whiteboard to Boardroom regional commercialization program

Angel Capital Group – Digital Sandbox KC Startup Showcase

As part of the KCnext Fall Networking Event, Angel Capital Group and Digital Sandbox KC hosted a startup showcase on Nov. 21. Local investors gathered to showcase the innovations of their portfolio companies while interacting with the Kansas City community. In addition, companies from Digital Sandbox KC showcased their own startups.

Kansas City Big Data Festival

Events for Global Entrepreneurship Week wrapped up as Kansas City took part in the global Big Data Festival, a tech festival encompassing 25 cities worldwide. The event featured demonstrations, presentations and community interaction centering around the real-world tech implementations in big data. Topics included health care, startups, security and privacy, open data, visualization techniques and more. In addition, attendees had a chance to form teams and compete in a hackathon.


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