2015 was a big year for the technology industry in Kansas City. The city was not only named one of the best places for tech startups and women in tech, but has also received national recognition as a technology hub, causing large companies to expand. As we look onward into 2016, Kansas City and Denver-based custom software development company, Twentyseven Global, wanted to take a look back at the previous year’s successes.
Steve Roatch, CEO of Twentyseven Global, said, “It’s been exciting to watch the KC tech scene evolve. Tech startups used to move to Silicon Valley or New York in order to grow. Now we’re seeing an increasing number of tech firms choose to stay and even move here from other locations. The tech world has noticed, and Kansas City is on the map.”
Kansas City Smart City Initiative
During June of last year, Kansas City signed a Smart City strategic collaboration agreement with Cisco Systems, Inc. in an attempt to develop the most comprehensive smart city network in North America. According to the KCMO website, Cisco is proposing a model that will once again put Kansas City at the forefront of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
Techweek Visits Kansas City for the First Time
Last year, Techweek added Kansas City to its conference itinerary for the first time. Techweek is the leading technology conference in the nation that spotlights innovation and emerging tech voices in Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and now Kansas City.
According to an article in the Kansas City Business Journal, Katy Lynch, CEO of Techweek, said, “The big thing that a lot of people don’t know about us or what we’re doing is we’ve made a five-year commitment to build a South by Southwest-style event in Kansas City that is going to promote innovation by engaging within the entire tech ecosystem here and really shine a national media spotlight on the awesome companies that are growing here.”
In a previous blog, Twentyseven Global discussed how it and Techweek share a common goal in advancing startups and the angel investment community in Kansas City. In the blog, Steve Roatch, CEO of Twentyseven Global, said, “It’s great to see our city being recognized by the national tech community and our startups getting more respect. We have been a true believer in the local startup community and have worked hard to help it grow.”
Techweek helped highlight the many amazing things that Kansas City has done in the tech and entrepreneurial world. By having the conference here in Kansas City for the next five years, it will only add to Kansas City’s credibility as a tech hub and centers the area as a knowledgeable authority on technology innovation.
No Longer Flyover Country
Over the past couple of years, Kansas City has landed on a number of “best” lists, including being a top city for women in tech and millennials, and one of the best startup cities for an Internet business. Most of Kansas City’s success in the technology scene can be attributed to the implementation of Google Fiber, Kansas City Startup Village, Launch KC, Kauffman Foundation, Digital Sandbox KC, KC Digital Drive and more. All of these organizations and programs share a common goal in making Kansas City a digital leader.
Among Top Five Cities for Women in Tech
In a previous blog, Twentyseven Global discussed how Kansas City has embraced the women in tech movement in becoming one of the top five cities for women in tech to pursue a career. In a report by Smart Asset, Kansas City was ranked number two of 15 best cities for women in tech.
According to Smart Asset, Kansas City, “…has emerged as a leading city for tech startups, and perhaps is the top tech city not on the West Coast or in the Northeast. Women have played an important role in that development, and today Kansas City offers one of the country’s best environments for women in tech. It is one of just two cities in our study in which women in tech face no gender pay gap.”
Kansas City Gains National Recognition and Attention
With being named a “best” city in multiple lists relating to the technology industry, Kansas City has gained national recognition as a leader in technology. Over the last year, many major companies have expanded to Kansas City, including one of Inc. Magazine’s 5000 fastest-growing companies, LeaseTeam.
LeaseTeam, a software and business solutions company, said one of the driving factors to opening a local area office was the access to top tech talent here in Kansas City. In a previous blog, Twentyseven Global discussed the expansion. Jeff Van Slyke, executive vice president of LeaseTeam, said, “As we looked to the future, opening up a Kansas City office allowed us to expand our footprint to access additional talent and resources.”
Companies also look to Kansas City to find the best emerging tech startups. According to an article in the Kansas City Business Journal, Google acquired a tech startup born right out of Kansas City Startup Weekend last year. The startup, Divshot, is now based in Los Angeles joining Google’s Firebase, a developer-focused app development platform.
Through these technology developments and successes, Kansas City has proven it’s a national leader in the technology scene, and as we move farther into 2016, there’s no way the Kansas City tech scene will be slowing down anytime soon.