Rehab work on Buck O’Neil Bridge to begin Saturday

Rehabilitation work on the Buck O’Neil Bridge is scheduled to begin on Saturday! And, the southbound lanes of Route 169 across the Buck O’Neil/Broadway Bridge will be CLOSED to all traffic through Dec. 1, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation

Suggested detours include:

  • Southbound traffic on Route 169 and I-29 will be directed to Southbound I-35 and across the Christopher S. Bond Bridge.
  • Traffic entering onto Southbound Route 69 south of I-29 will be directed to Southbound Route 9 and across The Heart of America Bridge.
  • A single lane of Route 169 will remain open south of Route 9 to allow access to the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.  All traffic using this lane will be forced off of Southbound Route 169 at the Richards Road exit.

The northbound lanes of Route 169 will remain open across the bridge through the entire length of the project.

The Buck O’Neil Bridge is more than 60 years old and sees on average of about 40,000 vehicles each work day. Crews will be working to repair cables, railing and expansion joints on the structure.  The overall project should be completed by December 2018.

For more details, go to http://www.modot.org/kansascity/major_projects/Buck_ONeil_bridge.htm

For more information about MoDOT news, projects or events, visit the website at www.modot.mo.gov/kansascity. For instant updates, follow MoDOT_KC on Twitter, or share posts and comments on our Facebook at www.facebook.com/MoDOT.KansasCity.

O’Neil Bridge to begin short-term repairs on May 19

The Buck O’Neil Bridge will be partly closed for about six months for repairs. (Image from Missouri Department of Transportation)

By Kevin Collison, CityScene KC

Southbound traffic on the Buck O’Neill Bridge, a major link connecting the Northland and Downtown, is scheduled to shut down on Saturday, May 19 for a $7 million repair project.

Repair work to the former Broadway Bridge, which carries 44,000 vehicles daily on Route 169, is expected to be completed by Dec. 1. Northbound traffic will not be affected during construction.

The short-term repair project to the 62-year-old bridge will buy time for planning and building a replacement that would open in 2023, officials said at a recent press conference at the Mid-America Regional Council offices.

“This has been a tremendous partnership with the MIssouri Department of Transportation,” said City Manager Troy Schulte. “This is the first step in a multi-step process to build a brand, new bridge. This is a good day in Kansas City.”

The $7 million cost of the O’Neil Bridge repairs will be split evenly between the city and state. It will include repairs to expansion joints, cable replacements and a partial scour remediation.

During the repair project, one lane of Route 169 southbound will continue to allow access to the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport from the north, but no farther.

Suggested detours:

  • Southbound traffic on Route 169 and I-29 will be directed to Southbound I-35 and across the Christopher S. Bond Bridge.
  • Traffic entering onto Southbound Route 69 south of I-29 will be directed to Southbound Route 9 and across The Heart of America Bridge.

The planned $200 million replacement bridge could directly connect U.S. 169 to I-35.

The project budget also includes $2 million for an environmental study that will lay the groundwork for what’s expected to be the construction of a $200 million replacement bridge.

Key capital funding for that larger project was recently approved by city voters in April.

The city is expected to pick up $40 million of the cost with another $60 million provided by regional federal transportation funding. MoDOT will contribute $100 million for the project.

Susan Barry, MoDOT assistant district engineer, said the environmental study would take about 1 1⁄2 years to complete. Following that, a decision will be made on a new bridge which would probably be completed in 2023.

The new bridge is expected directly connect U.S. 169 traffic with Interstate 35, eliminating the current awkward situation in the River Market where traffic must exit first on to Broadway a short distance before making the connection.

Barry said a new bridge would be designed to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. It also would complement proposed improvements to the North Loop freeway that are being considered in the Beyond the Loop study.

Schulte also said the city will continue to seek additional federal funding for the bridge replacement project to help reduce the local cost. The old bridge will be demolished when its replacement is completed.

This article appeared originally on the KCUR public radio website.

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KC Streetcar tops 4 million passenger trips in 2 years

 

The KC Streetcar celebrated its second birthday on Sunday by simply doing its job.

Two years earlier, the Downtown KC Streetcar service opened to much fanfare after five years of planning, designing and construction. With four vehicles and 2.2 miles of route, the KC Streetcar completed 4,037,499 trips since opening day in 2016.

“In two short years, Downtown residents, employees, and visitors have embraced the KC Streetcar and have ridden at record numbers. The transformation of Downtown and the excitement its generated is nothing but remarkable,” said Tom Gerend, executive director of KC Streetcar Authority. “We thank Kansas City and greater Downtown, including our partners with the City of Kansas City and the KC Area Transportation Authority for the amazing support and believe the best is yet to come.”

During the first two years of service, the KC Streetcar traveled 257,840 miles and logged 32,550 vehicle hours. The KC Streetcar team (operations and maintenance) has 30 employees who keep the streetcar running 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

In addition to providing free, reliable and efficient public transit, the KC Streetcar also supports local businesses, events and the arts community by supporting programs such as Art in the Loop, National Travel & Tourism Week, Downtown Dazzle, Techweek Kansas City, and more.

The KC Streetcar is not the only thing seeing an increase in numbers.  Downtown Kansas City is also booming. Since the Downtown streetcar project was approved by the voters, there has been more than $2.1 billion dollars invested in the Greater Downtown Kansas City area, with more than $1.1 billion still planned.  This includes residential, commercial, retail and hotel developments.  Other Downtown growth facts include:

  • 25,078 residents
  • 16,630 residential units (this includes multi-family and single-family homes)
  • 90,595 employees
  • 2,221 hotel rooms

“The KC Streetcar has continued to make a positive impact in the City Market,” said Deb Churchill, City Market property manager. “Our tenants saw an increase in sales the first year of service and the momentum has continued. The Streetcar has proven to be instrumental in creating a connectivity with Downtown and the Crossroads that we had been lacking for years.”

The KC Streetcar has made a difference for visitors, employees, businesses and residents.

“I work in the Crossroads Arts District and live in Columbus Park. Every day I walk from home to the City Market streetcar stop and take the streetcar to the Kauffman Center stop.  Having the streetcar has allowed my family to support public transit and become a one-car family,” said AJ Harbison, downtown resident.

Since streetcar service began, there has been at least 20 new businesses open along or near the Main Street route.

“We opened a year ago in the City Market and the KC Streetcar has been instrumental for our business,” said Robin Luther, owner of Hawthorne 109. “The streetcar connects our boutique to people who live and work Downtown with the convenience of having a stop at 5th & Main.”

As response to the demand in ridership, the KC Streetcar Authority ordered two more streetcar vehicles for the Downtown route.  Those vehicles should arrive in 2019.  Additionally, the KC Streetcar Authority, along with the City of Kansas City, the KC Area Transportation Authority and Port KC, are planning for future streetcar extensions north towards Berkley Riverfront as well as south to UMKC.

More information on both of those projects can be found on the KC Streetcar website.

Vote today for reStart – national competition for $65K grant

Ninety seconds of your time will make all the difference to Kansas City’s homeless youth, veterans and families.

reStart has been selected as a finalist – one of eight organizations nationally – for the coveted Opus Foundation’s Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award. This year’s winner will be awarded $65,000 to commemorate Opus’ rich history and tradition that began 65 years ago. For their impactful work, the remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each.

reStart, of course, is a juggernaut in Downtown Kansas City. Its mission is to provide housing and services to homeless youth, families, men, and women to end homelessness in Downtown and the larger community.

But reStart needs our help to win the $65K grant – it currently ranks 4th in the balloting. Visit the Opus Foundation website, watch the reStart video, and then click the “vote” button under the reStart name:

http://bit.ly/2qUnTNV

You can vote once on each of your devices — phone, laptop, tablet, home computer, work computer — plus all of your family’s and friends’ devices, as well! Voting continues until 3 p.m. Friday (CDT), so don’t delay!

And, please share this message on your social media channels and with your friends, so we can reach as many people as possible. Thank you for helping us make an impact in our community!

LaunchKC opens 2018 grants competition today

Heather Spalding, CEO of Cambrian Tech, celebrates after learning that her startup company won the $100,000 grand prize at the 2017 LaunchKC competition in September. The application window opens on April 2 for the 2018 grants competition.

Let the competition begin!

LaunchKC, the fourth annual grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, opened the application window at 8 a.m. today (Monday, April 2), as the 100-day online window opens to innovators around the country.

LaunchKC ignited its 2018 promotional campaign in mid-March at SxSW Interactive in Austin, Texas. Drew Solomon, who chairs the Kansas City-based grants competition, made the announcement at Startup Night SxSW 2018, an event presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Tech.Co.

“In its first three grants competitions, LaunchKC awarded $1.5 million in grants to 29 entrepreneurs,” Solomon said. “More than 1,100 entrepreneurs from around the world have applied for grants in those first three competitions.”

LaunchKC is a civic engine in the Kansas City tech startup space. It is committed to elevating KC into one of the nation’s top 10 most livable, viable cities for entrepreneurs to be successful and to celebrate the community’s assets.

Competition Countdown for 2018

  • April 2 – Application window opens at www.launchkc.org
  • July 11 – Application window closes at midnight
  • July to September – Panel of expert judges to review applications and narrow list of contenders to 20 finalists by early September
  • Week of October 8-12 – LaunchKC finalists will be featured throughout the fourth Techweek Kansas City conference
  • October 12 – Selection of 10 grant recipients on LaunchKC Day during the final day of Techweek!

“We are searching for the best and brightest startups or early stage tech businesses to apply and compete for $500,000 in grants,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for the Downtown Council and LaunchKC. “We want to help these entrepreneurs make their business dreams come true in Kansas City.”

Of the 29 startup or early stage businesses to receive LaunchKC grants over the last three years, 26 of them – 90 percent – are still in business.

Grant Recipients

The active 26 startups include Big Bang, BlitabBlooom, Cambrian, ConsultUS, FEWDM, Forest Devices, H3 Enterprises, HealthID, HerdDoggIntegrated Roadways, Intelag, iShare Medical, Labor Chart, Mobility+Designed, MusicSpoke, MyCroft, PerfectCube, PlanITImpact, PopBookings, Sickweather, SquareOffs, Super Dispatch, TradeLanes, VideoFizz and Zitches.

LaunchKC Partners

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri, in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri.

LaunchKC Sponsors

LaunchKC and its core group of sponsors – who have supported the competition since day #1 – including the Missouri Technology Corporation, along with the City of Kansas City, The Cordish Companies, J.E. Dunn Construction, Husch Blackwell, Kansas City Power & Light, the William T. Kemper Foundation, Lathrop Gage, Lead Bank, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Polsinelli, Techweek and UMB Bank.

The competition is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships, and the UMKC Bloch School of Management.

For more information, contact Mike Hurd, marketing officer for the Downtown Council and LaunchKC at mike@downtownkc.org or 816-447-2136.

Downtown CVS to close for remodeling on March 28

The Downtown CVS store and CVS Pharmacy will close for remodeling at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. The store is expected to reopen by mid-June.

The CVS store at 921 Main St. in Downtown Kansas City will close for remodeling at 6 p.m. (today) Wednesday, March 28. The store is expected to re-open in mid-June.

The temporary closure will impact the entire store, including the CVS Pharmacy, the only full-service pharmacy in Downtown. All prescriptions picked up at the Downtown CVS will be transferred to the CVS Pharmacy at 3902 Main St., according to Kurt Reis, store manager.

The CVS remodeling is part of the $139 million redevelopment of the historic Commerce Tower at 911 Main. The CVS, located immediately next door to the Commerce Tower entrance, has signed a new 20-year lease and plans a substantial upgrade, including removing the window covering on Main in order to make it more inviting to passersby.

Reis said the remodeling will produce a fresh and friendly look for the CVS. Changes to the store will include new shelves, new carpeting, an expanded pharmacy space, a revolving door at the store’s entrance, a new north-south layout of shopping aisles, a slight relocation of cash registers and new, clear front windows along Main Street.

Reis explained that the store’s product / grocery mix will not change significantly with the newly remodeled store. All of the store’s personnel will be reassigned to other, local CVS stores during the temporary closure.

Even though the store’s prescriptions will be transferred to the CVS at 39th & Main, Reis said customers may choose to transfer their prescriptions to another CVS location. For more information on prescriptions, customers should contact the CVS Pharmacy at 3902 Main at 816-931-5452. Kaydee Tran is the pharmacy manager and Jeff  Ozenberger is the store manager there.

“Thank you for your patience and for being a valued customer of CVS,” Reis said. “We look forward to seeing you in mid-June in our newly remodeled store.”

LaunchKC begins countdown for 2018 grants competition

Heather Spalding, CEO of Cambrian Tech, celebrates after learning that her startup company won the $100,000 grand prize at the 2017 LaunchKC competition in September. The application window opens on April 2 for the 2018 grants competition.

LaunchKC, the fourth annual grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, will begin its call for applications on Monday, April 2, as the 100-day online window opens to innovators around the country.

LaunchKC ignited its 2018 promotional campaign on Saturday at SxSW Interactive in Austin, Texas. Drew Solomon, who chairs the Kansas City-based grants competition, made the announcement at Startup Night SxSW 2018, an event presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Tech.Co.

“In its first three grants competitions, LaunchKC awarded $1.5 million in grants to 29 entrepreneurs,” Solomon said. “More than 1,100 entrepreneurs from around the world have applied for grants in those first three competitions.”

LaunchKC is a civic engine in the Kansas City tech startup space. It is committed to elevating KC into one of the nation’s top 10 most livable, viable cities for entrepreneurs to be successful and to celebrate the community’s assets.

Competition Countdown for 2018

  • March 10 – National call for entries at SxSW Interactive in Austin, Texas
  • April 2 – Application window opens at www.launchkc.org
  • July 11 – Application window closes at midnight
  • July to September – Panel of expert judges to review applications and narrow list of contenders to 20 finalists by early September
  • Week of October 8-12 – LaunchKC finalists will be featured throughout the fourth Techweek Kansas City conference
  • October 12 – Selection of 10 grant recipients on LaunchKC Day during the final day of Techweek!

“We are searching for the best and brightest startups or early stage tech businesses to apply and compete for $500,000 in grants,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for the Downtown Council and LaunchKC. “We want to help these entrepreneurs make their business dreams come true in Kansas City.”

Of the 29 startup or early stage businesses to receive LaunchKC grants over the last three years, 26 of them – 90 percent – are still in business.

Grant Recipients

The active 26 startups include Big Bang, BlitabBlooom, Cambrian, ConsultUS, FEWDM, Forest Devices, H3 Enterprises, HealthID, HerdDoggIntegrated Roadways, Intelag, iShare Medical, Labor Chart, Mobility+Designed, MusicSpoke, MyCroft, PerfectCube, PlanITImpact, PopBookings, Sickweather, SquareOffs, Super Dispatch, TradeLanes, VideoFizz and Zitches.

LaunchKC Partners

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri, in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri.

LaunchKC Sponsors

LaunchKC and its core group of sponsors – who have supported the competition since day #1 – including the Missouri Technology Corporation, along with the City of Kansas City, The Cordish Companies, J.E. Dunn Construction, Husch Blackwell, Kansas City Power & Light, the William T. Kemper Foundation, Lathrop Gage, Lead Bank, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Polsinelli, Techweek and UMB Bank.

The competition is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships, and the UMKC Bloch School of Management.

For more information, contact Mike Hurd, marketing officer for the Downtown Council and LaunchKC at mike@downtownkc.org or 816-447-2136.

LaunchKC selects winners of $500K in tech startup grants

LaunchKC awarded $500,000 in grants to nine tech entrepreneurs on Friday evening at the historic Power and Light Building. Grants winners celebrate the moment with LaunchKC sponsors and steering committee members.

LaunchKC judges awarded $500,000 in grants to nine tech startup businesses Friday evening, following a months-long competition designed to attract and retain tech entrepreneurs in Kansas City.

The nine winners, including eight from the metropolitan Kansas City area and one from Colorado, were selected Friday afternoon from a pool of 20 finalists. Each of the final 20 presented their business pitches that morning to LaunchKC judges and the Techweek Kansas City audience at the Power & Light District.

Grant winners were announced Friday evening at a special LaunchKC / Techweek Kansas City awards ceremony at the nearby Power and Light Building.

Cambrian Tech, Leawood, Kan., was chosen as the first $100,000 grand prize recipient in LaunchKC history. Cambrian designs augmented reality software for mobile devices.  Its winning business model is focused on the home improvement industry and becoming the mobile destination for DIYers.

Another $400,000 was awarded in $50,000 parcels to eight entrepreneurs, including:

“This was an outstanding competition today. Each of the 20 finalists were strong contenders for LaunchKC’s grants, as well as for building strong, economically successful businesses,” said Drew Solomon, vice president for business development at the EDC and the chair of the LaunchKC competition.

Friday’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 400 applicants from 19 states and five nations to the 20 finalists who competed on Friday.

“LaunchKC has attracted nearly 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition with tech entrepreneurs,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “This evening’s awards mean that we have reached $1.5 million mark in awards in just three years.”

Friday’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 400 applicants from 19 states and five nations to the 20 finalists who competed on the final day of the Techweek KC conference.

In addition to cash grants, the nine winning applicants will receive a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown KC; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

“LaunchKC is built to be an economic game-changer in Kansas City, Missouri by supporting start-up businesses, creating jobs, attracting and retaining talent, unlocking value and engaging follow-on investors,” Hurd said.

LaunchKC is a nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City entrepreneurial space. It is an initiative of the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation, both of Kansas City, Mo.

The program is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2017, the sponsor honor roll includes:

Supporters: Missouri Technology Corporation; the City of Kansas City, Missouri

Visionaries: Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; The Cordish Companies / Kansas City Power & Light District; William T. Kemper Foundation; Techweek; UMB Bank; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City

Contributing: Burns & McDonnell; Lathrop & Gage: Lead Bank; Missouri Department of Economic Development; Polsinelli; Spring Venture Group

Emerging: Allied Global; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber

Friends: Adknowledge; ITEN; LightEdge Solutions

Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships; Think Big Partners; and the UMKC Bloch School of Business.

 

It’s showtime for 20 tech entrepreneurs at LaunchKC

LaunchKC will take center stage on Friday at the Techweek Kansas City conference to stage the final round of competition among 20 tech entrepreneurs who are vying to take home nine cash grants worth $500,000.

This LaunchKC competition is designed to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurs to come (or stay) in Kansas City and to build their startup companies here. By the end of the day on Friday, LaunchKC will have awarded $1.5 million to 29 entrepreneurs over three years.

“The final round of this year’s competition promises to be very competitive, with 20 entrepreneurs ready to pitch their business plans before a panel of LaunchKC judges and the Techweek KC audience from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the heart of Downtown,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC.

The 20 finalists who will be competing on Friday were selected by LaunchKC judges from a pool of 400 applicants to the 2017 competition. The contenders include 14 from the Kansas City metropolitan area; five from four U.S. states; and one international business from the Ukraine.

LaunchKC is in its third year of serving as a civic engine in the local tech / entrepreneurial space.

LaunchKC is a global grants competition designed to attract tech entrepreneurs to compete for $500,000 in non-dilutive grants and the opportunity to build their new and emerging tech businesses in Kansas City, Missouri. This year, LaunchKC will award nine grants on Friday, including eight $50,000 grants and one grand prize award of $100,000.

“LaunchKC has attracted nearly 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition,” Hurd said. “When we award the next $500,000 at Techweek on Friday, we will have reached $1.5 million mark in awards in just three years.”

The LaunchKC finalists will compete from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in The Gallery event space in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Tickets are available at TechweekKC.com. Each entrepreneur will have about five minutes to pitch their business plans before a panel of LaunchKC judges and the Techweek KC audience.

Once the pitch session concludes, the judges will convene to score the finalists and to select the eventual nine grant recipients. They will be revealed in a special LaunchKC / Techweek awards program from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at The Grand Hall at the historic Power and Light Building.

The 20 finalists (alphabetically, by company name and team leader) for the Launch KC grants competition include:

  • Aware Vehicles: ZhiQiang Chen, Kansas City, Mo.
  • backstitch: Jordan Warzecha, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Blue Point 2: Liderman Duin, Leawood, Kan.
  • Cambrian Tech: Heather Spalding, Leawood, Kan.
  • H3 Enterprises: Roy Scott, Kansas City. Mo.
  • HerdDogg: Melissa Brandao, Longmont, Colo.
  • Hidden Abilities: Jamee Miller, Lawrence, Kan.
  • iShare Medical: Linda VanHorn, Kansas City, Mo.
  • MenuHunt: Beau Clinton, St. Joseph, Mo.
  • Miles: Lance Windholz, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Music Spoke: Jennifer Rosenblatt, Kansas City, Kan.
  • PlanIT Impact: Dominique Davison, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Play-it Health: Kimberly Gandy, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Redivus Health: Jeff Dunn, Olathe, Kan.
  • Sickweather: Graham Dodge, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Smart Bridge Health: Hua Wang, Washington, D.C.
  • TradeLanes: Vijay Harrell, Kansas City, Mo.
  • UniExo: Tatiana Holovachenko, Ukraine
  • Vytal: Jared Goering, McPherson, Kan.
  • Zitches: Bart Patenaude, Kansas City, Mo.

In addition to cash grants, the nine winning applicants will receive a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown KC; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

The program is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2017, the sponsor honor roll includes:

Supporters: Missouri Technology Corporation; the City of Kansas City, Missouri

Visionaries: Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; The Cordish Companies / Kansas City Power & Light District; William T. Kemper Foundation; Techweek; UMB Bank; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City

Contributing: Burns & McDonnell; Lathrop & Gage: Lead Bank; Missouri Department of Economic Development; Polsinelli; Spring Venture Group

Emerging: Allied Global; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber

Friends: Adknowledge; ITEN; LightEdge Solutions

Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships; Think Big Partners; and the UMKC Bloch School of Business.

 

Techweek takes center stage in local tech scene this week

Techweek returns to Kansas City for its third annual technology / entrepreneur conference + festival this week – Monday through Friday. The local LaunchKC grant competition for tech startups will anchor the conference on Friday.

The third annual Techweek Kansas City conference + festival returns to KC on today (Monday, Sept. 11), featuring a week of learning, networking and playing, along with the final round of competition in the annual LaunchKC $500,000 grants competition for tech entrepreneurs on Friday, Sept. 15.

“Kansas City is one of the country’s most influential, up-and-coming tech hubs,” said Amanda Signorelli, Techweek CEO. “The community has given Techweek a warm welcome.”

A quick highlight reel of the complete Techweek KC schedule for 2017 includes:

  • Monday, Sept. 11 – 1 p.m. Blocktrain Learning Track at Sprint Accelerator; 5 p.m. Innovation Partnership Program Demo Day at We Work; 5 p.m. Pure Pitch Rally at Helix; 7 p.m. Kickoff Party at Boulevard Beer Hall
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12 – 11 a.m. Building Inclusive Tech Communities  at Missouri Career Centers; 1 p.m. Tech, Talk and Touch Tomorrow at the Cerner Northland campus; 5:30 p.m. Official Happy Hour at VML
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 – 9 a.m. Why Communities Should Be Investing in Inclusivity at We Work; 11 a.m. Demand Generation at ECJC; 1 p.m. Future of Animal Health Corridor at Travois; 3 p.m. KC’s Leaders in Mobile Technology at Pure Pursuit Event Space; 5 p.m. Barrels and Brushes Happy Hour by Husch Blackwell at the J. Rieger Distillery
  • Thursday, Sept. 14 – All day Growth Summit. Program begins at 8 a.m. with Women in Tech Breakfast. Sessions are planned for the entire day, including a Hiring Fair at noon. All sessions are set for the at the Plexpod Westport Commons.
  • Friday, Sept. 15 – LaunchKC Day to feature:
    • 8:30 a.m. Keynote address by Kathryn Minshew of The Muse; and
    • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. LaunchKC finalists to pitch their business plans at The Gallery, Power & Light District
    • 5 p.m. Techweek and LaunchKC awards reception and program at The Grand Hall, historic Power & Light Building

To reserve your spot for any or all Techweek / LaunchKC event, visit Techweek Kansas City to select your ticket options.

 

Techweek is a technology and startup festival with the objective of catalyzing the growth of billion-dollar businesses and spreading wealth creation to diverse people and places. Techweek operates out of Chicago, and features annual technology conferences in nine North American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City. Techweek has been featured as one of the top 30 conferences for entrepreneurs in 2017 by Inc. Magazine.

The complete Techweek Kansas City conference schedule for Monday through Friday, Sept. 11-15 is available for viewing online. The week will reach a crescendo with the LaunchKC competition on Friday, Sept. 15. The 20 LaunchKC finalists will make their pitches on Friday morning. The nine grant winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony that evening.

LaunchKC, the global grants competition powered by the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation, is in its third year of operations and in using the Techweek platform to stage the final round of pitches

“LaunchKC was a startup itself when we organized and launched the first grants competition in 2014/15,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “And, now, at the end of the LaunchKC day at Techweek, we will have awarded a total of $1.5 million to 29 tech entrepreneurs in our first three years.”

 

 

Techweek & LaunchKC prep for center stage on Sept. 11-15

Techweek returns to Kansas City for its third annual technology / entrepreneur conference + festival from Sept. 11-15. The local LaunchKC grant competition for tech startups will anchor the conference on Friday, Sept. 15.

The third annual Techweek Kansas City conference + festival returns to KC on Monday, Sept. 11, featuring a week of learning, networking and playing, along with the final round of competition in the annual LaunchKC $500,000 grants competition for tech entrepreneurs on Friday, Sept. 15.

“Kansas City is one of the country’s most influential, up-and-coming tech hubs,” said Amanda Signorelli, Techweek CEO. “The community has given Techweek a warm welcome.”

A quick highlight reel of the complete Techweek KC schedule for 2017 includes:

  • Monday, Sept. 11 – 1 p.m. Blocktrain Learning Track at Sprint Accelerator; 5 p.m. Pure Pitch Rally at Helix; 7 p.m. Kickoff Party at Boulevard Beer Hall
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12 – 11 a.m. Building Inclusive Tech Communities  at Missouri Career Centers; 1 p.m. Tech, Talk and Tour Tomorrow at the Cerner campus; 5:30 p.m. Official Happy Hour at VML
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 – 1 p.m. Future of Animal Health Corridor at Travois; 3 p.m. KC’s Leaders in Mobile Technology at Pure Pursuit Event Space; 5 p.m. Barrels and Brushes Happy Hour by Husch Blackwell at the J. Rieger Distillery
  • Thursday, Sept. 14 – All day Growth Summit at the Plexpod Westport Commons. Program begins at 8 a.m. with Women in Tech Breakfast. Sessions are planned for the entire day, including a Hiring Fair at noon.
  • Friday, Sept. 15 – LaunchKC Day to feature:
    • 8:30 a.m. Keynote address by Kathryn Minshew of The Muse; and
    • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. LaunchKC finalists to pitch their business plans at The Gallery, Power & Light District
    • 5 p.m. Techweek and LaunchKC awards reception and program at The Grand Hall, historic Power & Light Building

To reserve your spot for any or all Techweek / LaunchKC event, visit Techweek Kansas City to select your ticket options.

Techweek is a technology and startup festival with the objective of catalyzing the growth of billion-dollar businesses and spreading wealth creation to diverse people and places. Techweek operates out of Chicago, and features annual technology conferences in nine North American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City. Techweek has been featured as one of the top 30 conferences for entrepreneurs in 2017 by Inc. Magazine.

The complete Techweek Kansas City conference schedule for Sept. 11-15 is available for viewing online. The week will reach a crescendo with the LaunchKC competition on Friday, Sept. 15. The 20 LaunchKC finalists will make their pitches on Friday morning. The nine grant winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony that evening.

LaunchKC, the global grants competition powered by the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation, is in its third year of operations and in using the Techweek platform to stage the final round of pitches

“LaunchKC was a startup itself when we organized and launched the first grants competition in 2014/15,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “And, now, at the end of the LaunchKC day at Techweek, we will have awarded a total of $1.5 million to 29 tech entrepreneurs in our first three years.”

 

 

LaunchKC advances 20 businesses to competition finals

LaunchKC has selected 20 businesses to compete for nine grants totaling $500,000 at the LaunchKC grant competition at Techweek on Sept. 15. Steering Committee chair Rachel Merlo of Google Fiber is pictured during an address to Downtown Council members and stakeholders earlier this year.

 

LaunchKC announced today its selection of 20 tech entrepreneurs who will be in Kansas City in three weeks to compete for $500,000 in grants, and an opportunity to build their business enterprises here. The finalists were selected from a pool of 400 grant applicants.

The 20 contenders include 14 from the Kansas City metropolitan area; five from four U.S. states; and 1 international business from the Ukraine. Each will be in Kansas City in mid-September to compete for nine startup grants, during the Techweek Kansas City conference + festival from Sept. 11-15.

“It has been another strong year for applications to LaunchKC,” said Drew Solomon, senior vice president of business development at the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and competition chairman for LaunchKC. “We are very fortunate to have the immense support of our judges, sponsors and the Kansas City community in securing the final 20 who will compete for the $500,000 available in this year’s competition.”

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

LaunchKC is a global grants competition designed to attract tech entrepreneurs to compete for $500,000 in non-dilutive grants and the opportunity to build their new and emerging tech businesses in Kansas City, Missouri. This year, LaunchKC will award nine grants on Friday, Sept. 15, including eight $50,000 grants and one grand prize award of $100,000.

“LaunchKC has attracted nearly 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “When we award the next $500,000 at Techweek, we will have reached $1.5 million mark in awards in just three years.”

Today’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 400 applicants from 19 states and five nations to the 20 finalists announced today.

The 20 finalists (alphabetically, by company name and team leader) for the Launch KC grants competition include:

  • Aware Vehicles: ZhiQiang Chen, Kansas City, Mo.
  • backstitch: Jordan Warzecha, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Blue Point 2: Liderman Duin, Leawood, Kan.
  • Cambrian Tech: Heather Spalding, Leawood, Kan.
  • H3 Enterprises: Roy Scott, Kansas City. Mo.
  • HerdDogg: Melissa Brandao, Longmont, Colo.
  • Hidden Abilities: Jamee Miller, Lawrence, Kan.
  • iShare Medical: Linda VanHorn, Kansas City, Mo.
  • MenuHunt: Beau Clinton, St. Joseph, Mo.
  • Miles: Lance Windholz, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Music Spoke: Jennifer Rosenblatt, Kansas City, Kan.
  • PlanIT Impact: Dominique Davison, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Play-it Health: Kimberly Gandy, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Redivus Health: Jeff Dunn, Olathe, Kan.
  • Sickweather: Graham Dodge, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Smart Bridge Health: Hua Wang, Washington, D.C.
  • TradeLanes: Vijay Harrell, Kansas City, Mo.
  • UniExo: Tatiana Holovachenko, Ukraine
  • Vytal: Jared Goering, McPherson, Kan.
  • Zitches: Bart Patenaude, Kansas City, Mo.

In addition to cash grants, the nine winning applicants will receive a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown KC; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

“LaunchKC is built to be an economic game-changer in Kansas City, Missouri by supporting start-up businesses, creating jobs, attracting talent, unlocking value and engaging follow-on investors,” Hurd said.

LaunchKC is a nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City entrepreneurial space.

The program is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2017, the sponsor honor roll includes:

Supporters: Missouri Technology Corporation; the City of Kansas City, Missouri

Visionaries: Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; The Cordish Companies / Kansas City Power & Light District; William T. Kemper Foundation; Techweek; UMB Bank; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City

Contributing: Burns & McDonnell; Lathrop & Gage: Lead Bank; Missouri Department of Economic Development; Polsinelli; Spring Venture Group

Emerging: Allied Global; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber

Friends: Adknowledge; ITEN; LightEdge Solutions

Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships; Think Big Partners; and the UMKC Bloch School of Business.