Dateline- Kansas City, Mo- In a metropolis where technology is proving to be king, one must look and truly ask themselves, how and where will the next innovation come from in this revolutionary city? I mean seriously, what more can this conglomerate of two states, both straddling the state line of Kansas and Missouri, combining over 3 major cities, along with an additional 10 more, smaller suburban municipalities truly have on its plate next?
Well, I can tell you, forget about the political or racial divides, or even the sex or religion issues. Get’em all out of here when it comes to this community of over 2 million people! It seems nothing will stop these Midwestern pioneers from the innovation that continues to grow, revitalize, and inspire a new way of connecting the world as we know it. Heck, one could say this is as revolutionary as the Oregon trail, and that of Louis and Clark’s journey, as they first embarked down the Missouri River, on their mission of connecting a country to the uncharted, unknown, and untamed lands of the Great West.
You would think, that with already such amenities as Google Fiber, that has been intertwining the entire KC landscape, for over 3 years now, or perhaps worldwide powerhouses, such as Cerner, who once again ranked on the Forbes list of the most innovative companies in the world http://www.forbes.com/innovative-companies/list/ , or even companies such as Garmin, Hallmark, DST, or even the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurs, based right in the heart of Kansas City, would be enough for this cow-town, but no, not quite yet. Their story is not yet complete…
Since the beginning of May, the city has experienced a technology boom the likes of which no city on earth has ever seen. Thanks to the cumulative minds of the local municipalities, and their partnering up with the always innovative ideas of the Sprint Corporation, can we now revel in a city that has truly outdone itself. According to the city's chief innovation officer, Bob Bennett, Kansas City has now become the smartest, most technologically connected city on Earth.
With the launch of Kansas City's 2.2-mile streetcar route on Thursday, May 5th, they also introduced its city wide free Wi-Fi service, putting 50 blocks — with 22,000 residents — all under Wi-Fi along the new route. Bennett also stated, that only Barcelona comes close to KC, with only 30 blocks under Wi-Fi. The route will initially provide 300 access Wi-Fi points to anyone wanting a free connection to the world. In addition to the Wi-Fi installment, the city has installed smart city lights that will help control traffic and dim or lighten according to the time of day.
So what’s next for Kansas City, and the Silicon Prairie of the Midwest? Will the next company to come out of its wheat fields be a game changer? Seriously, how much more new technology, innovation, and inspiration can come from this cow-town?
Well if the local business accelerators and incubator programs such as Beta Blox have anything to say about it, it appears Kansas City is now paving the way to innovation and technology worldwide.
Take for instance just a couple KC startups out of the thousands, that are making their mark, and paving the way of innovation, while truly revolutionizing their respective industries.
One such company, Apple Pie Painting, whose focus is on a relatively new industry that has been exploding in popularity worldwide for the past 8 years. They are making their presence felt now on the national scene, as it has becoming a real innovator in the “wine and paint” entertainment industry. Apple Pie Painting, a completely mobile company, eliminates the need for the traditional brick and mortar studios, joining in the "mobile revolution", and has rocketed up the charts within its demographics, now positioning itself as the foremost painting party experience in the entire region.
In keeping up with KC’s Smart City Initiative, the company has also rolled out its game changing smart technology, with its state of the art website, having fully integrating its user experience, into a personable, yet self-automated system, allowing people to come together to create memories with only a few simply clicks, in less time than it takes to brush your teeth.
Co-founder, Joey Kramer says, “We are continually developing our customer experience. Using a brief customer survey and profile, we can in essence, match you, and your guests, with the perfect instructor for your event at each and every party."
Another up and coming star on the KC scene, and soon to be worldwide scene is Virtetecture, who has created a virtual simulation platform for architects and designers, to walk through their model, in a virtual, 3 dimensional world; all before the first brick has ever been laid. With this technology, clients can now literally walk through their creations in a computer generated world, discovering problems before they arise in the actual construction.
So will this tech boom ever end in Kansas City? As far as its residents are concerned, keep them coming. With each innovation and new idea, the benefits for the city, from the ease and convenience of an ever more connected community and world, continues to grow everyday. For me, I say, keep up the great work Kansas City! Bravo!!