When people think of tech startups, two places typically come to mind: the Silicon Valley and New York City. The average person probably can’t think of a major tech company from anywhere else.
That’s why it’s such a surprise to see the huge startup community blossoming in Kansas City, Kansas. Entrepreneurs are rushing to the city thanks to Google launching an incredibly fast broadband network there last summer called Google fibre.
The company’s fibre network provides speeds that rival what most companies would have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for elsewhere for a mere $70 per month.
CNET has an article detailing how this has altered the tech industry in the region. The most innovative is the Homes for Hackers initiative, which gives entrepreneurs willing to move their companies to Kansas City three months of free rent and access to Google’s Gigabit Internet speeds.
Venture capitalist Brad Feld was inspired by this idea and decided to run a competition in which the prize was a year’s worth of free rent at a home he purchased in a neighbourhood in Kansas City that received Google fibre. The first year’s prize went to a startup called Handprint, which is working on improving 3D printing and editing technology.
Interestingly, neither of these arrangements involve startups giving up any equity. According to Feld, “[I’m] using a “give before you get” philosophy here to experiment, learn, and help the Kansas City startup community.”
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