Four years ago, Kansas City didn’t have Google Fiber. The city’s Smart City initiative didn’t exist and neither did Digital Sandbox KC, Launch KC, the Think Big Partners’ coworking space or the Kansas City Startup Village, to name a few.
“All this stuff in the last three years has moved the needle for Kansas City,” said Drew Solomon, vice president of business and job development for the Economic Development Corp. of Kansas City and board member of KC Digital Drive.
Adam Arredondo, co-leader of the Kansas City Startup Village, echoed his sentiments.
“Now we have this book we could write over what it takes to build this vibrant, innovative and entrepreneurial community,” Arredondo said.
Civic, community and business leaders gathered at Kansas City’s Grand Street Cafe on Tuesday evening to celebrate the area’s progress in the last three years and raise funds for KC Digital Drive, the nonprofit tasked with implementing Kansas City’s digital playbook. The Mayor’s Bistate Innovations Team crafted the playbook to tap the power of gigabit Internet speeds and drive innovation.
“We want Kansas City to be a digital leader — that is at the core of our mission,” KC Digital Drive Managing Director Aaron Deacon said. “We think by being a digital leader we will increase economic opportunity for the people who live here and we’ll identify new technology applications to make people’s lives better.”