Monday, December 17, 2012

Reardon, KCKCC look to future of technology in KCK


“The need for Information Technology professionals is now.”

That’s the message Kansas City Kansas Mayor Joe Reardon conveyed to a group of 34 Kansas City Kansas Community College students, faculty and staff and community leaders at a brainstorming session exploring how the College and the community can collaborate on efforts to prepare Kansas City for new and innovative infrastructures and activities.

With KCK the first city in the U.S. to receive Google Fiber, Reardon said the technology advances are unlimited.

“With innovations such as high speed fiber, the deliverables and impacts are unknown and limitless and this creates an atmosphere for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Reardon is explaining how technology improvement activities differ from typical economic development projects and have more predictable deliverables.

Five areas of technology based activities were identified during the barnstorming:

Code for America – A new non-profit teams of web and city experts and technology industry leaders who are building a network for civic leaders and organizations designed to make it easy and attractive for the web generation to give back in three areas: Fellowship, which connects technologists with cities to work together to innovated; Acceleration, which will support disruptive civic startups; and Brigade, which helps community groups reuse civic software.

Kansas City Startup Village – An entrepreneur-led grassroots initiative helping to bolster the Kansas City startup scene by creating a concentrated and collaborative community of startups, the Village vision is to help solidify Kansas City as a premier American startup.

Hack-a-thon – An event concept in which computer programmers and others in the field of software development such as graphic designers, “coders or hackers” and computational philologists collaborate intensively on software projects. Hack-a-thons typically last between a day and a week in length and occasionally involve a hardware component.

SEEN – An acronym for Sustainable Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Networks, SEEN is a membership-based network for small business and entrepreneurs located at KCKCC to facilitate collaboration through annual access to networking events, training workshops, Innovation Summit participation, TEDx events and pop-in office and conference space.

Innovation Summit – A half-day event April 15 where local entrepreneurs network with one another, venture capitalists, investors and large corporations to provide a platform for participants to share innovational thinking, support services and more.

The focus of the Summit will by the State Street Perfect Pitching competition which will allow for start-ups and entrepreneurs to pitch ideas for a combined $5,000 in awards.

Community members interested in any of the activities are urged to contact Jay Matlack ( or Marisa Gray ( of KCKCC’s Workforce Development team.  


PHOTO: Mayor Joe Reardon stressed the need for more Information Technology professionals in a brainstorming session with KCKCC students, faculty and staff and community members exploring collaborative efforts to prepare Kansas City, Kansas for new infrastructures and activities. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)