Think Big Partners, a Kansas City, Mo.-based business incubator and startup accelerator, announced this morning that it will host the Gigabit Challenge, a business plan competition to piggyback on the arrival of Google’s ultra high-speed broadband network in Kansas City. The competition, which according to a release from Think Big Partners aims to establish new companies that will fulfill Google’s mission of developing new applications to expand human welfare, is open to entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe.
The challenge will start on Oct. 1, and winners will be announced and awarded prizes at an event to be held in December. In addition to the prize awards, Think Big Partners will facilitate introductions to investors for further capitalization of the winners. The winners will then be able to implement their applications on the Google Fiber network starting in the first quarter of 2012.
“The Gigabit Challenge will help to catalyze new, disruptive solutions that are enabled by the Google Fiber network and Think Big Partners will help to commercialize these solutions,” Herb Sih (left, photo from thinkbigpartners.com), managing partner at Think Big Partners, said in the release. “We want to bring together the global entrepreneurial community to solve important problems with this initiative. We believe that The Gigabit Challenge will provide and unprecedented opportunity for sponsors and investors to see into the future of ultra high-speed broadband applications. We will be able to put these key stakeholders in front of top innovators in this exciting space.”
Google announced in March that it had chosen Kansas City, Kan. from more than 1,100 applicant cities to receive its one-gigabit fiber network, an internet service that is up to 100 times faster than the high-speed broadband in most U.S. homes. In May, Google revealed plans to expand that coverage to Kansas City, Mo.
“In the last few years we have seen an explosion of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the Kansas City area,” Tyler Prochnow, senior partner at Think Big Partners, said in the release. “New technologies are making it easier and easier to launch and grow new ventures. We expect that the Google Fiber network will spawn new waves of innovation both here and across the globe.”
Think Big Partners is currently seeking sponsors and judges to participate in the Gigabit Challenge. For more information about the Gigabit Challenge or to express interest in becoming a sponsor or judge, visit the challenge’s website.