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Steven Chau moving on from KC, joining Startup Weekend in Seattle

Steven Chau, a familiar face in the region’s startup community and a regular name in the “organizer” column of Kansas City events, begins a new career today with Startup Weekend, the Seattle-based nonprofit behind the 54-hour event hosted around the word. (Left: Chau. Photo from twitter.com.)

Chau joins Startup Weekend as a software engineer and will focus on developing a technical infrastructure and tool set for its website.

Previously, Chau was a web developer at CremaLab, a Kansas City web development firm specializing in user interface design. Recently, and not coincidentally, CremaLab was responsible for the development of Startup Weekend’s redesigned website.

Now at Startup Weekend, Chau will focus on the site’s next phase.

“I believe all of the other organizers, including myself, have been waiting for this,” Chau said in an email interview Sunday. “Waiting for someone to create tools to assist with our planning, gather resources and to follow the teams that form during Startup Weekend.”

Startup Weekend can count Silicon Prairie News among the organizations that have been waiting for a way to follow the teams that compete – these events have proven to be valuable to the Silicon Prairie community.

Though we’re excited about Chau’s new role, there’s no doubt the region will miss his efforts that supported the startup community. Since 2009, he’s been involved with six organizations – Startup Weekend Kansas City, Ruby Midwest, Geek Night, Barcamp Kansas City, PreDevCamp and Social Media Club of Kansas City – and has helped, by our estimate, produce more than 60 events. (Left, Chau at the first Startup Weekend Kansas City in April 2009. Photo by Scott B. via Flickr.)

Chau said he’ll still be involved in a couple of those events in some capacity.

“I will be closely be involved with the planning of Startup Weekend Kansas City in April 2012,” Chau said. “I may serve as an advisor or co-organizer for Ruby Midwest.”

Chau, a St. Louis native, has lived in Kansas City for five years. He will officially make his move to Seattle at the end of the year and he said we should be on the look out for one last gathering in December before he departs.

In our email interview with Chau, we picked his brain about his time in Kansas City and the city’s startup community:

Silicon Prairie News (SPN): What are you most proud of during your time in the KC startup community?

Steven Chau: Putting Kansas City on the map among the other great cities around the world is probably one of my most proudest moments during my time in Kansas City. Kansas City has the talent to achieve great things. We were one of the top five cities organizing a conference for the Palm Pre. We were also one of the 10 largest Social Media Clubs in the nation.

SPN: From you position as an active event planner and participant in the KC startup community, what do you see in the future for the community?

Chau: Growth. I think we will see continued growth in the KC startup community. Google Fiber is coming during a time when the community has never been more organized and networked. We have community leaders to look up to and to connect with.

We will also see greater involvement from the business communities to nurture the startup community. The meetings I have been attending is networking groups with the greater collective. I think we will see more groups coordinating their efforts.

SPN: Anything else you’d like to add?

Chau: No one gave me permission to organize. Through trial and error, I organize events to bring together similar-minded individuals. Start small to reduce the amount of risk. If you are interested to starting new event in the city, feel free to contact me at steven.p.chau@gmail.com.

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