The inaugural One Week KC kicked off with a pitch event at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
One Week KC was Kansas City’s first major step towards realizing the vision established by our Chamber of Commerce: to make Kansas City America’s Most Entrepreneurial City. It was one week (nine days, rather) of activities all around the city to help local entrepreneurs connect, form bonds, get inspired and celebrate entrepreneurship. It was an opportunity to spotlight the regular meetups and events that are already going on in the city; a way to boost the local startup scene; a way to say “Meet all the talented entrepreneurs already here that can support you and help you succeed!” From a trivia night at a pub to a Royals baseball game dedicated to local entrepreneurs, events ran the gamut. One Week had everything from parties to classrooms, even a big conference (iKC) and fair (Maker Faire) thrown into the mix.
One Week KC was bigger than just a local event. It unified our city. Organizations, leaders, founders, students and the community came together to embrace the week and most of all, embrace the grand vision. It served a greater purpose to the activities of the week. It created excitement for the future of our city. It brought out pride from our local entrepreneurs. It gave our regular meetups more attention and a larger attendance. It showed our community what we can do if we all believe in something bigger than us. What’s amazing to me is just how much energy we have here. Everyone can feel the excitement. One Week was only the beginning.
Now that One Week is over, we have to keep the momentum moving forward. What can we do as a city? Embrace entrepreneurship. Attend the many great local meetups like Geek Night and Venture Fridays. Start a meetup or event of your own. But most importantly, act. Stop pondering your idea and get started on it, even if it’s just an hour a day. In order to be the most entrepreneurial city, we can’t just talk and inspire. We must do. The path to a truly great entrepreneurial city is startups that begin and grow right here, just like AgLocal, FrontFlip, Rarewire and the many inspirational success stories already being created.
Startups, startups, startups (cue Steve Ballmer’s infamous “developers” chant). Why is it important? The more successful startups that are built here, the more attention Kansas City receives. This leads to more investors coming here, more talent staying here, more mentors and advisors to learn from and more inspiration and proof that it can be done. This leads to more even more startups, which leads to a more vibrant community and a growing scene.
One Week KC was proof that greatness is here in Kansas City. It was proof that we have a fantastic community. It was proof that we all want this, that we’re all proud of our city. One Week was the first phase towards a more exciting Kansas City: a city where great companies are built; a city that embraces those who create their own way; where we share our successes and our failures; where we help each other learn and grow. I’m proud to live in Kansas City and am thrilled to be a part of the journey in building America’s Most Entrepreneurial City.
Credits: Photo of Kauffman Foundation Pitch Day from Kauffman Labs on Flickr. Photo of Adam Coomes courtesy of Coomes.
About the author: Adam Coomes is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for technology. He co-founded Infegy, an enterprise software company with flagship product Social Radar, and was also one of the first members of Zaarly.
Currently, Coomes is founder and CEO of Salt, a consulting company focused on helping businesses innovate, simplify and make a bigger impact by using startup philosophies and technology expertise. He also facilitates Startup Weekends and other events around the nation. Coomes was named as one of Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs” and a “Top 20 In Their Twenties” by Ingram’s Magazine.
Coomes can be found on Twitter, @adamcoomes.