Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, Mo., addresses the crowd at the RareWire Studio Launch party.
“What’s the best way to celebrate the public launch of the RareWire App Creation Studio? By being featured in Forbes Magazine, Mashable, and of course, by throwing a ridiculous party.” So said the invitation to RareWire’s celebratory launch party, held Nov. 16 at The Guild in the Crossroads district of Kansas City, Mo.
RareWire, a Kansas City software startup co-founded by Kirk Hasenzahl and Matt Angell, launched its App Creation Studio on Oct. 8. The App Creation Studio — a platform the company has previously used internally to develop apps using its own programming language, the Wire — aims to simplify and expedite the process of building native applications for iOS and other mobile devices by requiring the skill set of a web designer, not a developer.
More than 300 people attended the celebration, including one very prominent Kansas Citian. “I want to be here, first and foremost, to do nothing more than congratulate Kirk and the other folks at RareWire,” said Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, Mo. “Secondly, I want to congratulate the city of Kansas City, Missouri to be fortunate enough to have Kirk and RareWire, and all the other entrepreneurs and startups and business owners here in the room tonight that make KC the best.”
Running up to the party, RareWire hosted the Wire Clash Contest. The challenge was meant to encourage innovative app development using the company’s Wire language. RareWire accepted submissions for a month before narrowing the field down to five finalists.
The winner, announced at the party, was Pixel Artist, an app Tyler Hillsman created using the App Creation Studio. For winning the contest, Hillsman was awarded a $7,500 contract to develop client apps for RareWire, the ability to develop free apps on the platform for a year and a large, professional wrestling-style championship belt emblazoned with the RareWire logo.
Even with the launch of the App Creation Studio and the high-profile recent press, RareWire has no plans to slow down. The company has been teaching free classes at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on how to develop native mobile apps using its platform, and RareWire will soon launch its Android engine, which will allow designers using the App Creation Studio to instantly publish their app to both iOS and Android.
“We’re doing anything and everything we can to spread the word that this platform exists and to get people to try it,” Hasenzahl said. “And we’re working on strategic partnerships with key companies that can accelerate that.”
James closed out his talk at the event by sharing his excitement for RareWire and his advice for the entrepreneurs of Kansas City. “This city is rocking right now,” he said, “If we can’t really love KC and push KC right now, I don’t think we’re ever going to. So get out and talk about the greatness of this city. Invite your friends to come here from wherever they are. Work hard.”
The RareWire Studio Launch party was held at The Guild in the Crossroads district of Kansas City, Mo.
Partygoers test out the apps of the five finalists of RareWire’s App Clash Contest and place their vote for the winner. The top prize, chosen based on a combination of votes and RareWire’s judging, was given to Pixel Artist.
Kansas City, Mo. mayor Sly James (left) poses with RareWire co-founder Kirk Hasenzahl. James presented his first entrepreneurial challenge coin to Hasenzahl at the party.
Credits: Photo of James and Hasenzahl from James on Twitter. All other photos by Annie Sorensen.