My Instagram feed tells the story of a growing KC startup community

Storytelling is a beautiful, ever-evolving art form and Instagram is one of its vehicles. As I was scrolling through my feed last Friday, I stopped for a second to reflect on the events of the past few months and the impact of those events on the Kansas City startup community. Our inaugural Big Kansas City

About the author: Regan Carrizales is the Silicon Prairie News community builder in Kansas City.


 

Storytelling is a beautiful, ever-evolving art form and Instagram is one of its vehicles. As I was scrolling through my feed last Friday, I stopped for a second to reflect on the events of the past few months and the impact of those events on the Kansas City startup community.

Our inaugural Big Kansas City event came and went with high fives and smiles, moments of inspiration and moments that emotionally moved each of us. Standing to the side of the stage as Scott Harrison of charity: water spoke, I remember the feeling that swelled within me as the first tear fell. I then looked to all of you sitting in the crowd and could tell you felt the same way. It was moving, and most recently moved many in the community to surprise one of our own local entrepreneurs, Matthew Marcus, for his birthday with a donation to charity: water as part of a goal to raise $4,000. Happy birthday, Marcus.

Winding down at Big Kansas City, I found freelance art director Lacey Ellis and event speaker Mike Maacadan sitting under an airplane wing talking about Lacey’s business idea: digital scrapbooking for funny moments made by kids. I came across them tossing around ideas on a name for the startup.

Mike: Give me an example of a funny kids quote you’ve heard.

Lacey: My friend’s son said, “Mommy, the moon turned on!”

Fast forward a few weeks and Lacey and her team, LittleHootz, had won Startup Weekend Kansas City.

Last week, Silicon Prairie News hosted a group of folks from San Francisco to introduce them to the local entrepreneurial landscape. Jack Stack barbecue and Boulevard beer eased them into the scene and the next 24 hours were spent exploring all aspects of our ecosystem.

Conversations on Google Fiber, capital, corporate partner engagement in the ecosystem and the role of resource organizations opened their eyes to the work happening on the ground in Kansas City.

I was struck and inspired by their comments. They reminded us to not be so humble about the amazing work happening here and to own it, evangelize it. The intentionality of our actions as we build the entrepreneurial ecosystem is something they were surprised by and impressed to hear.

My feed stopped, I immediately grab a handful of cards to say “thanks.” The continued evolution, growth and ongoing accessibility of this community is because of the people on the ground here. Now it’s about taking those connections from Big Kansas City through this past week and putting them to action. Keep building great companies and share your stories with us, so we can share them with the world.

 

Credit: Photos by Regan Carrizales


Regan Carrizales is the Silicon Prairie News community builder in Kansas City. She comes to Silicon Prairie News with a unique background in the non-profit and local government sectors. With small town Kansas roots, she is in love with everything Heartland. Regan also believes in the critical role that “community” plays – it is how progress is made – and is most passionate about supporting the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Find Carrizales on Twitter, @regslc.

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