The Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) had its annual luncheon, Fast KC, last Friday and shared progress on regional commerce and plans for the future of Kansas City region. The progress report indicated Kansas City has fostered significant job creation, with the expansion of companies like Cerner boosting the regional economy.

Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company and recent author of Practically Radical, was Fast KC’s keynote speaker. Taylor delivered a talk about innovation and leadership in business. The speech centered around …

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Thinc Iowa’s afternoon session Friday began with Ben Milne, who is (or should be) a known name to Silicon Prairie News readers. Milne is the CEO and co-founder of Dwolla. He started the company based on a problem he had with his previous startup: high interchange fees. With an understanding of interchange fees, a term used in the banking industry to describe fees paid between banks, Milne wanted to change how payments are made …

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Andy Murray, the founder and chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi X, kicked off Thinc Iowa as the first speaker today at the Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines. Murray discussed the common challenges that both corporations and startups share and focused the rest of his talk on the five themes that make entrepreneurship in corporations and startups creative.

Five T.I. Takeaways …

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Cason Coplin, the CEO of Lenexa, Kan.-based EcoFit Lighting, spoke Tuesday at KC Next’s Technology Entrepreneur Speaker Program, shedding light on important information for entrepreneurs. After talking briefly about his company’s LED-based technology, he discussed frequently overlooked questions that …

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When doing business these days, it’s all about mobility. Ask John Epperson of Ruxter how companies can make their business mobile, and he’ll tell you it’s simple: by using Ruxter 2.0.
Ruxter aims to help businesses reach mobile customers and bring in new ones with the mobile web — QR codes, text messaging, mobile coupons and advertising.

In my experience, there are two cool, useful features that make Ruxter worth using: easy setup and invitation process. I had an opportunity to demo Ruxter …

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Handmark founder and chairman, Augie Grasis knows a thing or two about staying on the bleeding edge of technology. Back when the Android Marketplace and Apple’s app store didn’t exist, Grasis was making a living on $29.99 apps like Tela Atlas and app suites such as PocketExpress. Nowadays, I would think long and hard before paying $29.99 for a map app, but with any bleeding edge technology it’s easy to pay for a glimpse of what the future holds in the Information Age. …

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The slate of speakers at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Innovation Conference, held July 14 at H&R Block’s world headquarters, helped illustrate the sort of innovation present in the city today. But the event’s midday keynote provided a different perspective on innovation in the city, taking a look back. H&R Bloch co-founder Henry Bloch took part in a question-and-answer session with his son, Tom …

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In May, I wrote an article about Vicinity Games, a game development company located in Kansas City. In that article, co-founders Nate Allen and Mike Koporc introduced Paper Craft, a multi-player shooting game for XBox, and shared a sneak preview of the game.

Paper Craft launched in late May and since then has accrued over 1,300 paid downloads on the XBox marketplace. Allen said that even though Paper Craft could use minor enhancements …

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We live in an age of energy drinks. Red Bull, 5-hour Energy or insert your energy drink of the week here have been proven and sometimes disproven to help languid geeks stay awake in the wee hours of night hacking away on the next big thing.

What we sometimes misunderstand is that a boost of energy doesn’t necessarily make up for a lack of focus. …

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