A national tech event firm that aims to cultivate community excitement and awareness around innovation is set to launch in Kansas City on March 14.
Verge has selected Kansas City as its next locale for its monthly pitch event series in which the firm will host tech startups that will present their firms to a crowd of investors, entrepreneurs and techies. Already established in such cities as Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville, Verge’s mission is to accelerate a community’s entrepreneurs through its curated approach that targets specific people and companies. The event series also partners with national media — such as Business Insider, Tech.co and Huffington Post — to increase its impact.
VergeKC is set for March 14 at Lifted Spirits Distillery in the East Crossroads. Kansas City tech firms Idle Smart, Stackify and Mycroft will pitch at the inaugural event.
To learn more about the event and its approach in Kansas City, Startland News sat down with VergeKC hub director and Kansas Citian Jay Austin to learn more.
What makes Verge different than other tech events?
Everybody’s welcome to attend, but the pitches are curated. The top priority of VergeKC is to give local tech companies national exposure. We record the pitches and syndicate them through our partnerships with online publications like Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Tech.co, and Huffington Post. I think people are tired of going to events where nothing really gets done, and so they just stop going to events in general. That’s not good. The community needs community, if that makes sense. That’s why the Verge vibe is focused on truly making things happen.
What’s the Verge’s mission?
The top priority is to give local tech startups national exposure. The second priority is to get the KC entrepreneurs together who are truly building companies, especially in tech. The conversations are different once entrepreneurs reach a certain level of business success. VergeKC needs to be a place where those entrepreneurs can have those conversations on a regular basis.
How will the VergeKC work?
Before the main event we host a private happy hour for all of the past, present, and future presenters, as well as sponsors and special invitees. The main event starts with one to three pitches from badass tech startups from here in the Kansas City area. These startups have to have a certain level of traction in order to pitch from the VergeKC stage. The pitches are followed by a fireside chat, where we get down and dirty with local influencers. Then we wrap it up and let everyone connect. Compact, meaningful, and to the point. We’re not trying to waste anyone’s time.
Why should people attend?
The people who really need to show up to VergeKC are the people who are legitimately looking to get things done. We hosted a private get-together in January to start building momentum for VergeKC. By the end of it, a founder of a venture-backed company shook my hand and said “I just met someone who might be able to solve a huge problem for us. Thank you.” That’s the point of VergeKC.