Kansas City’s 1 Million Cups tried something new today.
And by new, it was actually old. The event met in its original venue, Kauffman Labs, which served as an intimate setting for attendees. Entrepreneurs and community members gathered around desks and viewed presentations projected onto a white board.
“The venue change happened today because our regular venue was being used for another event, but it seemed like people really enjoyed being back in Kauffman Labs,” said Courtney Chapman, an organizer for the event. “There was definitely a different kind of energy today.”
The Swapping Company is an online application that helps second hand stores move their inventory. It streamlines the process of uploading pictures of their gently used clothing items to social sites to help sell to a broader audience.
“We’re saving these stores (from closing),” Taylor said. “They were going to close their doors because they couldn’t survive with all the online shopping going on.”
The Swapping Company recently graduated from accelerator SparkLabKC and received a grant from business incubator Digital Sandbox. The company is launching the second iteration of its product next month, and they’re currently on a hiring spree.
When asked how the community could support her, Taylor pointed to the current need for investors and team members.
“Anybody that loves fashion and clothes, we need to hear from you,” she said.
The Swapping Company was followed by a duel presentation from #OneDayKC, a student-run, 12-hour event for entrepreneurial-minded college students and the winning solution that came out of the event, “Bopp.”
#OneDayKC brought together the top 30 students from surrounding area colleges to compete to solve the City of Kansas City, Mo.’s problems, and to build companies to create solutions with smart city technology.
The winning solution was Bopp, a crowdsourcing app for Kansas City street car riders who are looking for new experiences. Bopp, in partnership with the kiosks installed along the streetcar line, will display a heat map generated by trending Twitter and Instagram geo-tagged posts and nearby venues and events. Using the heat map, streetcar users could then find the most popular events and use city transportation to travel there.
A prototype for Bopp was built by the winning #OneDayKC team at a recent Gig Hacks event. The next step is to pitch the idea to the city. “Talking with [the city] after #OneDayKC, they seemed really interested, but it hasn’t gone anywhere from there yet,” said Ryan Albright of the Bopp team.
“We want to get more student feedback, analyze it and build off of it,” #OneDayKC event co-organizer Sarah Jones said. “We keep (hearing) that people want another event already next fall. Finding more students to get involved will be important.”
Co-organizer Zach Pettet said that UMKC’s Regnier Institute has committed to sponsor the event again next year.
“We want to share this with the community,” he said, “We want to inspire people to go do something cool themselves.”