More graduates of the Techstars-led Sprint Mobile Accelerator may be calling Kansas City home thanks to venture capitalist Brad Feld.
Feld, co-founder of the international accelerator program Techstars, is making his Kansas City, Kan. home available to graduates of the local Techstars program rent free.
“I’m very happy with how things have gone to date,” Feld said of owning a home in Kansas City specifically for startup companies. “I’m especially happy for the support from Adam (Arredondo) and the team at the Kansas City Startup Village.”
Feld previously made his home — located in the Kansas City Startup Village — available rent free as part of an international competition but opted to change the idea to entice more Techstars to relocate to the area. Startups at the home can enjoy a year of free rent and Google Fiber, but must pay utilities.
Rex Animal Health, led by co-founders Amado Guloy and Haven Moore, moved into the home in October.
“It’s been really helpful,” Guloy said. “It’s one less thing to worry about on the list of millions of things to worry about. It eases the burden on Haven and I’s personal expenses to focus more on the company and put all our efforts toward that.”
John Fein, managing director for Techstars at the Sprint Accelerator, said that the home’s location in the Kansas City Startup Village is an added benefit. The village, which straddles the Kansas-Missouri border, is a community of entrepreneurs and startups that moved to the first neighborhood to receive Google Fiber in 2012. Being located among a community of innovators will only help Techstars companies develop new relationships and ideas, Fein added.
“We’re thrilled that Brad is offering the Feld House to Techstars graduates,” he said. “The ability to connect with other startups in the village — and also make a valuable connection to Brad — makes this an amazing value. We’re excited to offer this opportunity to one of our 2016 companies and hope it will help convince a non-Kansas City company to relocate here after the program is complete.”
The Sprint Accelerator program has already been successful in attracting several companies to the area. Three Sprint Accelerator companies have relocated their headquarters to Kansas City, including FitBark, Symptomly and Rex. At least two other graduates have hired people at area offices, including HealthID and Vertisense.
Feld said he’s been pleased with the Sprint Accelerator program, which will broadly be focusing on mobile tech startups in 2016 instead of specifically mobile health firms.
“I have been very happy with the Sprint Accelerator,” Feld said. “As Techstars has continued to expand, Sprint has been a great partner and the program has exceeded my expectations.”