The new owner of Kansas City’s “Home for Hackers” is planning to further the legacy of the program that has brought dozens of techies to the area from around the world.
Ben Barreth, founder of the Home for Hackers, recently sold his house near 44th and State Line Road in Kansas City, Kan., to Jeff Durbin, a longtime Kansas City techie with an interest entrepreneurship.
Durbin, 33, is a 10-year veteran at PeopleAdmin, formerly Kansas City-based Netchemia. He purchased the house in December and plans to maintain the Home for Hackers model, which offers techies from around the world free rent to at least temporarily relocate their startup to Kansas City.
“I’m interested in the turnover of tech-oriented people that go through there,” Durbin said. “Some people are there to start a business, some are there working for other tech companies, but they come there because they want to be around like-minded people. I think it’s a cool thing to foster.”
The Homes for Hackers program has hosted more than 20 people from around the U.S. and the world in its three years in the Kansas City Startup Village. Homes for Hackers also contains an AirBnB room that helps to offset operational costs.
The five-bedroom, one-bath home with access to Google Fiber has generally loose criteria for prospective tenants. “Hackers” must move to Kansas City, be working on a specific tech project or business and abide to some other house rules during a three- to six-month stay.
Past startup ventures to stay in the home include Handprint, Traveling Nuker, LeetNode, Gamer Talent and more.
Durbin said that he’s excited to help boost entrepreneurship and tech in Kansas City through the Home for Hackers program.
“There’s a lot of potential here in Kansas City and I want to continue to see it grow.” he said. “I’m looking to maintain its purpose, which is to provide a foothold for startup business in Kansas City, to provide a safe place to start their business and to provide them with the tools they need, like Google fiber but also there’s a whole community there.”