After a two-year hiatus, a popular city-wide tour of area startups will return to offer residents a chance to learn about the entrepreneurs and innovative businesses around them.
Set for May 20, the 2016 Kansas City Startup Crawl will wind its way through several of the area’s startup hotbeds, highlighting coworking studios, accelerators and community hubs.
In addition to learning about more area startups, the crawl aims to provide a jovial atmosphere in which entrepreneurs and the broader community can come together.
“The startup crawl is a celebration of Kansas City’s startup and entrepreneur community,” said Matthew Marcus, an organizer of the event. “Entrepreneurs along with the general public travel the city via shuttle buses and visit several startup hubs for the purposes of networking, learning and fun.”
The free crawl has nine stops in total, including the Sprint Accelerator, OfficePort coworking studio, Think Big Partners, the Kansas City Startup Village, The Device Shops in Johnson County and more. Shuttle buses will transport participants, Marcus said.
The 2016 crawl is the third of its kind in Kansas City, Marcus said. Two crawls in 2013 attracted about 1,300 attendees in total. Marcus said he’s expecting about 1,000 attendees this year.
Marcus said organizers learned from logistical challenges during the first two events that should help enhance this year’s crawl.
“The first crawl was organic and grassroots — we didn’t really have a plan,” Marcus said. “One lesson learned was transportation logistics. In the past, some people were left stranded at various stops when the shuttle buses completed their schedule. That won’t happen this year. Plus we’re getting Tesla Kansas City on board with the action.”
Marcus encouraged startups to sign up for the crawl to showcase their firms. He said the crawl will grow local awareness around their businesses and will help inspire communication with residents who may feel disconnected from Kansas City entrepreneurship.
The crawl is free and set for 4 p.m to 10 p.m. on May 20. The crawl after-party is set for 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and will be held at Crossroads KC. To learn more about the Kansas City Startup Crawl, click here.