A week long celebration of Kansas City entrepreneurship plans to build community among area innovators and residents with a festive atmosphere focused on fun.
Featuring a startup pub crawl, a yard games tournament, educational events and more, 1Week KC is set for June 16 to 23 with events throughout the metro area.
Previously presented by KCSourceLink, 1Week KC has new management under the Kansas City Startup Foundation, which aims to “create the most connected startup community in the world.” The foundation’s most high-profile event yet, 1Week KC falls in line with the organization’s mission to unify and champion Kansas City’s startup ecosystem through collisions, co-learning and community, KCSF executive director Matthew Marcus said.
Marcus added that he hopes people have fun while making friendships that grow Kansas City.
“1Week KC is all about bringing the community together, celebrating and creating opportunities for new people to get involved with the community,” Marcus said. “It’s all about connections, and this fell right in line with our main vision. It was serendipitous that the opportunity came our way.”
Marcus said that the 1Week KC brand belongs to the community and that KCSF was happy to jump on board and organize the week-long event. Although several elements of the 1Week KC event will be similar to 2016, Marcus said he is especially excited about this year’s Startup Crawl, which will take place exclusively in the Crossroads Arts District on June 16.
Attendees will walk or “crawl” to destinations such as Think Big Partners, the Sundry, Lead Bank, WeWork Corrigan Station and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. Previous crawls have hosted as many as 1,000 people, and Marcus said it’s a great opportunity to see a bunch of different startups in one short evening.
“At the foundation, we’re all about having a good time,” Marcus said. “If people aren’t smiling and having a good time while they’re enjoying these events, then we’re not doing it right in my mind.”
Also back by popular demand is Startup Games, which will be held June 19 at the Liberty Memorial. Organized by KC Crew, this event will bring about some friendly competition within the community with a variety of yard games.
Unlike other startup community events focused on networking and learning, Marcus said 1Week KC events will out the focus foremost on fun.
“Throughout the year we’re all usually in the trenches and on our keyboards — this is a good opportunity to get out of the trenches and connect,” Marcus said. “A community is only as strong and vibrant as those who participate in it. … Do it for yourself and do it for the others that you meet — you might be able to help out in some fashion.”
Marcus also noted the strong support from the entrepreneurial ecosystem with making the event possible, with sponsorships from Polsinelli, Flyover Capital and EyeVerify.
Here’s more info on 1Week KC and the full schedule is below:
June 16, Startup Waffles, starting 8 a.m. at Think Big Partners
June 16, Gigabit City Summit: Local Edition by KC Digital Drive, at Plexpod Westport Commons
June 16, Startup Crawl KC, starting 4:30 p.m. in the Crossroads Arts District
June 19, Startup Games KC by KC Crew, starting 5:30 p.m. at Liberty Memorial
June 20, Venture Lounge, starting 5:30 p.m. by ECJC at WeWork
June 21, 1 Million Cups, 9 a.m. at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
June 21, Innovation Exchange, starting 4:30 p.m. at Think Big Partners
June 22, GUILDit, noon at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
June 22, Verge KC, starting 5:30 p.m. at Plexpod Westport Commons
June 23, Entrepreneur Day at the K, starting 4:30 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium