The startup community is a strong group the City of Kansas City, Missouri, should embrace — especially as it crafts local legislation and regulations that will shape the metro for generations, said Sarah Shipley.
The Kansas City Startup Foundation board chair’s words come as KCMO officials organize a series of community work sessions, geared toward unearthing residents’ views on the community’s needs.
Shipley hopes members of the startup community will attend one or more of the sessions — the remaining two are set for Saturday and Tuesday — to express their views and desires, while advocating for more entrepreneur support, she said.
Residents and community members packed the first session Thursday at the Liberty Memorial. The crowd size surprised Scott Wagner, city councilman and mayor pro-tem.
“The work that you’re doing is so critically important to how we view ourselves,” Wagner told those gathered Thursday. “I put it this way: What do we want to be when we grow up? And you’re here to tell us what we are to be when we grow up — whether that’s a year from now, five years from now and beyond.”
With 84,000 jobs created over the past two years, Shipley said, the startup community is a voice council members should listen to as they work to realize the city’s future.
Wagner said he’s thankful to all KCMO residents who attend a work session and express a vision for their city, which will ultimately help local leaders develop next year’s budget.
“The work that you’re doing has both that long-term effect and something that you’ll see just around the corner,” he said.