LaunchKC has landed in Austin for SXSW and is planting a flag in the ground for Kansas City this weekend, said Drew Solomon.
Now in its fifth year as an industry focused accelerator for tech startups, LaunchKC attracts hundreds of entrepreneurs each year to apply and compete for $500,000 in grants, and the opportunity to build their businesses in Kansas City. LaunchKC is a civic engine in the Kansas City startup space. LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri.
Set for Sunday at the popular bar Maggie Mae’s in Austin, KC Outpost returns with presentations featuring expert speakers from Virgin Hyperloop One, Garmin, FishTech Group, Mastercard and other high-profile organizations, said Solomon, chair of the LaunchKC program.
“KC Outpost provides the platform to promote the LaunchKC program and the Kansas City community as a destination for entrepreneurs and tech companies,” he added. “We continue to demonstrate why Kansas City is a great place to start and grow your next venture.”
Experts at the day-long event are expected to discuss tech-driven solutions for cities, including high-speed transportation, smart city technology, cybersecurity innovations and talent attraction — all pressing issues at home, as well as across the country, KC organizers said.
Click here for more info on Outpost KC.
“Kansas City is an established hub for tech talent with a strong entrepreneurial legacy and vibrant start up culture,” said Tim Cowden, CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC). “This event is a showcase for innovations being tested and rolled out in KC, including hyperloop, cybersecurity and smart city technologies.”
Organized by LaunchKC, KCADC, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the program is set to include:
- 9 a.m. — How “smart city” programs are transforming American cities — Bob Bennett, chief information officer, City of Kansas City, Missouri; Ruthbea Clarke Yesner, vice president of Smart Cities, International Data Corporation (IDC); Gordon Feller, founder, Meeting of the Minds; and Miguel Gamiño Jr., EVP, head of Global Cities, Mastercard.
- 10 a.m. — New ways to attract (and keep) talented tech workers — Sara Slocum, recruiting team leader, Garmin Ltd.; Molly Weaver, talent acquisition director, Children’s Mercy Hospital; and Jessica Palm, vice president, lead executive, Team KC: Life + Talent, KCADC.
- 11 a.m. — Fireside chat: Fostering diversity and inclusion in 2019 and beyond – Dell Gines, senior community development advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; and Rodney Sampson, chairman and CEO, Opportunity Hub.
- Noon — U.S. whiskey rebounds; demo and tasting — Ryan Maybee, co-founder, J. Rieger & Co.
- 1 p.m. — Cybersecurity: Critical issues to watch in 2019 — Eric Foster, COO, CYDERES/Fishtech Group; Chris Lalonde, COO, Wickr; and Jason Zann, vice president, head of platform, RiskIQ.
- 2 p.m. — Will hyperloop transform the way we travel? — Diana Zhou, director of project strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One; Drew Thompson, director, Black & Veatch; Ryan Weber, president, KC Tech Council; and Christine Murray, senior vice president, managing director, Fenaroli & Associates.
- 4:30 p.m. — Top five finalists from the “Startup of the Year” competition pitch — Contenders attempt to win a fast-track opportunity to the Startup of the Year fall event and a $1,000 prize from LaunchKC.
To track Kansas City’s journey at SXSW, follow along at #SXSWKC