Editor’s note: New in KC is an ongoing profile series that highlights newly relocated members of the Kansas City startup community, their reasons for a change of scenery, and what they’ve found so far in KC. Click here to read more New in KC profiles.
Opportunities in two Missouri startup hubs easily outbid the East Coast in a fight for Tony Bergida’s talents.
“In a way, it still has a little bit of a small town feel,” Bergida, director of marketing and communications at Frosty Tech, said of his recent decision to make a life for himself and his family in Kansas City versus moving back to his home state of Virginia.
“I think Kansas City is a really special place,” he said, noting his journey with Frosty Tech — an eco-friendly, non-toxic, 100-percent recyclable, cooling technology company which was founded by Bergida’s brother, John Bergida — presented him with two options: a life in St. Louis or the City of Fountains.
Click here to learn more about Frosty Tech and how it works.
“We decided that we wanted two hubs. … All of our chemical engineering is done in Kansas City and then more of our mechanical is done or over in St. Louis,” Bergida explained of the bi-metro presence Frosty Tech has established.
He ultimately found Kansas City to be the most inviting and energetic of the two communities, he noted.
“When we bought our house in Olathe, it had been on the market for 12 hours. There were seven offers! We had to beat out people. It was silly,” he laughed.
“To me, that was reassuring in a certain way … that this is an area that’s seeing a lot of economic growth, it’s a great place to raise a family, it’s one of those cities that I think has everything that you could want. It has football, it has baseball, it has the plaza, the people are really nice out here, and there’s a lot of innovation.”
The region’s support of athletics has also resonated with Bergida, a former college athlete.
“I think sports has commonality in the workplace because people from a diverse range of backgrounds can find something to connect on [and] it’s all about getting better,” he said of ways Kansas City’s passion for sports translates into strong teams working to build dynamic companies.
The city’s potential for increased innovation further attracted Bergida to the metro, he said, noting the impact a proposed Missouri Hyperloop could have on Frosty Tech.
“I would be so happy,” Bergida said, beaming. “I keep kidding my boss [in St. Louis] that he could come and work down here. Thirty-minute commute. … and we’re still looking to grow more in the St. Louis community,” he said of the modern transit system’s potential.
Such connectivity would also impact the company’s ability to do business with customers in places like Omaha, Chicago, and Des Moines, which further excites Bergida about Kansas City — an emerging epicenter for entrepreneurs, he said.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity in Kansas City, whether it be entrepreneurship or different growing sectors. …The quality of life here in the midwest, I don’t think you can really beat it. in We plan on being here permanently.”
Click here to connect with Bergida.