Storytelling brings communities together, said Austin Barnes, as nearly 200 of the region’s corporate, small business and startup leaders gathered for Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2023 reception and awards presentation.
“Startups to Watch is an opportunity for Startland News to do what it does best — amplify the story of entrepreneurship and connect rising companies to valuable resources in our community,” said Barnes, the executive editor of Startland News. “It comes at a time when our newsroom is doubling down on its commitment to being an example of quality journalism and providing outlets for readers to connect with the people we cover. We’re firm believers in news engagement, and this event is our way of creating such opportunities for Kansas Citians.”
The event was organized Tuesday at MADE MOBB — one of the Startups to Watch in 2023 honorees — within the apparel brand’s storefront in the Crossroads Arts District.
“When we moved into this bigger space three years ago, our idea was to host more,” said Vu Radley, one of the founders of MADE MOBB, during the event. “… It’s been so dope to meet the other Startups [To Watch founders] and see our similarities as well as our differences. I met a few people at this event who I likely wouldn’t have had the chance to connect with — 2023 is about connecting, reconnecting and going deeper into those relationships.”
View this post on Instagram
One Startup to Watch founder has already made headlines in the first month of 2023.
Randy Wasinger, the founder and CEO of CryptoSlam, announced earlier this month the merger of CryptoSlam and Forkast.News. The deal is expected to create a first-of-its-kind Web3-focused data intelligence and media platform called Forkast Labs.
“I’m excited to show the world where we’re taking this and the product that manifests when you merge the data with the media component,” Wasinger said. “This merger allows us to bring clarity to the chaos, and we will be sharing some more exciting announcements coming up.”
Click here to read more about CryptoSlam’s merger with Forkast.News.
Attendees of Tuesday’s event came together to network, celebrate and watch the premier of a collection of video interviews with the Startups to Watch founders. The video features were created in partnership with Social Apex Media.
“I personally really enjoyed hearing the stories of all of the other founders,” Wasinger shared. “When you’re in the trenches — and going through a lot of highs and lows — there’s not a lot of networking. So just having this opportunity to listen to everybody’s stories has been very motivating and inspiring to me.”
Check out one of 10 video interviews shown during Tuesday’s reception below, then keep reading.
The video interviews highlighted at the reception were filmed at Spark Kansas City, a coworking space in the Power and Light District and home to Startland News’ nonprofit newsroom. Spark has been a partner of Startland News since 2021, with the two organizations sharing the mission of creating a strong ecosystem for Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community, said Lindsay Knetter, the community manager at Spark.
“Community is everything — especially in our space — and when the Startland News team hosts interviews, events and filming at Spark, we become a small piece of the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Knetter said. “We are so happy to be a part of it and look forward to supporting KC as a catalyst for innovation through our creative space, network and community members.”
Click here to check out the full list of Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2023.
Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2023