More than 50 startups and a quartet of local bands and performers will headline the June 9 return of Startup Crawl — and it’s a pretty sweet symphony, teased event organizers.
“It’s been almost four years since we’ve been able to host our community in this way,” said Austin Barnes, executive editor of Startland News and lead organizer of the once-annual, innovation-focused, crawl-style event hosted by the nonprofit publication.
Startup Crawl was put on an indefinite, pandemic pause following its 2019 showing in the Crossroads Arts District where nearly 1,000 guests gathered to explore Kansas City’s culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Barnes expects just as many — if not more — will do so again this year as the event moves to the Kansas City Power & Light District where it will host 55 local companies and four local bands.
Click here to register for Startup Crawl — completely free.
“Response to our rebooted version of Startup Crawl has been overwhelmingly positive. This event is a massive undertaking and to be honest, we didn’t know what to expect,” he explained, noting that with nearly four years between events, past attendees could easily stay home.
“They’ve shown us they don’t plan to,” Barnes continued. “Ticket sales are some of the healthiest in our history and we’re eager to see who finds us on event day. The way this event engages the public and captures the attention of curious Kansas Citians is one of its greatest benefits to entrepreneurs.”
Guests of the crawl will make their way through four venues — starting at Spark Coworking and traveling to additional crawl stops at PNC Plaza, H&R Block World Headquarters, and Blade & Timber.
A post-crawl experience, hosted at Sinker’s Lounge, will be accessible only to VIP event participants after they’ve traveled the full Startup Crawl route.
Click here to purchase a VIP event pass, which includes access to live music, drinks, treats, swag bags, a limited-edition 2023 Startup Crawl t-shirt, and other perks. VIP tickets are available only through Thursday, June 8.
From startup mainstays that include Healium, Homebase, and Ruby Jean’s Juicery to such newer ventures as Go Bananas A.I., Mpruv Sports, and Foresight, entrepreneurs and resource providers will fill each crawl stop with homegrown innovation and entrepreneurship success.
When local musicians take the stage at each venue, they’ll highlight the intersection between entrepreneurship and the arts — they’ll also up the cool factor of the event, Barnes added.
Featured acts set to perform during Startup Crawl include Konrad Hell and the Highwater, Cease and Desist, Jass Couch, and Nicholas Guess. Each group or artist is expected to play at Spark Coworking, PNC Plaza, Blade & Timber, and Sinker’s Lounge from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
“One of the stand out things about our lineup this year is the way many of our acts are also involved in entrepreneurship efforts across the city,” Barnes explained, noting some featured performers are also startup founders or work for area small businesses.
“We’re excited to provide an outlet where some of them can show their peers and investors who they are creatively and others can showcase their talents to a larger audience.”
Startup Crawl is made possible by presenting sponsor Husch Blackwell and supporting sponsors at Block Advisors by H&R Block, Spark Coworking, and Swell Spark.
Additional support for the event comes from UncommonGood, Saile, PNC Plaza, the Kansas City Power & Light District, KC BizCare, Social Apex Media, Vibration Nation, and Crux.
Interested in becoming a Startland News sponsor or underwriter? Click here for details.