Kansas City’s Power & Light District was crawling with curiosity Friday as a sellout crowd made its rounds, participating in the recently revived Startup Crawl event and exploring a new side of the city they call home.
“We saw a mix of familiar and unfamiliar faces,” said Austin Barnes, executive editor of Startland News and lead organizer of Startup Crawl, noting it was the newcomers who made the return of Startup Crawl (after a four-year hiatus) a success.
“More than 42 percent of our guests were exposed to the startup, entrepreneurial and innovation community for the first time during the event — that’s a huge win as we work to further amplify innovation in KC.”
An estimated 815 guests took part in the Husch Blackwell-sponsored crawl, which spanned five venues in the Power & Light District.
Sixty-three startups, small businesses, and community organizations participated in the event.
Click here to read more about the return of Startup Crawl.
“We couldn’t have asked for better weather, a better crowd, or more support,” Barnes said, adding kudos to event sponsors at Husch Blackwell, Block Advisors by H&R Block, Swell Spark, Spark Coworking Kansas City, Uncommongood, Saile, Kansas City Power & Light District, PNC Plaza, Kansas City BizCare, Social Apex Media, and Crux.
Check out a brief photo gallery from the event below, then keep reading.
“Our sponsors were critical in reviving this effort,” he noted. “These companies stepped up and believed us when we said our community remained hungry for this type of connectivity after the pandemic. With little hesitation they put generous support behind this event and ensured it could return bigger than ever.”
Such support went even deeper than financial sponsorship, Barnes added.
“The way our partners at each of these companies activated their teams for this event is unlike anything we’ve seen in nearly a decade of operation at Startland News,” he continued, explaining teams from the largely corporate slate of sponsors came out in full force to participate in the event in ways that ranged from planning and organizing to running booths and volunteering at crawl venues.
“That level of involvement and excitement is why Kansas City is unlike any other city around. They came ready and willing to engage with participating companies and curious citizens alike”
In addition to startup and small business exhibitors, local food from the likes of Happy Tummy and Devoured, and flowing drinks, guests were treated to a concert lineup that included three emerging artists and bands.
Keep scrolling for even more photos from Startup Crawl.