KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City, Mo., is home to a growing, thriving entrepreneurial community, particularly in the tech world.
More and more techies are starting to choose the “Silicon Prairie” over California's Silicon Valley.
The tech world in Kansas City is on the verge of an explosion; a growing number of start-up businesses that are quickly becoming impactful industries, developing new products and bringing in new jobs.
Techies have come from across the nation, inventing everything from medical apps for doctors to the first-of-its-kind mobile video games that can be played from anywhere across the world.
Matthew Barksdale and Steve Timperley ( http://www.engagemobile.com ) are the inventors of the new Vs. Football mobile app.
They said it is the first interactive football game app for mobile devices.
Barksdale moved back to Kansas City from the East Coast. Timperley arrived in Kansas City from South Africa.
Barkdale said tech entrepreneurs no longer need to be on the coasts to thrive.
"We'll grow three times this year, so we are exploding," he said.
So is the Kansas City start-up called EyeVerify ( http://www.EyeVerify.com) located in the city's Start-Up Village
It identifies a user through eye vein technology .
"I've logged in and haven't had to put in a password," Executive Vice President of Global Sales Chris Barnett said.
That's because he said passwords these days are a nightmare.
“A survey was taken where 38 percent of Americans would rather clean a toilet than think up a new password for online services," he said.
Barnett, from New York City, said he rejected several offers to move to Silicon Valley on the California coast.
"I found I really don't need to go there for a career opportunity. I'm 300 yards from my gym and my kids’ school," Barnett said.
Riding on the coat tails of Google Fiber, major local companies like Sprint, have set up start-up accelerators to support tech entrepreneurs downtown.
The effort big companies are making to collaborate with business, donating office space and offering monetary help is beginning to pay off.
"A lot of entrepreneurs are working their tails off to prove we can and are as good as either coast,” Barkdale said.
The Kauffman Foundation recently ranked Kansas City No. 13 on its list of the top 20 metropolitan densities of IT and communications technology startups. Seattle and San Jose topped the list.
"We don't get as many Wizard of Oz jokes anymore," Barnett joked.
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