KCBizCare Top 10 Initiatives & Successes of 2014
I discussed a number of collaborative efforts that can be or already are focused on this corridor:
1) Justine Petersen Microloan Program – Lisa Zimmerman is the JP Loan Officer in KC and this program was started in October 2011. To date over $318,000 have been loaned to KCMO businesses with over $166,000 going to 25 businesses on or east of Troost. As I discussed in the meeting, Lisa holds office hours at KCBizCare every other Tuesday but is also available by appointment. The City has partnered with JP to target 5 business corridors in our Storefront Initiative
2) KCBizCare – John Pajor manages the City’s business customer service center and our business advocates are available to assist anyone with a business idea or business service need
3) LaunchKC – Drew Solomon facilitates this program at EDCKC. As discussed, we can work with Drew to identify available space in the corridor to locate new tech businesses as they approach him through our LaunchPad program
4) WikiKC - was launched last fall as part of the City’s partnership with Code for America. The Wiki is an ad hoc resource for the KC area. For this group, please take a look at the Featured Pages to get an idea of what is already being added to this site. The main thing is that we continue to use and make the community aware of the resources on the Wiki.
5) KC Startup Village & Most Entrepreneurial City in America – As I discussed, MECA is meeting weekly at the Kauffman Foundation each Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. You can join the Google Group to stay informed of activities
a. KC Startup Village – this is the area generally bounded by Rainbow Blvd, 39th Street, Roanoke Road and 47th Street and includes KCK’s Hanover Heights neighborhood were Google Fiber was first connected to homes. For this group, we should not jump out and say we’re creating the next Startup Village but we should ensure we are making conditions right for entrepreneurs and home-based businesses
b. MECA – This meeting is focused on what is fueling KC Startup Village and how to create these conditions in other areas of the City. My observations are that a Startup village needs to be led by entrepreneurs, contain affordable residential real estate (someone should buy a house, hook it up with Google Fiber and let entrepreneurs live there for free for 3 months to a year like http://www.siliconprairienews.com/2013/05/homes-for-hackers-founder-lands-on-government-technology-cover or http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2013/04/the-feld-fiberhouse-is-now-the-handprint-house.html)
6) Sharing City Assets for Free Public Wifi – the City is interested in working with Connecting for Good on this project.
7) Build a Path to Entrepreneurship – Chester Thompson at the BEU is reenergizing the Lincoln Building at 18th & Vine as a business center.