Kauffman Foundation Invites Entrepreneurs to 'Hacking the Gigabit City'

Media Contact:
Lacey Graverson, 816-932-1116, lgraverson@kauffman.org, Kauffman Foundation

54-hour event uses Google Fiber network to build innovative apps

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 14, 2013) – Building on previous success in San Francisco and Chattanooga, Hacking the Gigabit City is coming to Kansas City March 22-24, 2013. Sponsored by the Mozilla Foundation, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, National Science Foundation, U.S. Ignite and KC Digital Drive, the 54-hour event connects "hackers" to plan, build and design applications using Kansas City's new Google Fiber network.

With the 1 gigabit-per-second Google Fiber network rolling out in Kansas City, startups, social enterprises and makers have an enormous opportunity to build the future on broadband that's up to 100 times faster than the typical home connection. How will people of all ages use this new infrastructure to live, learn and make? How will the network change the way we interact with people, businesses, government and institutions? Hacking the Gigabit City aims to answer these questions through a participatory event focused on creating code, products/services and compelling designs that can make a difference in people's lives.

“We are looking for hackers to use the speed of the Google Fiber network to build applications that push the tech envelope forward," said Cameron Cushman, manager in Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. "We are trying to invent the future, and Kansas City is at the forefront of ultra-high-speed internet access. This event is for people who want to work and build something that can truly help others and improve lives.”

The event will begin on Friday, March 22 with dinner and rapid-fire project pitches, culminating with the formation of teams in specific areas, including health care, public safety, education and gaming. The next two days will be focused on designing, creating, making and building. The event concludes on Sunday, March 24 with demos of the applications to a panel of judges.

The applications created during the event could evolve into a submission to the Mozilla Ignite Challenge, which on April 3 will award $250,000 of seed money and mentorship to help the most promising projects get off the ground.

Travel scholarships are available to a select group of hackers. Apply here for an all-expenses-paid trip to Kansas City. Applications are due by Tues., Feb. 26.

If you're interested in participating in Hacking the Gigabit City, register for the event by Tues., Feb. 26. Space is limited, so sign up early.

About KC Digital Drive
KC Digital Drive is a community-driven, regional effort to take advantage of our unique infrastructure and establish Kansas City as a global leader in digital innovation. We're working to achieve positive, transformative effects on the economic, cultural and social life of the region through implementation and stewardship of the digital playbook produced by the Mayors' Bistate Innovations Team. KCDD is incubated by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and supported by government, philanthropic, corporate and citizen partners.