Wendy Guillies, 816-932-1046; email@example.com, Kauffman Foundation
Access to Google Fiber, free rent, growing community of entrepreneurs are top perks for winners
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 13, 2013) – Brad Feld, a venture capitalist at Foundry Group, noted advocate for entrepreneurs and author of the book Startup Communities, has been lauded for his hands-on role in helping to make Boulder, Colo., a thriving hub for high-tech startups. Today he announces a venture that will extend his support for entrepreneurs about 600 miles to the east — to metropolitan Kansas City.
Feld this week completed the purchase of a three-bedroom house in the Hanover Heights neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan. The area just off of State Line Road has gained renown as the nation's first Google "Fiberhood," meaning Google's 1-gigabit fiber-optic cable is installed and serving up internet connection speeds 100 times faster than broadband.
Starting today, Feld invites entrepreneurs with innovative startups that need the speed and power of Google Fiber to apply to live rent-free in his house. The Feld KC Fiberhouse Competition is hosted on iStart, a business competition site owned by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and will run through Monday, March 25.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Up to five winners will be selected from among the applications received. The panel of judges — Feld, Scott Case of Startup America Partnership, David Cohen of TechStars and Lesa Mitchell of the Kauffman Foundation — will judge the applicants based upon the innovative potential of their startups and their companies' ability to leverage Google Fiber.
"I'm putting the thesis of my book into action by directly supporting a startup community that sees endless opportunities ahead," Feld said. "The winners will have access to Google Fiber and a neighborhood and city brimming with startup activity. They can take advantage of the many entrepreneurial programs and events offered by the Kauffman Foundation. And, lastly, I commit to take a personal interest in the entrepreneurs selected to live in my KC Fiberhouse and will do what I can to provide feedback and advice."
Feld's announcement continues the growing buzz around an area dubbed "KC Startup Village," which has attracted about a dozen tech startups and the attention of local and national press including The Kansas City Star, Kansas City Business Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN and more. His home will effectively become the neighborhood's second "Hacker Home," joining one opened in October 2012 by Ben Barreth that allows entrepreneurs to live rent-free for up to three months as they develop their businesses.
To apply to live and work in the Feld KC Fiberhouse, visit http://kcfeldhouse2013.istart.org/
About Brad Feld
Brad Feld has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for more than 20 years. Prior to cofounding Foundry Group — a Boulder, Colorado-based early-stage venture capital fund that invests in information technology companies all over the United States — he cofounded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures, a company that helped launch and operate software companies. Feld is also cofounder of TechStars and has been active with several nonprofit organizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship.