The EDC was proud to be a sponsor of this year’s iKC Unconference event along with many supporting corporate partners in the Kansas City area. The idea of an ‘unconference’ sounded unusual but the open format proved to be a successful backdrop to unify the movers & shakers in our investor, business and entrepreneur community. Local and regional investors, entrepreneurs, businesses of all sizes, builders and innovators convened at Union Station on August 21st to spend the day solving problems in a whole new way: attendees show up in the morning, submit topics they want to discuss and then vote to decide which topics will make the most interesting sessions and bring the most value.
Mayor Sly James and Congressman Kevin Yoder kicked things off at the start of the day with welcome remarks praising Kansas City’s entrepreneurial spirit. They brought attention to issues still affecting our community and shared impressive economic development statistics from the past few years. Members from the EDC, Pete Fullerton, President and Drew Solomon, Coordinator of Entrepreneurship and Industry Initiatives and also an “unMentor,” facilitated the choosing of topics, which included a few of the following:
– How to attract capital from investors on the coast
– How can KC attract more millennials
– Repurposing Kemper Arena
Click here to view more of the topics submitted
One of the most important topics submitted, How to synchronize and leverage all of the social good in Kansas City, continued to be discussed after the conference. Twenty people met privately to delve deeper into the issue and a key outcome of that meeting was that the question can’t be addressed in a single meeting, yet it’s too important a subject to remain on the shelf between conferences. The notes from that session are available in this publicly viewable Word document.
A follow up planning meeting has been organized to frame the problem and gauge interest in Kansas City participating virtually in the 2014 Mashable/UNDP Social Good Summit in September. (Sep 21st & 22nd)
KC Sourcelink closed the day with the State of Entrepreneurship Address, highlighting amazing local entrepreneurs as well as presenting the ‘We Crea+e KC’ report. The report serves as the baseline for the Big 5 initiative which is intended to position Kansas City as America’s most entrepreneurial city. The day ended on an inspirational high note with attendees discussing next steps and making the kind of connections that will unify our city for a long time to come.
Complete coverage of the event may also be found at Silicon Prairie News
View more photos of the event on our Facebook page.
Photo credit: Thisiskc.com