Tue, Jan 15, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Google’s ultrafast Internet creating US ‘Silicon Prairie’

STARTUP MAGNET:Entrepreneurs are flocking to unlikely new tech hub Kansas City, Kansas, to use the company’s lighting-quick Web connection to start their businesses

AP, KANSAS CITY, Kansas

The house has been full since the middle of last month with Payne and two others occupying rooms. Another room is reserved for “fiber tourists” who want to staty at a place where they can download anything faster than they can elsewhere for a day or two.

“The hope is that these startups will move their operations to Kansas City and this will really bless Kansas City, bring jobs and taxes and we’ll build a really cool tech scene,” Barreth said.

A few homes away from the Home for Hackers is the headquarters of the Kansas City Startup Village, which was started by local entrepreneur Matthew Marcus and where Mike Farmer, founder of mobile search app Leap2.com, has his offices.

Farmer said Google Fiber brought attention to Kansas City’s startup culture “because it sort of ignites the imagination about what you can do with that sort of bandwidth capability.”

However, despite the growth, it remains a challenge for startups to raise money from Kansas City, Farmer said. Silicon Valley venture capital groups in particular want startup entrepreneurs to be nearby in California, he said.

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