KC area tech groups teaming up to launch regional tech council
The Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) and the Software and Information Technology Association of Kansas (SITAKS) announced today they are combining forces to create KCnext —The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City. The announcement marks a new beginning for the three-year-old SITAKS, as it joins with KCADC to establish a new regional technology council with members from both Kansas and Missouri.
KCnext, a technology initiative launched two years ago by the KCADC, previously fell under the umbrella of the development council, but as the Kansas City Business Journal reported today, the new entity will be an independent organization.
"This new organization will allow for stronger regional programs, a more powerful local and national identity for KC’s IT industry, and greater engagement from KC's tech companies," Bob Marcusse, the president and CEO of the KCADC, said in a press release. "The result will be a much more effective program to support KCADC’s core mission in elevating our region’s tech story nationally, strengthening the existing tech sector and ultimately recruiting more premier tech companies and high-paying jobs to the region."
The partnership between KCnext and SITAKS made sense for the organizations because of several shared objectives for the region’s IT and technology industry, including an emphasis on educational programming, networking events and a talented workforce pipeline for area technology companies. By combining the strengths and membership of both organizations, KCnext—The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City looks to become the recognized regional technology and IT effort for the Kansas City area.
The new entity will be affiliated with the Technology Councils of North America, providing an expanded network of industry knowledge, connections and expertise in public, government and media relations.
"Establishing a new regional effort is the intelligent and bold thing to do," Perry Puccetti, chairman of the board for SITAKS said in the release. "By locating the right ally, we are able to build upon our past efforts, add greater value to our members, broaden our geographic reach, and leverage an existing brand with extensive resources."
KCnext—The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City will host a series of educational and networking events throughout the year to discuss the latest technology industry news, and connect peers within the IT and technology industry. A phase II website portal will outline the region’s many tech assets, profile area tech companies and offer resources for tech companies. KCnext staff will also support KCADC’s efforts to recruit new IT companies and jobs to the 18-county Kansas City region.
The new operation will be housed at Union Station, and plans are underway to hire a permanent executive director. It is anticipated that there will be a combined board of 10 members: five existing board members from SITAKS and five from KCADC members.