Silicon Prairie News

To map KC “tech universe,” professor asks companies to complete survey

Kansas City November 26, 2012 by Danny Schreiber Only 19 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Heike Mayer created a solar system-like diagram of Seattle's entrepreneurial ecosystem (above) and is now creating one for Kansas City.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a professor from the University of Bern (Switzerland) are asking Kansas City startups to complete a survey that will help show how the city's tech industry is connected.

The survey, which closes in late January, is a continuation of work that Heike Mayer, a professor of economic geography, began in Kansas City in 2006. That year, Mayer released a paper on what is needed to create a high-tech and life science economy in Kansas City. Three years later, she focused on Kansas City again, this time with a paper that looked at how three cities – Kansas City, Portland and Boise – became centers of a high-technology industry without the presence of a major university.

In June, Mayer returned to Kansas City to identify progress that had been made since 2006. She presented her findings at a Global Entrepreneurship Week event Nov. 14 at the Kauffman Foundation.

Mayer's next step is to create a solar system-like diagram displaying the relationships between participants in Kansas City's high-tech and life sciences industries, such as an established tech company (Sprint) and a venture capital firm (OpenAir Equity Partners).

Mayer has published these types of maps (right) for PortlandBoise and Seattle.

"They look great in other cities," said Cameron Cushman, a Kauffman Foundation manager in entrepreneurship, at the Nov. 14 event. "I think they've been very instrumental in providing a picture and a map for other cities to pursue courses in how to make their entrepreneurial ecosystem more robust."

Leaders of information technology, telecommunications, life sciences and other high-tech firms in Kansas City are invited to take the survey at kauffman.org/kctechsurvey.

Mayer's Nov. 14 presentation, which also examines the characteristics of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, is below.

 

Credits: Screenshot from heikiemayer.com. Graphic from Kauffman Foundation newsletter. Video from Kauffman Foundation on Livestream.

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