Silicon Prairie News

We’re going big!

Kansas City November 14, 2012 by Jeff Slobotski Only 19 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

We have very exciting news to share with the Silicon Prairie community. But before we get into the news, I'd like to take a few moments to reflect on how we got to where we are today.

If you rewind four years and five months, you arrive at the point when Silicon Prairie News went from an idea – something I thought I would hack away on during my free time – to a website and brand, launched with the help of another entrepreneur.

Through interviews, meetups, coffees, pitch sessions and other activities, the community embraced the idea, and together we built something I believe is truly amazing. The activity in the region now is the start of something great.

One component that strengthens our community is the regular events and activities that bring people together. I've always said it's not about the size of the events but, rather, about making sure we have as many of the right folks in the room as possible.

In 2009, that was one of the goals of Big Omaha, a conference that featured speakers Gary Vaynerchuk and Jason Fried (right) and a half-dozen more entrepreneurs and innovators. Our aim was to give attendees a "kick in the pants," to inspire them to follow their passion and start the business they love.

In turn, our attendees gave us a "kick in the pants." Enthusiasm for Big Omaha its first few years led us to launch a similar event in Des Moines in 2011. And in 2013, we'll be doing the same in Kansas City.

We're thrilled to reveal that Big Kansas City, our inaugural Kansas City event, will take place March 26-28.

Our goal in Kansas City is to continue delivering the experience you have come to expect from each of our previous events. We're excited to have Big Kansas City join Big Omaha and Big Des Moines (our new name for Thinc Iowa) as the first events of our Big Series.

The Big Series 2013

Big Kansas City - March 26-28

Big Omaha - May 8-10

Big Des Moines - October 2013

Each event follows our familiar format – more than a dozen entrepreneurial speakers over two and a half days – but accentuates the unique culture, people and venues of its host city.

We launched a website Tuesday with more details and – for those of you anxious to join us in March – put discounted tickets on sale for a limited time. Visit bigkansascity.co to secure your spot today!

More big announcements

At our BIG Global Entrepreneurship Week Party last night in Kansas City, we announced two more big items that we think are going to take this region to the next level.

First, we announced three companies who have stepped up to support our efforts in growing the entrepreneurial community in and around Kansas City: Polsinelli Shughart PCAdknowledge and Sprint. Those three, along with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, have pledged their support as launch partners for our growing presence in the Kansas City community.

Next, we announced that SPN is establishing a full-time presence in Kansas City in December. Michael Stacy, (above, left) a Kansas City native, has worked tirelessly to cover the region since joining our team full-time in Omaha in March 2011. He will be moving back to Kansas City in December, leading our coverage of the local startup community. If you haven't introduced yourself or your startup to him yet, you can reach him at michael@siliconprairienews.com.

Joining Michael is Regan Carrizales (above, right) as our community builder. Regan comes to our team with unparalleled skills, relationships and vision, and she becomes a visible face for SPN in the Kansas City community. We'll have more to share about Regan when she officially starts in December, but in the meantime we encourage you to connect with her via email at regan@siliconprairienews.com.

The last four-plus years have put the entire Silicon Prairie in a promising position. We at SPN couldn't be more excited for what the next year, and beyond, holds in store.

 

Credits: Kansas City photo by Brittany Mascio. Big Omaha and Michael Stacy photos by Malone & Company. Regan Carrizales photo by Anna Jones and Phillip Harder.

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