Silicon Valley may be the first tech capital that comes to most peoples’ minds, but the Midwest is churning out exciting startups left and right. Even Google is paying attention: they chose Kansas City as the first city to get access to their coveted Google Fiber network. Google is even launching specific initiatives in Kansas City that encourages all businesses in that area to get online. There is a dedicated site called Kansas City Get Online with webinars, training and special events often labeled as “Google Fiber for communities.” The midwest startup culture and startup jobs may be poised for rapid growth with support from Google & excitement over the new fiber networks as it rolls out beyond Kansas City.
Here are five compelling startups taking off from the middle of the country.
5. Randomnade – Randomnade wants to take competitive gaming strategies and make them shareable. Gamers are an intense and active interest group, and many of them are already sharing strategies with each other, so Randomnade’s strategy seems only natural. Players can post and share tips, game images and maps to share their strategies. Randomnade is currently in public beta. http://randomnade.com
4. Red Nova Labs – Red Nova Labs is a Kansas City-based web marketing think-tank that supports great ideas with a team of marketers, developers and designers. The idea is to stay ahead of the curve, engaging with new and traditional media to gain a following while providing the best in front- and back- end support. http://rednovalabs.com
3. Horsebot3k – Horsebot3k won first prize at a recent Startup Weekend in Kansas City (big name startup Zaarly also got its start at a Startup Weekend). Horsebot3k tracks and analyzes Amazon reviews and displays them for users in an easy-to-take-in format. By using a Horsebot3k shortcut on any Amazon product page, users get an overview of that product’s number of positive and negative reviews and an aggregation of words associated with positive and negative reviews. . http://horsebot3k.com
2. StorageFront – StorageFront serves storage seekers by providing them with location-based storage facility results. They track facilities’ amenities, location, types of storage and more to make finding storage a breeze. Storage is a huge market, and with a lot of people downsizing their homes, more and more are looking for places to pack away extra furniture, heirlooms and collectibles. http://storagefront.com
1. Votertide – Votertide is a political social media analysis app. It’s like a Klout score for politicians: Washington insiders and news junkies alike can see how candidates rank across a number of social media platforms. The site is still in beta, but it’s already looking slick and it’s right in time for next year’s elections. The data is in realtime, so it could have a big effect on campaign strategy. http://votertide.com
- Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Kansas City (googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com)
- Startup Weekend Becomes Affiliate of the Kauffman Foundation (kauffman.org)
- Startup Weekend Plans to Expand Further Around the Globe with Kaufmann Support (thenextwomen.com)
- Google partners with Startup Weekend to support entrepreneurs around the world (googleblog.blogspot.com)