Saturday, August 4, 2012, by

KC Hacker Homes - A Google-Fiber Inspired Initiative

Thursday night at the IdeaMensch event I realized that I knew several faces in the crowd and that all the same people are attending these kinds of events. I came to this conclusion: Kansas City needs fresh blood. To grow, to move it's entrepreneurship vision forward, to take full advantage of Google Fiber.

Something else struck me at the event. Mario Schulzke said something like the following: "You know, people in Kansas City are really nice ... and that's something that this area really has going for it."

So my thought was, how can we capitalize on what we already have, to make something truly great? Everyone is talking about Google Fiber and how amazing it is, but very few people have applicable ideas about how to make Google Fiber increase business in the KC area. Most people simply see Google Fiber as  a way to download their youtube videos faster (and that is truly a shame).

  • Google Fiber
  • Midwestern kindness
  • Kansas City "Hacker Homes"

I'll forgive you if you haven't heard of a hacker house before. They're used by bootstrapping entrepreneurs, mostly in Silicon Valley, to pool money and resources to share rent and intellectual talent in the same house and maximize benefit. Quite simply: a bunch of people living under the same roof, working on their startup ideas. You can read about them here, here and here. Many times these startups are an Internet-dependent business and Google Fiber would be extremely attractive to them

Let me say it again: Kansas City needs fresh blood. Here's the kicker: I purposefully used the phrase Kansas City Hacker Homes, (not houses). This week, I was the single volunteer in Kansas City that opened my home to allow the IdeaMensch team to stay and I can truly say it was the most enlightening entrepreneurial experience I've ever had. I've been to several startup events in KC but all of these paled in comparison to the wisdom shared by Mario and his team, touring 48 states and talking to entrepreneurs from all walks of life. 

The Idea: What if ordinary Kansas Citians could be persuaded to let a startup company of 1 or 2 entrepreneurs live in their basement (or spare room) for 3 months at a time, completely free of charge?

The KC volunteer home would need Google Fiber and would cover the electric/water/rent, but all food costs would be covered by the startup tenant. Then at the end of the 3 months there could be a suitable "on-ramp" for the business to relocate to an incubator or co-located office space  in the area. At this point, the volunteer home could either quit or take up another hacker in their place.

With the goodwill of 10 Kansas City households and effective support from the community, we could move 40 new startups to the area in a single year! Post your feedback in the comments. Let's get this party started! 


Rusher said...

This concept fully complies with Kansas City, Mo's home occupation guidelines (, let's go! We're so ready for Google Fiber's economic impacts and opportunities for entrepreneurs, see us on fb at KC BizCare ( Give us a call, we're ready to partner on this program!

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