Fiber City: Google's Fast Broadband Spawns Home Startups
By providing individual residences with top-tier Internet connectivity, Google Fiber has sparked real momentum in Kansas City's entrepreneurial sector.
That's according to Matthew Marcus, co-founder of the Kansas City startup community LocalRuckus.com.
Marcus didn't even have Google Fiber in mind when building the business that he co-founded with Adam Arredondo. Now he says new startups from locations across the United States are looking to come to his town.
"What we wanted to do was follow the startup communities around the nation who have been successful in just densifying and increasing the exposure of startups to one another in a very collaborative space," said Marcus. "But when you throw Google on top of that, it's like the best icing on the cake you could ever have."
Rachel Hack, Google's community manager, is especially excited about what the startup community has done with Google's new service.
"We're excited to see what this might mean for anyone running a home-based business … maybe even for people who haven't had a business before and may use this as they think about a new opportunity they can create for themselves," said Hack.
Vince Vaughan, not the actor but rather the CEO of corporate technology consultancy Why Status Quo?, thinks Google Fiber is revolutionizing the entrepreneurial landscape, while the brick-and-mortar businesses that don't have access to the network are beginning to suffer.
"The fact that they're putting it in homes, what it means is that businesses are leaving the brick and mortars and instead coming to live in these houses," explained Vaughan, referring to the startup communities. "I mean, everyone in his house has a business. There are well-funded startups who are taking advantage of this." [See also: Barely Half of Americans Can Stream Netflix]
Nick Budidharma, founder of online game startup LeetNode, agrees.
"I think without Google Fiber, you'd still see a similar movement, but maybe not happening as quickly and not as dense," he said. "Google Fiber is like a catalyst that fuels this whole movement."
For his part, Ray Daniels, co-chair of the mayors' bi-state innovation team,not only hopes Google Fiber will attract a high quality work force and business from other areas and, but will also help business that are already starting up in the Kansas City area get bigger and more profitable.
For those with entrepreneurial spirit, Hack says Kansas City is the right place to be.
"For the entrepreneurs who are attracted, this is a fantastic ecosystem to be a part of," said Hack. "The culture of Kansas City is right for this kind of activity to be happening."