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Google Fiber Fuels Startups in Kansas City

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Google Fiber Fuels Startups

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Google Fiber, the 1 Gbps high-speed Internet service that has been delivered to Kansas City, Kansas, seems to be attracting startups. Some of the reason is because of people like Ben Barreth, who created a house in Kansas City's Startup Village (at his own expense) to offer rent-free accommodations for three months to entrepreneurs. 

As we wrote last year, out of the more than 1,000 cities vying for the service, Kansas City caught Google's eye because of its layout and local cooperation. The high-speed Internet service is 100 times faster than the average Internet connection in the country.

Despite his house being filled with young developers, Barreth's Homes for Hackers isn't a moneymaker, according to CNET.  "I consider myself a devout Christian," he said. "And this is one of the ways I see that I can show God's love. I can't offer full funding or mentorship to these folks. But what I can offer is accommodations."
 
Because of the buzz of Google Fiber, more entrepreneurs are heading to the city of 150,000, boosting the startup scene. However, unlike Boston, New York or Silicon Valley, these developers aren't seeing a lot of venture capitalists swarming around town. That said at least one company, Leap 2, did announced a $1.3 million round of funding.
 
Other startup founders like that Kansas City is a "valuable playground," according to CNET, where they can make mistakes.  "I can't imagine trying to compete for any attention in the Valley or Boston right now," Handprints's Mike Demarais told CNET. "I mean every kid at MIT and Stanford is building a startup out of their dorm room. It's hard to get anyone's attention. But here, it's still a tight-knit group, and people will talk to you and offer advice."
 
This makes us realize that if Google Fiber comes to more cities in America, such as Whitefish, Montana, or Roswell, New Mexico, it could create tiny tech incubators across the country.
 
Although the tech world is still reeling after the NSA spying scandal, it would be great if the government could partner with a high-tech provider to create these tech hubs. Unfortunately, with the lack of trust in the government, it's unclear whether many people would want to be part of such an experiment right now.
 

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