January 2010. Google announces the development of Google Fiber.
March 2011. Google awards Kansas City, Kansas as the city for the fiber optic network trial. KC was selected from 1,100 cities that applied.
May 2011. Google decides to expand the Google Fiber trial to both KCK and KCMO.
July 2011. Think Big Partners presents The Gigabit Challenge - one of the first initatives for the new Google Fiber network in Kansas City.
Things are happening...and fast. In about a year and a half, it seems as if Kansas City has gone from zero to 60. Now that Google has joined Cerner, Garmin and Sprint as part of the Kansas City tech family, the city is emerging as a strong tech hub in the middle of America.
This morning, Think Big Partners announced the formation of a business plan competition in anticipation of the launch of Google's ultra high-speed broadband network, Google Fiber. The business plan competition, known as The Gigabit Challenge, will be open to entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe. Interested businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to participate in the competition with the goal of establishing new companies that will fulfill Google's mission of developing new applications that will expand human welfare.
As a community leader in early-stage business innovation and entrepreneurship, Think Big Partners is hosting The Gigabit Challenge so that entrepreneurs and innovators have a head start in utilizing the Google Fiber network. As a worldwide business plan competition, The Gigabit Challenge offers not only the chance for competitors to develop next-generation businesses, but will also foster a surge in innovation and disruptive technology linking Kansas City to the world.
"In the last few years we have seen an explosion of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the Kansas City area," says Tyler Prochnow, Senior Partner at Think Big Partners. "New technologies are making it easier and easier to launch and grow new ventures. We expect that the Google Fiber network will spawn new waves of innovation both here and across the globe."
Think Big Partners is currently seeking sponsors and judges to participate in The Gigabit Challenge. As a sponsor or judge, organizations and individuals will have a first look at a number of innovative business plans and will gain insight into the direction that the market will take with this new platform.
The Gigabit Challenge will start on October 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and awarded prizes at an event to be held during December 2011. In addition to the prize awards, Think Big Partners will facilitate introductions to investors for further capitalization of the winners. The winners will then be able to implement their applications on the Google Fiber network starting in the first quarter of 2012.
For more information about The Gigabit Challenge or to express interest in becoming a sponsor or judge, please visit The Gigabit Challenge website.
Written by Allison Way