Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Google Glass Documentary Tech Trek will be Presented by Hallmark and Sprint

Two of Kansas City’s largest local companies, Hallmark Cards and Sprint, have teamed up with a group of area entrepreneurs to tell the story of America’s most innovative technology companies on a cross-country road trip using Google Glass.

Google Glass is a head-mounted display unit that connects with the user’s mobile phone to allow for seamless communication over the web. Glass also has a video camera that allows for pictures and video to be streamed over the web.  Only 8,000 individuals worldwide were selected to test the Google Glass hardware in the Glass Explorers program.   One of these Explorers is Chris Shaw, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Think Big Partners and organizer of Tech Trek. 

Tech Trek is a Google Glass-enabled interactive documentary that will tell the story of innovative, early-stage technology companies being built in some of America’s most successful startup hubs.

Chris Shaw, a serial entrepreneur who founded LexSpot and has advised over a dozen technology startups, said he wanted to use Glass to give back to the community that enabled his success.

"Glass is a truly innovative way to tell stories and share experiences," says Shaw. "While I intend to use for Glass for developing mobile applications in the healthcare space, my colleagues and I wanted to test the media capabilities of Glass in a unique way."

Two former Kansas City startup successes Hallmark and Sprint were happy to support Kansas City entrepreneur, Google Glass Explorer and head of the Tech Trek project, Chris Shaw, and help him tell this story. 

“As a Kansas City native, I am thrilled to work with Hallmark and Sprint to tell this story. The idea that the area companies I grew up admiring reached out and funded us on Kickstarter is a testament to how amazing the business community in Kansas City is,” said Shaw.

Hallmark’s roots as a Kansas City startup go back to 1910, when J.C. Hall arrived in Kansas City with two shoeboxes of postcards under his arm and the American dream in his heart.  He had a passion for quality and was driven by a simple belief that first-class products meeting a genuine need would bring business success.

Hall’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion took him from a one-person startup to a 12,000+ strong company that has generated billions of smiles worldwide. 

“Hallmark is constantly seeking ways to collaborate with the world’s best innovators,” said Rob Bensman, Hallmark vice president of strategic alliances. “We’re looking forward to traveling with Tech Trek and interacting with promising startups across the country.”

“Hallmark also is interested in learning how technology impacts the ways in which people connect with one another,” Bensman continued. “Tech Trek provides a unique opportunity for us to observe firsthand how Google Glass will influence communication in the future.”

Sprint’s entrepreneurial roots date back more than 100 years as well. Sprint’s founder, Cleyson Brown, successfully took on the Bell monopoly in 1899 from Abilene, Kansas by challenging the status quo through innovation and a commitment to community the Midwest is known for. Since then, Sprint has been developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies across wireline and wireless industries. Sprint recognizes an obvious benefit working closely with startups and entrepreneurs. Much like Cleyson Brown, high-growth entrepreneurs have a unique perspective on technology innovation, move quickly and have little fear of failure.

“At Sprint we believe that helping to nurture the ideas of entrepreneurs and technologists and being present in the creation of new businesses and services is critical to the evolution of our culture and business,” said Kevin McGinnis, vice president of product platforms and services at Sprint.  “We are excited to be participating in the Tech Trek Kickstarter campaign and look forward to seeing what it brings.” 

To learn more about Tech Trek, visit  
Follow Tech Trek! @TheTechTrek 

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