Residential suburb to become Silicon Prairie

Residential suburb to become Silicon Prairie

Just around the corner from one of Kansas City’s antique districts, a quiet residential neighborhood could be turned into a six-block Silicon Valley. The fastest residential internet service in the entire world began operation there on Tuesday.

Google made the decision to choose the strip of homes comprising Spring Valley and Hanover Heights, which is situated to the south of the Medical Center of the University of Kansas, to be the first neighborhoods in the whole world to become the recipients of a fiber-optic broadband network that offers speeds of up to 150 times that of the average online feed in the United States.

As a result, a handful of people from the local technology scene have been making a move since September in order to transform the district into the ‘start-up village’ of Kansas City.  By the time Google began to install the fiber service this week, almost a dozen start-ups had completed their relocation into a six-block radius. Around 50% of these start-ups are packed into just the two houses, including a firm building a search engine for data on social networks and another developing security software for smartphones, which is able to identify users by the vein patterns located in their eyes.

“Entrepreneurial density is super important,” claims venture capitalist Brad Feld, who wrote a book relating to the creation of start-up communities. The men and women in Kansas City are now testing his theory.