Technology developed in the Kansas City metro has caught the attention of the White House. The head of the Small Business Administration, Karen Mills, visited Parkville, MO, because one business there has caught her attention.
Ten years ago Rob Sweeney had an idea about text messaging that has since taken off.
"It was all based on the premise that I believed text messaging would be big someday," he said.
TextCaster is the idea Sweeney came up with, a way to text a message to the masses.
"Permission-based mass text messaging. In other words, the use of the text messaging channel to communicate with lots of people all at once," he said.
More people may know it on their phone as a mobile push alert. Sweeney now has a patent on his product and business continues to grow.
"Today we've got nearly 900 clients," he said.
The clients include network news organizations, school districts, Big 12 schools and law enforcement agencies in the metro.
Sweeney's most recent invention is messageQube. He created it to keep in touch with his 82-year-old grandmother.
"The messageQube is exciting in that we're starting off introducing this into the consumer market," he said.
MessageQube is literally a cube that works on cell phone technology.
"These are the early stage devices, these have not been implemented yet," he said as showed off some of the messageQube devices.
Both the messageQube and textCaster are engineered and produced in America. Sweeney said he is excited that the head of the SBA is stopping in Parkville to see his creations. Mills is traveling across the country to see how small businesses, like Sweeney's, are working to keep America stronger.
"From a standpoint of small business, small business is encouraged to flourish here in Kansas City," Dr. Stephen Bell said.
Bell is a professor of economics and business law at Parkville University. He's also a small business owner and said Kansas City provides the right culture for entrepreneurs.
"It has a very diverse type of business atmosphere. It has construction, technology, communication, railroads many other types of businesses which provide diversity," Bell said.
The SBA regional office in Kansas City said it supports more than $38.5 million in guaranteed lending to 37 small businesses, mainly in the area of manufacturing since the beginning of federal fiscal year 2011.
Both Missouri and Kansas showed an increase of exports over the last fiscal year.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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