Entrepreneurs coming from far and wide to use Google Fiber - KCTV5

Entrepreneurs coming from far and wide to use Google Fiber

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Because Google Fiber made Kansas City its main base, entrepreneurs from all over are moving to the area. They are called startup villages and Kansas City, KS, already has about a dozen new homes.

Entrepreneurs spent time refurbishing vacant homes that were not only their new homes, but their offices as well.

"I was in Boston working for an internet startup that ended up moving to Silicon Valley," Mike Demarais, found on Twitter at @mikedemarais, said.

Demarais moved to Kansas City, KS, and is living with other young CEOs to benefit from Google Fiber's internet speed.

"This is the hacker house and I don't pay any rent and I get free internet and I get to focus on my startup 24/7," he said.

There are about 10 homes on both sides of Stateline Avenue near 47th Street just like Demarais' and more people want to come.

But space is limited.

"I see this as an amazing opportunity for Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO, as well," Unified Government Commissioner Ann Murguia said.

Which is where organizations like Argentine Neighborhood Development Association, or ANDA, step in. They help find affordable housing for startup businesses and investors, such as The Kauffman Foundation, and help with their expenses.

"This is a hand and glove fit. We can bring ANDA over to Rosedale (neighborhood), buy up some of that housing stock and offer affordable housing," Murguia said.

The concept brought the Kansas Secretary of Commerce Pat George from Topeka to tour to the startup village. He compared it to the modern day railroad.

"The new business people are coming here, just like with the railroad. Where the railroad went through, that's where people would move to commute," George said.

The concept enables owners like Demarais, to have a home and concentrate on his business, 3D modeling software.

"In the future there's really going to be some revolutionary things that can happen on this network," he said.

Homes for Hackers is another group in the startup village. The Wyandotte County Unified Government Commissioner said they want to make sure tenants don't just move in, but invest in the community.

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