A brand new program is under way in Kansas City to help people launch their internet or tech business.
Most people may not realize that some of the apps they're using on their phones every day, were created in Kansas City, from companies like One Louder. These are the types of companies the new program wants to see more of.
It can be a long journey to go from an idea to a fully functioning, successful company. But that's what Evan Conway, president of One Louder, did with his mobile app and mobile advertising company. Tweetcaster is one of their products.
"We give away free apps to the world on Android and Apple products and then we make our money by putting advertisements inside them," Conway said.
But getting to a point where Conway's business has a 60-plus staff and office space wasn't easy, he recalls.
"It's just an enormous struggle. It's all the little things needed to start a business that most entrepreneurs may not be the most skilled in," he said.
That's where SparkLabKC steps in to help. It's a new tech program announced Thursday at MRIGlobal that's supposed to light a fire into tech hopefuls.
"It's intended to be an inspiration, it's intended to be that spark to accelerate new businesses," Conway said.
It consists of a 90-day in-residency program that pays entrepreneurs to join their program. They also provide a business mentor, like Conway, to help people along the way.
"They are paid to go through the program and they'll be given all the services, legal, IT, financial etc," Kevin Fryer, SparkLabKC founder, said.
Only 10 applicants are chosen a year. Sponsors and investors are all local, such as the Kauffman Foundation and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and so are those who apply.
While One Louder is well on its way as an established business, their president knows how important it is to help others along the way.
"Things like this will help a lot of people turn it into a reality as opposed to a pipe dream," Conway said.
Those who are interested can start applying on Feb. 1. For a link to Sparklab KC, click here.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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