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Kansas City Showcases Next-Gen Technologies During South by Southwest Conference (SXSW)
Program highlights Kansas City as a launch pad for new technologies, includes speakers from Virgin Hyperloop One, Garmin, FishTech Group, Mastercard and more

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Kansas City leaders have teamed up to deliver a full day of programming this Sunday, March 10, during the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW). The "Kansas City Outpost" event, held during the conference's interactive track, will feature experts discussing tech-driven solutions for cities, including high-speed transportation, smart city technology, cybersecurity innovations and talent attraction.

"Kansas City is an established hub for tech talent with a strong entrepreneurial legacy and vibrant start up culture," said Tim Cowden, CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC). "This event is a showcase for innovations being tested and rolled out in KC, including hyperloop, cybersecurity and smart city technologies."

LaunchKC, the Kansas City-based industry focused accelerator for tech startup businesses, along with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Kansas City Area Development Council, are hosting the event, located at Maggie Mae's, 323 East 6th St., two blocks from the convention center.

"KC Outpost provides the platform to promote the LaunchKC program and the Kansas City community as a destination for entrepreneurs and tech companies," said Drew Solomon, chair of the LaunchKC program and senior vice president of business development, Kansas City (Missouri) Economic Development Corporation. "We continue to demonstrate why Kansas City is a great place to start and grow your next venture."

The full schedule of programming and speakers for Sunday, March 10, includes:  

How "smart city" programs are transforming American cities – 9 a.m. CT

  • Bob Bennett, Chief Information Officer, City of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Ruthbea Clarke Yesner, VP of Smart Cities, International Data Corporation (IDC)
  • Gordon Feller, Founder, Meeting of the Minds
  • Miguel Gamiño Jr., EVP, Head of Global Cities, Mastercard

New ways to attract – and keep – talented tech workers – 10 a.m.

  • Sara Slocum, Recruiting Team Leader, Garmin Ltd.
  • Molly Weaver, Talent Acquisition Director, Children's Mercy Hospital
  • Jessica Palm, Vice President, Lead Executive, Team KC: Life + Talent, KCADC

Fireside chat: Fostering diversity and inclusion in 2019 and beyond – 11 a.m.  

  • Dell Gines, Sr. Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Rodney Sampson, Chairman & CEO, Opportunity Hub

U.S. whiskey rebounds | Demo and tasting – 12 p.m.

  • Ryan Maybee, Co-Founder, J. Rieger & Co.

Cybersecurity: Critical issues to watch in 2019 – 1 p.m.

  • Eric Foster, COO, CYDERES/Fishtech Group
  • Chris Lalonde, COO, Wickr
  • Jason Zann, VP, Head of Platform, RiskIQ

Will hyperloop transform the way we travel? – 2 p.m.

  • Diana Zhou, Director of Project Strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One
  • Drew Thompson, Director, Black & Veatch
  • Ryan Weber, President, KC Tech Council
  • Christine Murray, SVP, Managing Director, Fenaroli & Associates

At 4:30 p.m., guests can see the top five finalists from the "Startup of the Year" competition pitch to win a fast-track opportunity to the Startup of the Year fall event and a $1,000 prize from LaunchKC.

More information on the KC Outpost event at SXSW is available here: To track Kansas City's journey at SXSW, follow along at #SXSWKC.

About LaunchKC

Now in its fifth year as an industry focused accelerator for tech startups, LaunchKC attracts hundreds of entrepreneurs each year to apply and compete for $500,000 in grants, and the opportunity to build their businesses in Kansas City. LaunchKC is a civic engine in the Kansas City startup space. LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council and the EDC of Kansas City, Missouri

About Greater Kansas City

Home to 2.5 million people, the Kansas City region is recognized as "America's Creative Crossroads" as a center for technology and artistry. Kansas City was selected for the roll-out of Google's 1 Gigabit Google Fiber service, and for one of Cisco's most comprehensive Smart+Connected Cities programs.

About SXSW

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2019 will take place March 8-17, 2019.


SOURCE Kansas City Area Development Council

For further information: Christina Forrest,