by Dan Rafter
Tech companies love Kansas City. Just ask Bob Marcusse, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Area Development Council. He’s seen tech companies flock to this key Missouri city for several key reasons, including its pool of talented workers and its high quality-of-life.
And as more technology companies arrive, it encourages even more start-ups and established players in the tech space to follow.
“Kansas City is really beginning to reset its national image,” Marcusse said. “We have gotten a lot of attention as a city that is vibrant, dynamic and exciting. When you are ranked as one of the top-10 hipster cities in the country – though I have no idea what that means – people start paying attention.”
The latest tech firm to target Kansas City is MindMixer, an Omaha-based company that helps cities and other organizations better gather ideas from their community members. The company announced in April that it will make Kansas City the site of its national headquarters, creating 85 information-technology, software and programming jobs in the area by doing so.
MindMixer will consolidate the company’s offices — now in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. — into a single Kansas City office at 1627 Main in the Crossroads Art + Design District.
“We’rea proud Midwestern company, but to sustain growth we needed to be in a location with a skilled worforce that meets the needs of our high-tech business,” said Nick Bowden, chief executive officer and co-founder of MindMixer, in a written statement. “That’s where Kansas City comes in. This community already has an abundance of experienced workers, and the talent pool only seems to be getting bigger.”
Marcusse agrees that Kansas City is fortunate to have a large pool of talented, often tech-minded, workers eager to take their skills to companies like MindMixer.
“MindMixer and other companies like it need access to a lot of really talented, often young people,” Marcusse said. “Kansas City already has a lot of companies in that tech space. We also have a lot of young people coming up through the colleges and universities.”
MindMixer officials said that they investigated several cities for its future headquarters, including Omaha and several locations in the Silicon Valley. But after considering their options, company officials chose Kansas City for its urban setting, exting IT talent and its ability to attract new technology talent.
The company’s new location in Kansas City also offers benefits to MindMixer employees. The Crossroads development is a busy one, one filled with shops and restaurants.
Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, said that MindMixer will be a welcome addition to the Missouri city. The new headquarters location also sits on the downtown Kansas City streetcar line.
“This is an example of an innovative company choosing to make its home in an innovative city,” James said.