In recent years, Kansas City has reinvented itself to become a central point for startups and small businesses. Now, even big tech companies and government departments are following suit. And this isn’t just by coincidence.
Local government and investors recognize new companies’ potential for energizing the community. And they respond by helping these efforts—more companies mean more jobs for the residents of the area.
Companies moving to Kansas City set the stage for a whole new future. So if you want to learn what kinds of businesses are making their way to KC and why, keep reading.
Startup Companies Moving to Kansas City
Startups and small businesses are the major fields to watch in the future of Kansas City’s private sector. Angel investment companies like Free State Forge are taking notice. They’re infusing KC startups with enough money to get their projects off the ground.
While some startups have made their mark on the West Coast, the scene has moved more and more to the tech giants out there. The cost of living is so high that if you don’t make money as soon as you move there, you can find yourself in debt fast.
Kansas City, in contrast, has a thriving startup community without the high price tag. That’s why some people call it the Silicon Prairie. The city has responded to the influx of startups with accelerators and smart city projects.
The New Tech Scene
One of the biggest fields moving to Kansas City is the tech field. And this doesn’t just mean startups. Even large companies like LaunchCode, Simplifyy, Pramata, and Homebase, LLC are deciding to expand to the midwest.
Established companies might not have to worry about financial stability as much as fledgling businesses. But the affordable rent in KC still pays off. Kansas City businesses can expand when they need to, without worrying about the astronomical Silicon Valley costs.
And people are starting to take notice! In fact, earlier this year, Free State Forge released a plan to map out the incredible tech opportunities in the area through a project called TechMap Kansas.
Another nice thing about the Kansas City tech scene is the ease of transportation. In places like the California industrial region, large tech companies need full campuses and special private transportation in order to make sure their employees can get to work on time and get food throughout the day without leaving the premises.
In Kansas City, though, you don’t need a special campus to have a great working environment. The excellent public transportation infrastructure leads to short commute times, and the traffic routes themselves don’t get congested in the way you might see in other big cities. If you work a tech job in KC, you can get to work however you like and support local restaurants on your lunch breaks.
Location, Location, Location
You might be wondering what makes Kansas City such an interesting spot for businesses. Well, the affordable cost of living makes sense for small businesses and startups. And for larger businesses, Kansas City’s central position in the midwest is a strategic location. With a headquarters in K.C., a business might be able to better facilitate communication and travel between the East and West Coasts.
And this isn’t just good for the company. It’s great for the people living in Kansas City as well. Businesses relocating to Kansas City open up new opportunities for jobs and partnerships.
In 2019, the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced a major move to Kansas City from their Washington, D.C. home base. This adds to a solid base of existing workers and programs in the area.
When explaining the move, the department cited the potential for a higher quality of living for its workers as well as the important location in the country. Because so much of the agriculture industry in the United States depends on farms in the midwest, a move to Kansas City made perfect sense.
And since this only happened last year, we can imagine similar moves from other agriculture-focused departments and branches in the years to come. Government jobs bring a stability component to Kansas City’s job market, and they may offer better benefits for the people working there.
Sometimes, when a big company moves to a new location, people get skeptical about whether it will really create jobs. Will the move just mean that the company brings all its workers with them?
Well, when it comes to Kansas City, this isn’t a huge concern. New Kansas City employers aren’t shy about their appreciation for the talent pool that already exists in the city. For example, when the USDA’s ERS and NIFA branches moved to KC, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “The region is not only a hub for agriculture in America’s heartland, but is also already proving to be a diverse talent pool in proximity to many land-grant and research universities.”
The Kansas City local government recognizes companies’ interest in the area’s talent and promotes programs to boost the job search for its residents. This potential for exciting new jobs is one reason why the quality of living has increased in KC in recent years. Just last year, Kansas City rose nine spots in U.S. News and World Report‘s Best Places to Live in the nation.
If you’ve been thinking of Kansas City as a little city in the midst of vast farmland and tumbleweeds, it’s time to change that whole perspective. Yes, Kansas City is at an important location for agricultural ventures, but crops aren’t the only thing growing around there. The tech and startup scenes are building up to be something truly exceptional.