Big Kansas City brought about another day of great speakers and networking with entrepreneurs from around the Midwest. While the morning ran over schedule (thanks to a great first speaker), the second and last day of Big Kansas City, held by Silicon Prairie News at the Airline History Museum showed the success and presence of the entrepreneurial community in Kansas City and around the Midwest.

Amy Jo Martin, Founder of Digital Royalty and author of the book “Renegades Make the Rules” started off the day by speaking about the power of social media. She shared case studies from her own experiences, including one about her first solo client, Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq actually announced his retirement from the NBA on Twitter (without the NBA even knowing) and continues to build his online presence as his own brand. Amy Jo also mentioned that social must humanize the people behind their brand in order to be successful. She also shared about the initiative to revitalize Downtown Las Vegas as part of a plan created by Tony Hsieh of Zappos.

Thom Rhue of The Kauffman Foundation spoke about the influence that the foundation has in Kansas City, based on Ewing Marion Kauffman’s lifelong dream and legacy. 67% of their total foundation budget is being deployed in Kansas City programs. Thom also spoke about attending Global entrepreneur week Congress in Rio De Janeiro and how many Americans take the ability to be entrepreneurs for granted. For many countries, this isn’t even an option.

Mike Macadaan of start-up lab incubator Science and formally of MySpace reminded audience members that you must be open to being wrong in order to be successful. He also spoke about finding inspiration in the workplace. He stated that “Design is like rice, it soaks up the flavor around it.” This means that people stuck in large offices filled with cubicles will not be as creative as someone who works in an open office with artwork on the walls.  He also said that, “Greatness is wherever somebody is trying to find it.” and “We are inspired by people who can let go of their ego.”

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Micah Baldwin of Graphicly encouraged the audience to spend more time optimizing themselves. This means taking time out of the day for yourself. Micah also recommended to not check email as the first thing each day.  He also reminded the audience to always be present and focus 100% of your brain power on the present.

Rachel Brooks, Founder of Citizen Made spoke about how our own individual context is the single most important thing we all have. It is our intellectual thumbprint. She says that curiosity is important and to ask a lot of questions. If you are trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, figure out what is broken that you are passionate about and set about fixing it.

Because the morning speakers ran long, there wasn’t a viewing of Silicon Prairie, but that didn’t stop the day from being a success!


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