Future-minded entrepreneurs from Kansas City and around the world will present their business plans and compete for $350,000 in prizes and a chance to harness the Google Fiber network during The Gigabit Challenge finale on Wednesday, January 18, at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main St.
An initiative of Kansas City's leading business organizations, The Gigabit Challenge solicited business plans from technology entrepreneurs seeking to use Kansas City's upcoming Google Fiber 1-gigabit network to get their businesses off the ground.
Conducted from October 3 to November 28, 2011, the contest drew 113 submissions from entrepreneurs in 22 states (including Kansas and Missouri) and five continents. In this daylong session at the Plaza Branch, the 19 finalists selected by a world-class panel of judges will present their business plans before a live audience. The finalists will each give 10-minute presentations and take questions from the judges, who will announce the winners at the end of the day.
Prizes to be awarded include a start-up package valued at $100,000 and a special Gramercy Private Equity "Born Global" prize of $250,000 granted to the company whose business idea has the best prospects for extending rapidly across the globe using cutting-edge technology.
The contest was organized by Kansas City's Think Big Partners  - a group dedicated to strengthening the entrepreneurial community - in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship, the Kansas City Public Library, and others.
Think Big Partners believes that the 2012 arrival of Google Fiber will provide Kansas City and the region with an unprecedented opportunity to take a leadership role in the creation of next-generation technologies and companies.
Likewise, The Gigabit Challenge will present Kansas Citians with a unique opportunity to preview some of the most exciting and innovative business ideas being generated in the tech entrepreneur space.
To learn more about the contest and see the list of finalists, visit gigabitchallenge.com .
Admission to the entire event is free. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
7 - 8 a.m. Breakfast Reception
8 - 8:30 a.m. Welcome & Introductions
8:30 - 10 a.m. Business Plan Presentations - Group 1
10:15 - 11:45 a.m. Business Plan Presentations - Group 2
1 - 4 p.m. Business Plan Presentations - Group 3
4:15 - 4:30 p.m. Community Address
4:30 - 5:00 p.m. Awards Presentation & Closing
Schedule subject to minor time revisions.