Gigabit Ecosystem Building

Building a community that of gigabit stakeholders bent on improving people’s lives.

Hackathon Participants

Businesses Created from Hackathons

Fitnet's Debut Ranking in the iTunes Store


When it comes to gigabit network technology in the early 2010s, infrastructure tends to exceed capability. This means that when a technology like Google Fiber arrives in a community, few people, if any, know what to do with it. The present-day consumer market doesn’t drive usage of ultrafast network speeds of 1 gigabit per second. Likewise, typical cable companies and ISPs do not experience much demand for speeds past 100 Mbps. But when that kind of blazing-fast, cutting-edge technology comes available, it would be a wasted opportunity not to try something.

It is therefore incumbent on an organization like KC Digital Drive to build a diverse human network of forward-thinking people intent on not only developing new applications that take advantage of gigabit technology – but that leverage it to make people’s lives better.


KC Digital Drive is working to identify opportunities for engagement within verticals that stand to be benefitted by technology. This includes categories like government and civics, education, healthcare, and digital literacy/inclusion. Working with community representatives from these classes, KC Digital Drive facilitates the launch of projects and events ultimately aimed at driving positive outcomes using gigabit technology.

Projects in action

Comeback KC Ventures

Accelerating Innovation to Jumpstart KC’s Comeback from COVID-19 – Comeback KC Ventures is funded through an 18-month SPRINT Challenge grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and administered by KC Digital Drive and the UMKC Innovation Center.

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Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Developer Challenge

KC Digital Drive is hosting an Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Developer Challenge. The AR/VR Challenge will bring together entrepreneurs, hackers, makers, developers, and other creative minds with the goal of building AR applications that solve local problems.

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MetroLab Network

The MetroLab Network is a consortium of city-university partnerships across the US that fosters collaboration between local governments and academic researchers and practitioners. Faculty and students get access to real-life laboratories to test advanced approaches aimed at addressing city priorities and challenges.

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Smart Gigabit Communities

On a foundation enabled by the Smart Gigabit Communities grant, we’re in the second year of a three-year program that’s built around two goals: building at least two gigabit apps per year, and establishing a Digital Town Square that connects next-generation network resources within the metro area to keep gigabit traffic local and between other gigabit communities.

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US Ignite

US Ignite is a national, independent non-profit organization with a mission to build transformative, impactful applications that require gigabit fiber networks and similar next-generation infrastructure and to create test bed communities in which to incubate these applications. KC Digital Drive has led the Kansas City metro area’s participation and engagement with US Ignite since both organizations began in 2011-2012.

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Comeback KC Celebration Story

The UMKC Technology Venture Studio and KC Digital Drive teams celebrated March 7
Comeback KC Ventures, a program that supported innovations that aim to solve pandemic-
related issues, built in just 18 months. It was a culmination of work and community
collaboration these past 20 months that led to new companies, the growth of others and most
importantly the broad impacts of our Comeback KC Ventures fellows’ efforts to curb the impact
of the pandemic on the Kansas City region and beyond.

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5 Amazing COVID-19 Innovations Created in the Kansas City Area

When you think of the next medical device, vaccine or COVID-19 treatment, you might think of the Mayo Clinic, a lab in Boston or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but right here in the Kansas City region, we have cutting-edge labs and researchers working hard to address the pandemic.

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AR/VR Heartland Developer Challenge Demo Day

On February 3rd, KC Digital Drive hosted a demo day at the T-Mobile campus for the Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Heartland Developer Challenge, a year-long program to bring together entrepreneurs, hackers, makers, developers, and other creative minds with the goal of building AR applications that solve local problems. The full list of developers who presented […]

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