It’s no secret that Google Fiber is inspiring other ISPs to lessen the broadband gap in this country. Or, according to DSLReports.com, the goal is to “…light a fire under the pampered behinds of incumbent broadband operators.”
But, the real story is how Google Fiber has inspired users in Kansas City. Google Fiber rolled out in Kansas City (mostly the Kansas side but a little in Missouri, too) last year.
And, it didn’t take long for entrepreneurial minds in KC to realize that Google Inc.’s super-powerful Internet, which offers speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, would be attractive to startups. According to Huffingtonpost.com, “A fast Internet pipe makes it easier to handle large files and eliminates buffering problems that plague online video, live conferencing and other network-intensive tasks.”
So, Ben Barreth, a web developer in KC, started “Homes for Hackers.” The “home” is a small bungalow that gives serious startup companies a place to live rent-free for 3 months and free access to Google Fiber Internet. Shortly after came “Kansas City Startup Village” in that same area. So many startups have taken up residency in this “fiberhood” within Kansas City that it is now called “Silicon Prairie.”
The list of startups at KCSV keeps growing, and the startups themselves are gaining headway with the help of Google Fiber Internet.
But, startups in the Home for Hackers and in the KCSV know that, even with Google Fiber, they’ll need more than a good idea to be successful.
Huffington Post quotes Andy Kallenbach of FormZapper.com saying, “The hardest thing about a startup is execution, OK? A lot of people can go out and raise money and get money for an idea or for some product or they can come up with some awesome presentation. But it doesn’t matter if you can’t build something that people will use.”
And that’s exactly what KCSV startup Local Ruckus did with Hoopla.io.
Local Ruckus co-founders Matthew Marcus and Adam Arredondo have a mission, according to Kcstartupvillage.org, “to bring awesome local events to the people….” That’s the basis of their B2C brand and website, Local Ruckus.
But, says Marcus, people already find things to do on sites like Facebook, Yelp, Pitch, or with an old-fashioned Google search. He and the rest of the Local Ruckus team knew they needed to shift their focus with a new strategy.
And that’s when they came up with Hoopla.io. Hoopla.io isn’t a list of events users can browse to find something to do tonight. It’s “Event Marketing Made Easy.”
Targeting businesses and publishers, Hoopla.io creates a way for businesses to promote events on their website, on social media sites and throughout Hoopla.io’s “network of media distribution partners.” All with a single click.
Businesses that use Hoopla.io
Hoopla.io allows a business to input event details and then Hoopla.io takes care of the rest. With Hoopla.io, businesses can have their events promoted in a variety of outlets, online and in print.
Think “Event directories, Facebook, Twitter, Conventions and tourism websites, Print Media, [and] Online Event Calendars.” Hoopla.io has access to them all, giving businesses an easy way to access different marketing channels. Built-in analytics even let businesses view the results of their marketing efforts.
Publishers that use Hoopla.io
Hoopla.io is also “Event Curation Made Easy” for publishers who want to exhibit local events in their publications. Publishers can use Hoopla.io to fill up their calendar with local events and even what Hoopla.io calls “hyperlocal” events. These events could include “neighborhood bars and restaurants, community galleries” and more, according to the website.
And Hoopla.io makes it easy for publishers to pick and choose what events will interest their readers. Any publishers can be sure that events will be accurate, since they come directly from their source.
They’ve attracted some serious attention
Their big idea has paid off; Sprint has expressed interest in forming a relationship with Hoopla.io. According to Kcstartupvillage.org, the startup “entered into a content licensing relationship with the telecom giant in July. Sprint will use Hoopla.io’s content to populate their mobile apps within their Pinsight Media division.”
Pinsight Media is a team within Sprint that focuses on mobile advertising, and it’s pretty young itself. The partnership will start out by delivering local event content to Kansas City Spring customers. After that, the team hopes to expand to a national level.
It will be interesting to see, in the coming months and years, if other fiber-optic networks will inspire similar innovation. Both AT&T and Verizon have already rolled out high-performing, fiber-optic Internet in certain areas around the country.