Technology

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eric Miller, co-creator of the Gossup app, answers The Pitch's questionnaire

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 7:39 AM

Eric Miller - SABRINA STAIRES
  • Sabrina Staires
  • Eric Miller

Name: Eric Miller

Occupation: Social-media strategist at Barkley, co-creator of the app Gossup

Twitter handle: @schmeric

Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa; Olathe

Current neighborhood: The West Side

What I do (in 140 characters): I tell clients what they should and should not do with social media, I help create apps and I like to party.

What's your addiction? Vinyl. Don't underestimate the romance of analog.

What's your game? KU basketball and tennis

What's your drink? Bell's Hopslam. It is the nectar of the gods.

Where's dinner? Anywhere on the West Side or Eden Alley. I'm a vegetarian in a barbecue town, but I fully support my carnivorous friends' lifestyle choices.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gossup wants your secrets about Kansas City and Lawrence - anonymously, of course

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

gossup.jpg
Got some gossip that you're dying to share? Then download the Gossup app - created by Kansas Citians Eric Miller, a social-media strategist with Barkley; Kevin Bradford, an app developer; and Jeff Schroer, an art director at VML - and post it in complete anonymity. 

"A long time ago, we saw a gap in what you can do with social media," Miller tells The Pitch. "Facebook and Twitter as your audience limits what you can say. So that's why we went the anonymous route."

The app launched Thursday (you can find it in Apple's app store or on Android). Miller, Bradford and Schroer, developed the app over the last year, working with the startup incubator BetaBlox and the KU Entrepreneurship Club.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Michael Gelphman's Compute Midwest conference goes to infinity and beyond

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Gelphman takes Compute Midwest to a new frontier. - SABRINA STAIRES
  • Sabrina Staires
  • Gelphman takes Compute Midwest to a new frontier.

Michael Gelphman's mind is in the stratosphere. Gelphman, the 37-year-old founder of the Kansas City IT Professionals online community, recently sent the message about his next Compute Midwest conference - "Imagine the Future" - 21 miles toward space on a weather balloon. He and some physics and engineering students from the University of Kansas had outfitted the balloon with a couple of GoPro cameras, but a violent explosion damaged the GPS antennas, making the equipment hard to retrieve.

"Yeah, it was tough to find for two days, but we just never gave up," Gelphman says. "We knew if we found it, there would be incredible footage on it. It was one of the coolest things that I've ever been involved with. It reinforces that idea of thinking big and taking risks."

Gelphman plans to do both this weekend. On Friday (October 25), Compute Midwest launches again with an all-day conference at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It continues through the weekend with a hackathon Saturday and Sunday (October 26-27) at Sporting Kansas City's Boulevard members club. Gelphman talked with The Pitch about his next frontier.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

1 Million Cups announces Columbia and Lawrence outposts

Posted By on Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Now its up to 12 million cups.
  • Now it's up to 12 million cups.
The best reason to be late for work in Kansas City announced today that it's going to pop up in a pair of college towns. The Kauffman Foundation's 1 Million Cups, a weekly presentation from local startups, is launching Columbia and Lawrence programs on August 7.

Locally, the Wednesday-morning meetings at the Kauffman Foundation have become the place to be seen and for those in the startup and technology scene to network. Often they are standing-room-only affairs. Previously, the Kauffman Foundation had announced that 1 Million Cups will start in other Midwestern big cities, including Des Moines, Houston and St. Louis. Columbia and Lawrence will bring the total cities hosting 1 Million Cups meetings to 12.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

It's First Friday, and we have an app for your art gallery tours

Posted By on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The Pitchs First Friday app will guide you through the Crossroads art party.
  • intev
  • The Pitch's First Friday app will guide you through the Crossroads art party.
Unfortunately, the weather isn't cooperating with this month's First Friday. But there's a lot of great stuff to see, snow be damned.

Need a guide through the Crossroads Arts District? We've partnered with intev LLC, which has created an app to help you find the galleries, restaurants, shops and parking. It's available in the iPhone store (search "First Friday"). Once you've got it, you can read our reviews; pinpoint the closest galleries, shops and restaurants; and see schedules and hours for various gallery shows.

After the jump, our First Friday Hit List.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fannect goes live and waits for the big nod from Bill Self

Fannect goes live and waits for the big nod from Bill Self.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

It's game day for Fannect.

Inside a space on Grand last occupied by the clothing boutique Method, Hunter Browning, Will Coatney and their team wait for an e-mail from Apple. Six days ago, they submitted their sports app for approval.

"We're on edge," Browning says. "I've got push notifications on every e-mail. I really wish people wouldn't e-mail me today."

"Ninety-five percent of the apps get approved within six days," Coatney says, "and today [February 13] is the sixth day."

Apple receives 26,000 submissions a week from developers hoping to be added to the more than 700,000 apps in the giant company's store. Free apps, such as Fannect, often get discarded.

"You have to be cool to get noticed," Browning says. "And if you don't do being cool right the first time, you're never going to be cool."

The Fannect team isn't afraid of a little competition. That's the heart of its app, which is meant to rank the most passionate fanbases in college and professional sports. Is Mizzou more devoted than KU? Who would win a street fight between Ohio State fans and the Michigan devout? And who exactly is the No. 1 Notre Dame fan? Fannect's creators say they can provide the answers.

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  • Fannect goes live and waits for the big nod from Bill Self.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

FiberHouse offers startups the chance to live rent-free

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Is FiberHouse the new headquarters for your startup?
  • Is FiberHouse the new headquarters for your startup?

Colorado-based entrepreneur Brad Feld is opening his doors to local startups. This week, Feld and the Kauffman Foundation announced a contest for young companies that would benefit from having access to Google Fiber Internet access. The winners will get to live and work rent-free in the house that Feld owns at 4437 Cambridge in Kansas City, Kansas.

Feld, along with a panel of judges, will evaluate applicants based on their "innovative potential of their startups and their companies' ability to leverage Google Fiber." Up to five startups can win and will get to spend a year in the FiberHouse, which is in the same neighborhood as the Kansas City Startup Village.

The Feld FiberHouse Contest is taking applications until March 22. The winners might be a little cramped. According to Trulia, the house is only 944 square feet, with two bedrooms and one bathroom.

Applicants must be 18 or older. You can apply through the Kauffman Foundation's iStart website.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hackers put Google Fiber to the test at this weekend’s Compute Midwest

Hackers put Google Fiber to the test at this weekend's Compute Midwest.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 7:30 AM

What can you make with Google Fiber? More than 100 developers want to answer that question this weekend, when Compute Midwest holds its hackathon at the Fiber Space (1814 Westport Road).

Michael Gelphman, founder of Kansas City IT Professionals and organizer of Compute Midwest, says he isn't sure what to expect when these programmers and app developers are given access to Google's 300 Mbps Wi-Fi connection — a speed that's 30 times the national average — and a computer with gigabit speed. At 9 a.m. Saturday, though, he starts finding out when work gets under way. And a little more than 24 hours later, we see results: At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, judges examine demos and award prizes, such as an iPhone 5, an iPad and a Kindle.

"That's the most exciting part, the unknown," Gelphman says. "Who is going to show up, and what ideas can they come up with?"

More definite is how Compute Midwest begins. The four-day conference kicks off Thursday, November 8, with a party from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Cashew (2000 Grand). The party gives way to a discussion of the future, with a 9 a.m. talk Friday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (1601 Broadway).

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  • Hackers put Google Fiber to the test at this weekend's Compute Midwest.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Jason Grill and Sara Davidson's entrepreneur radio show debuts today on KMBZ's Business Channel

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 6:07 AM

Tune in Thursday to 1660 AM for tech and entrepreneur talk.
  • Tune in Thursday to 1660 AM for tech and entrepreneur talk.
KMBZ's business radio channel 1660 AM debuts Entrepreneur KC Radio Show today from 1 to 2 p.m.

Sara Davidson and former Missouri State Rep. Jason Grill host the hourlong show every week. Look for programs with entrepreneurs and techies ranging from AgLocal's Nait Jones to Backly's Adam Coomes to KCnext's Ryan Weber to Polsinelli Shughart lawyer Gregory Kratofil.

Davidson and Grill started recording the shows September 20, but the first one broadcasts today. The Kauffman Foundation sponsors the show. Here's its Facebook page.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Kansas City Hacker Homes is couchsurfing for Google Fiberheads

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

The next business incubator could be on your pull-out couch.
  • BrianThacker.tv
  • The next business incubator could be on your pull-out couch.
That guy who has been living on your couch rent-free these past several months? You might want to start asking him for some stock options. Ars Technica has the story of Kansas City Hacker Homes — a project launched yesterday by local Web developer Ben Barreth to hook up aspiring developers with places to stay. Hosts who sign up with Kansas City Hacker Homes agree to foster a hacker for three months, rent-free.

"The reason why we're doing this is to encourage startups to move into the KC area and to make Kansas City a better place to live and work," Barreth writes on the Homes for Hackers site.

Hackers buy their own food, build a new start-up business and "pay this kindness forward." Hosts agree to offer a basement/room, utilities (including access to Google Fiber when it's installed), an introduction to KC and show "Midwestern kindness to a total stranger." And that's why your spare bedroom is now the new garage startup.

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