Sprint, Hallmark back KC native's Google Glass-enabled "Tech Trek"

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Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:00 am

A group of Kansas City entrepreneurs have received support from local corporations Hallmark and Sprint for their cross-country documentary, "Tech Trek."

Kansas City native and Think Big Partners entrepreneur-in-residence Chris Shaw has secured the support of two local corporate titans, Hallmark Cards and Sprint, as he prepares to embark on a cross-country adventure to produce a documentary—through the lens of Google Glass—on early-stage startups.

Earlier this month, Shaw launched a Kickstarter campaign, "Tech Trek—A Google Glass Enabled Interactive Documentary," to help fund the trip, which will take a group of area entrepreneurs to some of the country's most successful startup hubs. The project came about after Shaw won the opportunity to purchase through Google's #IfIHadGlass competition on Twitter.

"As a Kansas City native, I am thrilled to work with Hallmark and Sprint to tell this story," Shaw (right) said in today's press release. "The idea that the area companies I grew up admiring reached out and funded us on Kickstarter is a testament to how amazing the business community in Kansas City is.”

Backers will be able to follow along with the journey and interact with the "trekkers." When completed, the documentary will be available to the public, Shaw said in an earlier interview.

"Hallmark is constantly seeking ways to collaborate with the world's best innovators," Rob Bensman, the company's vice president of strategic alliances, said in the release. "Hallmark also is interested in learning how technology impacts the ways in which people connect with one another. Tech Trek provides a unique opportunity for us to observe firsthand how Google Glass will influence communication in the future."

Sprint recognizes the benefit of working closely with startups and entrepreneurs, who have little fear of failure and provide a unique perspective on technology innovation, according to the release.

“At Sprint we believe that helping to nurture the ideas of entrepreneurs and technologists and being present in the creation of new businesses and services is critical to the evolution of our culture and business,” said Kevin McGinnis, vice president of product platforms and services.

The Kickstarter campaign has raised $10,815 so far, which exceeds its $9,780 goal. It will remain open for backers to support until May 5.


Credits: Photo from Tech Trek website. Headshot from Chris Shaw's Twitter. Video from Kickstarter page.

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