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Business and technology news from KCUR.
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Kansas City, MO




Business and technology news from KCUR.






4825 Troost Ave, Ste 202 Kansas City, Missouri 64110 (816) 235-1551


The Government Shutdown Has Put 'Life On Hold' For These Kansas City Families

New data from the Washington Post suggests the Kansas City area is missing out on $10 million a week from government contracts as the shutdown stretches on. That’s in addition to the thousands of federal workers not getting paid. Those missed paychecks for contractors and employees alike have placed a heavy burden on both budgets and families.


Kansas Couple’s Account Frozen After They Didn’t Answer Citizenship Question. Is That Legal?

When Josh Collins first got the letter from Bank of America more than two months ago, he thought it was a scam. The letter wasn’t on the glossy paper typical of what he’d seen during his two decades with the bank. And it asked him some unusual questions, like if he had international accounts.


How One Kansas City Entrepreneur Helped The Trucking Industry Solve A Paper Problem

Growing up in Uzbekistan, everything Bek Abdullayev knew about the United States he'd learned from pop culture and Hollywood movies. "A lot of high rises, beautiful people," was what he imagined. "Michael Jordan, Madonna, whatever you see in the movies. You know, 'Home Alone,' so a big family home in a nice neighborhood." As a teenager, Abdullayev got to experience the U.S. first-hand after he earned a spot in a competitive program called the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX), funded by the...


How The Kansas City Fed Works With Urban And Rural Communities To Grow Business

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, part of the nation's central banking system, is perhaps best known as a key provider of agricultural economic data. Its president helps set national interest rates. It works with banks. But the bank also promotes economic growth in its seven-state region. Dell Gines, who heads up the Fed's small business work with rural communities and urban neighborhoods from its Omaha office, calls it the work of a "wholesaler." "For example, we work with small...


Keep It Local: Rural Foundations Encourage Designation Towns, Counties As Heirs To Stem Wealth Drain

It’s a common story: Ambitious kids move from small towns to larger cities, never to look back. When their parents die, the family wealth that’s been built over generations through farming, ranching or agriculture-related businesses often follows the kids, draining the economic lifeblood from those rural communities. The largest generational transfer of wealth in modern times is expected to happen in the next 10 years and rural foundations in states like Iowa and Nebraska are working hard...


St. Louis, Kansas City Take Stock Of Minimum Wage Hikes Being Undone By GOP Lawmakers

When it became clear the Republican-controlled state legislature wouldn’t be raising the minimum wage above $7.70 an hour, leaders in St. Louis and Kansas City took matters into their own hands.


Inventor Goes From Taking Finals At William Jewell To Powering Cell Phones In Haiti

Three years ago, Conner Hazelrigg was a sophomore at William Jewell College, in Liberty, Missouri, when a friend came back from a trip to Haiti. The friend told Hazelrigg that everyone in the island nation—one of the world’s poorest countries—has a cell phone. They just don’t have any way to charge them. Electricity, she learned, was expensive and hard to find.


Kansas City Tech Startups See Promise As Funders Look To The 'Rise Of The Rest'

Mike Farmer’s high-tech startup, Leap.It, caught the attention of AOL founder Steve Case in October 2014 because Farmer’s company was built in the first house hooked up with Google Fiber. Case loved the irony of the David of Kansas City taking on the Goliath of Google. “You’re undermining Google right here in the Start-Up Village in Kansas City,” Case said at the time. “On Google Fiber! That’s pretty cheeky!” Farmer doesn’t remember the cheeky line, but the Google angle is “an interesting...


Trump’s Trade Tweets Hurt Kansas City Southern Railroad

President Donald Trump’s threats to disrupt trade with Mexico aren’t just concerning people south of the border. Each time Trump attacks the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the executives at a 130-year-old railroad with headquarters in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, hold their breath. Like a lot of U.S. companies Kansas City Southern depends on cross-border trade. Kansas City Southern takes Midwestern corn and auto parts to Mexico, and hauls finished cars, car parts and...


Kansas City Man Dreams Of Building A Tech Hub With Diversity Hardwired Into Its Core

Over the last few years, the country’s tech giants — Google, Twitter and Facebook — have all been called out for their mostly white and mostly male staffs. Diversity has become a top priority in Silicon Valley. Vewiser Dixon, an area entrepreneur, wants to help Kansas City avoid the image plaguing Silicon Valley — by building a tech space from the ground up, with diversity hardwired into its core. It would be called the Enterprise Village Ecosystem, or EVE, and it would be on about 22...


Kansas Citian And 'Serial Entrepreneur' Brings New Technology To Shipping Industry

Augie Grasis doesn’t shy away from the label “serial entrepreneur.” “I guess it’s true from the standpoint that I’ve had a number of startups,” says Grasis, the founder of multiple technology companies in Kansas City. “It’s really what interests me the most and what turns me on the most about life and about commerce. It’s innovating and improving the way things are done.” Grasis is best known for starting up Handmark, which made content apps for the Palm operating system before expanding...


Kansas City High Schoolers Juggle School, Jobs And Their Own Companies

Being in high-school can feel like a full-time job — e ight hours a day in the classroom, plus schoolwork to do at home. Throw in an after school job and a few extra curricular activities and you’ve got a very busy teen. Kansas City-area high-schoolers Dawson Borcherding and Daniel Serres have taken that already busy schedule one step further. Both started their own companies before they turned 17. Y oung Leaf Landscaping Mowing lawns is a pretty common first job for young people, but Dawson...


How An Art Degree Helped Launch Kansas City-Based Health Food Company Rawxies

Callie England felt sick all the time. She went to doctors. She got her blood tested. By the time she was 21, she had taken more than 3,000 prescription pills and was at her wit’s end. And then she changed what she ate.


After Sprint, Former CEO Dan Hesse Says He Lives 'Very Much In The Moment'

Dan Hesse retired after seven years as CEO of Sprint in August 2014, he vowed to take at least a year "completely off." The year has come and gone — and Hesse is busy again ... but it's a different kind of busy. "I'd been accused by many people of being a serial workaholic," Hesse says. "I tried to have a balanced life, but I really focused on being the best leader and mentor I could be. I wanted to take some time to be the best father, husband, son and friend that I could be." And Hesse...


Kansas City Child Care Workers Provide Essential Services For Low Wages

Last November, for the first time, Kansas City child care workers spoke out about their low wages, as they officially joined fast food and other low wage workers in the Fight for 15 , a movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.


Kansas City Couple Updates Century-Old Crutch With Armpit-Friendly Design

The basic technology of the crutch, Max and Liliana Younger knew, hadn’t changed since the Civil War. But when Max’s father became a permanent crutch user after a partial leg amputation in 2008, the married couple — both industrial designers by training — committed themselves to rethinking an age-old technology. “We knew it was something we needed to change,” Max says.