Despite the growth, it remains a challenge for startups to raise money from Kansas City, Farmer said. Silicon Valley venture capital groups in particular want startup entrepreneurs to be nearby in California, he said.
‘‘I've had some really incredible conversations with some big name VCs, and their first statement is that when you’re in this early stage you have to be here, right next to us,’’ he said. ‘‘That is a hurdle.’’
Andy Kallenbach recently launched FormZapper.com, an online forms management site, and also has offices near the ‘‘Home for Hackers.’’ He said Kansas City has no aspirations to be the next Silicon Valley and may never have a ‘‘Facebook or a giant consumer-level company that takes over the world.’’
He said it may also be ‘‘better for us’’ that it’s more difficult to raise money in Kansas City.
‘‘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,’’ Kallenbach said. ‘‘I think here in Kansas City you have to at some point put your money where your mouth is. You have to ‘do.'’’