Think Big Partners to Host The Gigabit Challenge, a Worldwide Business Plan Competition for Applications on the Google Fiber Network

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Think Big Partners, a Kansas City-based business incubator and early-stage startup accelerator, has announced the formation of a business plan competition in anticipation of the launch of Google’s ultra high-speed broadband network in the Kansas City area.

Think Big Partners, a Kansas City-based business incubator and early-stage startup accelerator, has announced the formation of a business plan competition in anticipation of the launch of Google’s ultra high-speed broadband network in the Kansas City area. The business plan competition, called The Gigabit Challenge, will be open to entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe. Interested businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to participate in the competition with the goal of establishing new companies that will fulfill Google’s mission of developing new applications that will expand human welfare.

In January of 2010, Google announced that it would develop a one-gigabit fiber network—an Internet service with speeds up to 100 times faster than the current state-of-the-art. To deploy this next-generation broadband network, Google asked local governments and organizations across the United States to apply for the chance to be the first region to receive the network. More than 1,100 cities applied for the opportunity. In March of 2011, Google announced that the network would launch in Kansas City in the first quarter of 2012.

As a community leader in early-stage business innovation and entrepreneurship, Think Big Partners is hosting The Gigabit Challenge so that entrepreneurs and innovators have a head start in utilizing the Google Fiber network. As a worldwide business plan competition, The Gigabit Challenge offers not only the chance for competitors to develop next-generation businesses, but will also foster a surge in innovation and disruptive technology linking Kansas City to the world.

“In the last few years we have seen an explosion of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the Kansas City area,” says Tyler Prochnow, Senior Partner at Think Big Partners. “New technologies are making it easier and easier to launch and grow new ventures. We expect that the Google Fiber network will spawn new waves of innovation both here and across the globe.”

Think Big Partners is currently seeking sponsors and judges to participate in The Gigabit Challenge. As a sponsor or judge, organizations and individuals will have a first look at a number of innovative business plans and will gain insight into the direction that the market will take with this new platform.

“The Gigabit Challenge will help to catalyze new, disruptive solutions that are enabled by the Google Fiber network and Think Big Partners along with others will help to commercialize these solutions,” says Herb Sih, Managing Partner at Think Big Partners. “We want to bring together the global entrepreneurial community to solve important problems with this initiative. We believe that The Gigabit Challenge will provide and unprecedented opportunity for sponsors and investors to see into the future of ultra high-speed broadband applications. We will be able to put these key stakeholders in front of top innovators in this exciting space.”

The Gigabit Challenge will start on October 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and awarded prizes at an event to be held during December 2011. In addition to the prize awards, Think Big Partners will facilitate introductions to investors for further capitalization of the winners. The winners will then be able to implement their applications on the Google Fiber network starting in the first quarter of 2012.

For more information about The Gigabit Challenge or to express interest in becoming a sponsor or judge, please visit The Gigabit Challenge website.

About Think Big Partners

Think Big Partners is an early-stage business incubator, startup accelerator and mentorship-based collaborative network and workspace for entrepreneurs, innovators, founders and visionaries. Located in the heart of Kansas City, Think Big Partners provides resources, services, funding, a coworking space and an annual entrepreneurial conference in order to strengthen the startup ecosystem in both Kansas City and across the nation. To learn more about Think Big Partners, please visit http://www.thinkbigpartners.com.

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Allison Way