Welcome to The Gigabit Challenge, a global business plan competition to find disruptive ideas that will turn the tech industry upside-down and change the world.

The Gigabit Challenge is focused on unique applications that are enabled by Google's first-in-the-nation 1 Gigabit Fiber network. It is a business plan competition looking for the brightest, hungriest and most passionate entrepreneur superstars who are looking to think big...with a gig.

Individuals, teams or businesses with an idea, a complete business plan, or an early-stage operating business are invited to enter for the chance to work on the first-in-the-nation Google Fiber network and a prize valued at $100,000. We hope that you will use the opportunity provided by the Google Fiber network to not only develop next-generation businesses, but to help establish an ecosystem that will cause innovation and disruptive technologies to surge throughout Kansas City and the world.

The Gigabit Challenge Advisory Board members are:

  • Erik Brynjolfsson -  Professor of Management, MIT & Director, MIT Center for Digital Business
  • Vint Cerf - Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
  • Robert Gunderson - Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Gunderson Dettmer
  • Harry Kellogg - Vice-Chairman, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Philip Korn - Relationship Manager and Managing Director, First Republic Bank
  • Dan'l Lewin - Corporate Vice President of Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft
  • Robert Marcusse - President & Chief Executive Officer, Kansas City Area Development Council
  • Scott Mize - Advisor to Think Big Partners and The Gigabit Challenge (Chairman)
  • Keith Molzer - President & CEO, Balance Innovations
  • Rex Northern - Executive Director, Cleantech Open
  • Mark Radcliffe - Partner, DLA Piper
  • Mario Rosati - Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati
  • Angela Tower - Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Kenny Wilk - Member, Kansas Board of Regents

Gigabit Challenge Offers Google-Friendly Ideas

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Ever since Google announced it would bring ultra high-speed internet to the metro, people have been wondering how it might be best put to use. Now an international competition to figure that out has been narrowed to 39 semi-finalists.

The Gigabit Challenge had 113 submissions from five continents and 24 states. It asked aspiring entrepreneurs for their ideas for business ideas that best used the Google network, and everyone from big names in the high-tech world to a metro grandpa made the cut.

In his Overland Park apartment grandfather of four, Michael McKinzy, developed a plan 20 years in the making that could change American history. A chad-free voting society.


Read More: Click Here

The Gigabit Challenge Announces Semi-Finalists for Business Plan Competition on the Google Fiber Network

KANSAS CITY, MO—December 6, 2011—The Gigabit Challenge announced the Semi-Finalists who will continue on in pursuit of the $100,000 Grand Prize, the $250,000 "Born Global" Prize and the opportunity to create disruptive innovation on the Google Fiber Network. These Semi-Finalists were selected by a panel of judges including entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, public and private sector organizations, community leaders and other experts. Executive summaries were judged based on market opportunity, growth potential, impact, brevity, clarity and how effectively the ideas utilized the Google Fiber Network. The Semi-Finalist companies cover a wide range of applications including telemedicine, ecommerce, nonprofit fundraising, video delivery, digital city management and much more.

"The Gigabit Challenge is a great example of a community working together to capitalize on a fantastic opportunity for the region to connect with entrepreneurs, inventors and investors from around the globe to catalyze ideas that can change the world," said Chris Bernard, Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Design Startup Director and Advisor for Microsoft, and a judge for The Gigabit Challenge. "We congratulate all of those who entered the competition and we're looking forward to the final round of judging. We are proud to offer programs like Microsoft BizSpark to the Semi-Finalists, which will help those startups and entrepreneurs focus on a great idea and get to market quickly."

The Gigabit Challenge Semi-Finalists:


  • Abhi Ray, Heart To Heart Network Inc.
  • Adam Geller, Edthena
  • Andrea Tappy, ClassTap
  • Andrew Ying, Hong
  • Annie Hwang, Cloud Integration LLP
  • Bob Wray, CourthouseUSA LLC
  • Brendon Collier, SocialCloud
  • Brett Simpson, record life
  • Cecilia Bakker, Cecilia Bakker & Tim Brown
  • Corinna West, Wellness Wordworks
  • Dallas Kranker, Everything Computers LLC
  • David Windhausen, TiBi.tv
  • Don Peterson, BigIris.com
  • Eddie Tapper, GET-GIV-GOT System Technologies
  • Edgar Sarmiento, HuMuch?
  • Ellen Ervin, Connected-4-Learning
  • Ernie Johnston, iNet2
  • Fortunato Cardenas, Green Earth Aerogel Technologies
  • Jason Arnold, Paruzia Technologies
  • Jeff Stull, Risk Analytics LLC
  • Jeremy Kissell, Jeremy Kissell
  • Jim West, Somametric
  • Kristin Kenney, RE:Cite
  • Marc Canter, Digital City Mechanics
  • Mark Hellevang, Capital Infinity Research LLC
  • Mary Poehler, In Touch Beacon
  • Merlin Owens, East West TeleMedia International
  • Michael McKinzy Sr., Voter Integrity Party (V.I.P.)
  • Michael Shear, Strategic Office Networks LLC
  • S. Vaideeswaran, Damascus Fortune
  • Sally Smith, Esipro Technologies LLC
  • Samuel Belu-John, SEIN Analytics & Asset Management
  • Scott Hardiek, Virtual/Real World Wallet System
  • Seak Meng Lay, Photaic
  • Sonia Lin, Kauzu
  • Su Sanni, WeDidIt
  • Tim Sylvester, Integrated Roadways
  • Troy Norris, TalentHelix
  • Willow Lundgren, PlanetRestore LLC


Semi-finalists have until December 9, 2011 to submit eight to ten page business plans and Powerpoint presentations which will be reviewed by the judging panel. Finalists will be announced on December 16, 2011. At The Gigabit Challenge Finale on January 18, 2012, the winners will be awarded a Grand Prize valued at $100,000 and a "Born Global" Prize of a $250,000 investment from Gramercy Private Equity.

"It has been a pleasure reviewing submissions for The Gigabit Challenge," said Greg Kratofil, Shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart and judge for The Gigabit Challenge. "It feels like I'm looking through time and getting a glimpse at what the future will hold. I have been extremely impressed with the quality of the ideas and have little doubt about the opportunities enabled by gigabit speed."

For more information about The Gigabit Challenge or to express interest in becoming a partner, please visit http://www.gigabitchallenge.com or contact Ann DeAngelo at (816) 842-5244.

The Gigabit Challenge Announces $250,000 “Born Global” Prize from Gramercy Private Equity

KANSAS CITY, MO—November 30, 2011—The Gigabit Challenge, a global business plan competition looking for entrepreneurial ideas to disrupt on the Google Fiber network, has partnered with San Francisco-based Gramercy Private Equity to offer a special "Born Global" Prize to its contestants. The Gramercy "Born Global" Prize will take the form of a $250,000 convertible promissory note (CPN) investment from Gramercy directly into the winning contestant. The prize will be awarded at The Gigabit Challenge Finale on January 18, 2012, in Kansas City. The "Born Global" Prize will be awarded to the contestant whose business idea has the best prospects of being rapidly implemented across the globe and leverages the increasing global nature of technology and digital media markets.

"Gramercy Private Equity is very excited to partner with The Gigabit Challenge. We believe that this competition has the potential to push the envelope on applications for the next-generation Google Fiber platform," stated Michael Gale, Managing Partner of Gramercy Private Equity. "We see this as a significant opportunity for ourselves and other investors. With our cross-border expertise, we plan to help the winner of the Gramercy 'Born Global' Prize to take their company global as rapidly as possible."

Gramercy Private Equity will work with a group of The Gigabit Challenge judges that have particular expertise in global technology and business to select the winner of the Gramercy "Born Global" Prize.

"Think Big Partners and The Gigabit Challenge congratulate Gramercy Private Equity on their vision and leadership in establishing the Gramercy 'Born Global' Prize," said Tyler Prochnow, co-founder of Think Big Partners, host of The Gigabit Challenge. "We welcome them as a partner and look forward to great results. We have been overwhelmed by the support The Gigabit Challenge has received in the four months since we announced the competition. We were especially happy to receive 113 entries in the Challenge as of the November 18, 2011 deadline. We have additional developments in progress and look forward to building on the leadership of Gramercy in the coming weeks."

The Semi-Finalists will be announced by December 6, 2011 and will be invited to submit business plans due on December 9, 2011. The Finalists will be announced on December 16, 2011 will be invited to The Gigabit Challenge Finale, a final pitch event and awards ceremony, that will take place in Kansas City on January 18, 2012. For more information, please visit http://www.gigabitchallenge.com.

The Gigabit Challenge is actively seeking additional partners. If you are interested in discussing this opportunity, or have questions regarding entering the competition, please visit http://www.gigabitchallenge.com or contact Think Big Partners at (816) 842-5244.