SOURCE: Think Big Partners

Think Big Partners

April 30, 2013 17:09 ET

Google Glass Documentary Tech Trek Will Be Presented by Hallmark and Sprint

Kansas City-Based Companies Hallmark and Sprint Join the Google Glass Experience by Sponsoring the Production of the Tech Trek Documentary Through Kickstarter

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwired - April 30, 2013) -  Two of Kansas City's largest local companies, Hallmark Cards and Sprint, have teamed up with a group of area entrepreneurs to tell the story of America's most innovative technology companies on a cross-country road trip using Google Glass

Google Glass is a head-mounted computer and display that connects with the user's mobile phone to allow for seamless communication over the web. Glass also has a video camera that allows for pictures and video to be streamed over the web. Only 8,000 individuals worldwide were selected to test the Google Glass hardware in the Glass Explorers program. One of these Explorers is Chris Shaw, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Think Big Partners and organizer of Tech Trek. 

Tech Trek is a Google Glass-enabled interactive documentary that will tell the story of innovative, early-stage technology companies being built in some of America's most successful startup hubs.

Chris Shaw, a serial entrepreneur who founded LexSpot and has advised over a dozen technology startups, said he wanted to use Glass to give back to the community that enabled his success.

"Glass is a truly innovative way to tell stories and share experiences," says Shaw. "While I intend to use for Glass for developing mobile applications in the healthcare space, my colleagues and I wanted to test the media capabilities of Glass in a unique way."

Two former Kansas City startup successes Hallmark and Sprint were happy to support Kansas City entrepreneur, Google Glass Explorer and head of the Tech Trek project, Chris Shaw, and help him tell this story. 

"As a Kansas City native, I am thrilled to work with Hallmark and Sprint to tell this story. 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," said Shaw.

Hallmark

Hallmark's roots as a Kansas City startup go back to 1910, when J.C. Hall arrived in Kansas City with two shoeboxes of postcards under his arm and the American dream in his heart. He had a passion for quality and was driven by a simple belief that first-class products meeting a genuine need would bring business success.

Hall's entrepreneurial spirit and passion took him from a one-person startup to a 12,000+ strong company that has generated billions of smiles worldwide. 

"Hallmark is constantly seeking ways to collaborate with the world's best innovators," said Rob Bensman, Hallmark vice president of strategic alliances. "We're looking forward to traveling with Tech Trek and interacting with promising startups across the country."

"Hallmark also is interested in learning how technology impacts the ways in which people connect with one another," Bensman continued. "Tech Trek provides a unique opportunity for us to observe firsthand how Google Glass will influence communication in the future."

Sprint

Sprint's entrepreneurial roots date back more than 100 years as well. Sprint's founder, Cleyson Brown, successfully took on the Bell monopoly in 1899 from Abilene, Kansas by challenging the status quo through innovation and a commitment to community the Midwest is known for. Since then, Sprint has been developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies across wireline and wireless industries.

Sprint recognizes an obvious benefit working closely with startups and entrepreneurs. Much like Cleyson Brown, high-growth entrepreneurs have a unique perspective on technology innovation, move quickly and have little fear of failure.

"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 at Sprint. "We are excited to be participating in the Tech Trek Kickstarter campaign and look forward to seeing what it brings."

About Tech Trek

Tech Trek is a Google Glass-enabled interactive documentary that will tell the story of innovative, early-stage technology companies being built in some of America's most successful startup hubs. Tech Trek will take place in the summer of 2013 and will document a number of startup hubs such as Kansas City, Missouri; Boulder, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; San Francisco, California; and others. To learn more about Tech Trek, please visit www.techtrek.co

About Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Hallmark makes the world a more caring place by helping people express what's in their hearts and spend time together -- a privilege few other companies in the world enjoy. Hallmark greeting cards and other products are found in 39,000 retail outlets in the United States, including the network of flagship Hallmark Gold Crown® stores. The brand also reaches people online at Hallmark.com and on television through Hallmark Hall of Fame original movies and cable's top-rated Hallmark Channel. Worldwide, Hallmark offers products in more than 30 languages available in 100 countries. This privately held company is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is led by the third generation of the founding Hall family. Visit http://corporate.hallmark.com for more details. 

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 55 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

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