With visions of pushing Kansas City’s growth to new heights, reps make pitch for Amazon’s HQ2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thursday was deadline day in the highly sought after bidding process for cities wanting to become home to Amazon's new second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. Kansas City representatives hand-delivered our bid to the company in Seattle.

Dozens of cities around the US and Canada are vying for a shot at becoming a second home to the world's biggest online retailer.

When you look at how Kansas City has changed and grown in the past decade, it's hard to fathom how a huge company like Amazon could push that growth into the stratosphere. But from small businesses to up and coming innovators, there are reasons to think our region landing the online giant isn't far fetched.

Inside a couple small houses on State Line Road, there's a lot of innovation buzzing.

"I'm reminded of when Google chose Kansas City for Google Fiber. Kansas City had a pretty impressive startup community then. It's fast tracked us immensely," said Matthew Marcus, director of operations for the KC Startup Foundation.

A ton of tiny companies have taken off thanks to spaces like the one offered at the KC Startup Foundation. While Amazon is a huge business, having its HQ2 in our region could spur growth we can't even imagine inside its walls and beyond.

"If they choose Kansas City, they'll actually be in a position to help shape the future progress of the city. Where as if you go to say Denver, with a thousand people moving into it very week, it's kind of already hit that tipping point. They come here and they can be part of the tipping point for Kansas City," said Marcus.

Not only is the city pitching itself, touting its up and coming status, but the state of Missouri put together a proposal saying the state as a whole could offer up an "innovation corridor". Between St. Louis and Kansas City, there are airports, major rail and port hubs, and driving connections to over half the country within a day. Governor Eric Greitens also believes Amazon could help drive future innovations, like the Hyper Loop One, a speed transit system that could get you across the state in less than 30 minutes.

"It would show that Kansas City, you know, we're not just a little farm city. We're really technologically advanced," said Emiline Stewart, a student at the Missouri Innovation Campus.

Emiline Stewart and Rex Stickney are part of the next-generation tech workforce the state is boasting to Amazon. They attend the brand new Missouri Innovation Campus, a partnership between Lee's Summit Schools and the University of Central Missouri.

"We're going to have the skills we need to go into those jobs and hopefully fill them in a way that we're qualified to do so," Stewart said.

They're gaining invaluable hands-on experience for the future jobs they hope to land right here at home.

"It's a lot less intimidating for sure because the thought of, 'Oh. I want to become someone in the the world, I have to go here. I have to do this.' When in reality, you could just stay at home and get a job working for say, Amazon," said Missouri Innovation Campus student Rex Stickney.

What we don't know yet is where an Amazon HQ2 could be built in Kansas City, or the state of Missouri. Cities submitting plans to Amazon are legally bound by a non-disclosure agreement, to keep site options secret. Kansas City and the state are also not saying what they pitched in tax breaks for the company.

Amazon is expected to name its new second home sometime next year. The company has said its HQ2 could bring 50,000 new jobs.