Innovator envisions black Silicon Valley

Vewiser Dixon, ME’73, has big plans for his hometown of Kansas City.For several years, Dixon has been buying up land in the South Vine Corridor near the Historic Jazz District. Home to elementary, middle and high schools, the corridor is where Dixon’s vision lies.

“I want to build black Silicon Valley,” he told the Kansas City Star. “Technology jobs are the new promised land for minorities. I want to create a startup village … and go beyond that by providing education, housing and retail so people have everything they need to live, work and play here.”

A successful business owner and business incubator (Dixon helped launch 16 black businesses in the 1980s and dozens more since), he believes people are the key to success.

“V told me not to worry about the money and focus on the people,” says Lucy McFadden, whom Dixon helped open her hair salons. “If you treat people well, employees and customers, the business will thrive.”

With backers such as former NBA player Clay Johnson, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and developer Troy Nash, Dixon hopes to break ground on the first phase of the village this year.

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