Augie Grasis | Entrepreneur and Founder, Handmark





Named the 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award Winner in the Central Midwest Technology category, Augie Grasis is an established entrepreneur known for his savvy business approach and industry-changing ideas. Since founding Handmark in 2000, Grasis has played an important role in defining the mobile content industry and changing the way people use their mobile phones. Grasis is deeply engaged in the business leveraging his experience to advance the company’s position as a leading developer and distributor of mobile applications and services and most recently founding Handmark’s mobile social networks subsidiary, OneLouder.  Prior to Handmark, Grasis founded Foresight Resources (later acquired by Autodesk) where he lead industry-first initiatives in the CAD and Home Design software business.

What makes Kansas City a great place for creativity and innovation?
Kansas City offers a culture of art and innovation in an affordable quality of life.  It DOESN’T have what many big cities have—traffic, pollution and crime, but rather offers a great place to do business and raise a family.

When and where are you happiest?
On my sailboat with my family in Weatherby Lake in a stiff breeze.

What is your favorite place in Kansas City?
Weatherby Lake.

Where’s your favorite place outside of Kansas City?
British Virgin Islands.

What’s your most treasured personal possession?
My 1933 Studebaker Indy Race Car.

Who’s your favorite fictional hero?
Jonas Cord in the Carpetbaggers, a fearless entrepreneur.

Who do you most admire in real-life?
My mom and dad, August and Ruta Grasis, who came to the USA in 1950 with nothing and lived the American Dream.