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Olathe Ups the Ante for Startups

Posted by Amy Brost on Apr 18, 2017

Another Round of Funding and New Co-working space for Olathe Startups
KANSAS CITY, MO (APRIL 2017) — Digital Sandbox KC and the City of Olathe are continuing their efforts to drive entrepreneurship and new business starts in Olathe with proof-of-concept funding and new co-working space at the Kansas State University Olathe Campus.

 

“We’re constantly working to break down the barriers that are impacting startups. For Olathe-based startups, co-working space was an issue,” said Jeff Shackelford, Digital Sandbox KC executive director. “Teaming up with K-State’s Olathe campus is the perfect solution.”

 

In addition to grants of up to $20,000, now companies funded out of Olathe will receive professional co-working space at K-State Olathe, located at 22201 W. Innovation Dr., Olathe, Kansas.

 

“The Olathe Chamber of Commerce understands and appreciates the importance of having locations where early-stage entrepreneurs can collide and collaborate,” said Casey Wilhm, Olathe Chamber of Commerce vice president.  “We are so excited to be involved in linking everyone together on such an important project that will help grow our invaluable entrepreneurial community.”

 

The City of Olathe and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce have focused on identifying co-working space for years.  Prior to this partnership between K-State Olathe and Digital Sandbox KC, there was not dedicated space available for Olathe-based startups funded through the Sandbox program.

 

“Our partnership with Digital Sandbox KC and the City of Olathe embodies K-State Olathe’s commitment to meeting industry’s needs and helping to expand the community’s economic potential,” said Ralph Richardson, K-State Olathe dean and CEO. “Our campus is uniquely positioned to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, which is so strong in Olathe and the entire Greater Kansas City area, and link businesses to the university’s vast educational and research expertise.”  

 

Four Olathe companies received Digital Sandbox KC funding in 2016.

  • MovinHouz - a mobile app connecting homeowners with moving companies
  • PreScreend - an analytic platform that authenticates and verifies someone’s identity.
  • PerfectCube - provides business analytics tools for small retail business owners.
  • Windsor Trucking Solutions - creates SaaS compliance solutions for trucking industry.

 

“The first round with Digital Sandbox KC was all that we’d hoped it would be,” said Michael Wilkes, Olathe city manager. “We’re excited to bring K-State Olathe in on this partnership and do more to support early-stage entrepreneurs in our city.”

 

Launched in February 2013, the Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 350 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area. 

 

Results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:

  • Over $1.2M in project funding grants
  • 85 proof-of-concept projects funded for KC-area startups
  • Over 400 new jobs created
  • $33M in follow-on funding
  • Companies receiving project grants have secured over $33M in add-on funding

 

Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run eight weeks.  The Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs.  Olathe entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit www.digitalsandboxkc.com for more information.

 

 

About Digital Sandbox KC

Digital Sandbox KC is an unprecedented partnership among private companies, universities, entrepreneurial support organizations and government agencies across the Kansas City region designed to spur the creation of high growth companies.  Digital Sandbox KC provides proof of concept resources including market validation, prototyping and beta testing support for development of digital technologies within new and existing businesses.