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St. Joseph Company joins the Sandbox

Posted by Amy Brost on Sep 22, 2017
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The St. Joseph Innovation Stockyard announced the first company to receive funding through its recent partnership with Digital Sandbox KC. 

“This partnership really maximizes the resources available to entrepreneurs in northwest Missouri,” said Ronan Molloy, president of Innovation Stockyard, “The St. Joseph Sandbox is a great opportunity for early-stage entrepreneurs and, based on the quality of the applications so far, we believe we have another arrow in the quiver for entrepreneurship in St. Joseph.” 

Launched in February 2013, Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 500 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the Kansas City metro. Over the summer, the Sandbox announced its partnership with the Innovation Stockyard, along the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Western State University and other local organizations to drive new business growth in St. Joseph and throughout northwest Missouri.

“We saw a great group of entrepreneurs in the St. Joseph area,” said Jeff Shackelford, Digital Sandbox KC director. “As expected, there are creative, innovative entrepreneurs across the state of Missouri. The partnership with Innovation Stockyard allows us to reach early-stage entrepreneurs in northwest Missouri and help move them forward to create new companies and areas jobs.”

The first company in St. Joseph to receive Digital Sandbox KC program support is Toss it Curbside, founded by Aaron Brennan and Pedro Fernandez. Toss It Curbside provides professional removal service for unwanted items. As the name indicates, customers can place their unwanted items on the curb and the Toss It Curbside team will coordinate the item’s removal and delivery to a local donation or recycle center, leaving very little for the landfill. With Digital Sandbox KC support, the company plans to optimize app- and web-based functions to help the company expand to new markets.  

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support from St. Joseph and the funding from the Sandbox,” said Brennan. “We’re expanding rapidly. This funding will help get our business to the next step and fit the needs of our customers."

Results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:
• More than $1.7 million in project funding
• 90 proof-of-concept projects funded for KC-area startups
• More than 480 new jobs created with more than $12 million in payroll
• $38,265,600 in follow-on funding

The Sandbox program in St. Joseph, partially funded by the Missouri Technology Corporation, utilizes Digital Sandbox KC’s proof-of-concept program to target early-stage entrepreneurs in St. Joseph who have concepts that can rapidly grow a business into a significant employer. In addition to up to $15,000 in project development funds, the Innovation Stockyard, located inside the Kit Bond Incubator in St. Joseph, will offer recipients coworking space.  

“St. Joseph’s entrepreneurial spirit is well-known, from the invention of the saltine cracker to the formation of revolutionary animal health vaccines that save pet and livestock lives daily,” said R. Patt Lilly, St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “We are excited to work with Digital Sandbox KC’s innovative programming to continue our focus on growing business and jobs in the St. Joseph community.”

More information about the partnership with St. Joseph, Missouri is available at: www.digitalsandboxkc.com/programs/stjoe