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LimeLight Technologies

With the help and connections of Digital Sandbox KC, LimeLight Technologies, LLC is providing the visibility to secure the safety of meat production across the food supply chain, from rancher to retailer.

Improve Tracking, Improve Safety

Founded in 2009, LimeLight captures and exchanges key information on each animal as it moves through the meat production / food supply chain. Built off a licensed and proprietary software platform that is currently used to track patient healthcare information, LimeLight’s cloud-enabled mobile technology (SmartTraak) simplifies data capture using off-the-shelf devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops. LimeLight and its SmartTraak software platform are compliant with the global traceability standards from GS1-EPCIS providing the interoperability to secure the safety of meat production across the food supply chain.

Ranchers and retailers can trace animals throughout the food chain, read VID and RFID ear tags, simplify data capture on their smartphones, exchange essential data in real-time—all leading to improved traceability, visibility of food safety data and consumer confidence.

Playing in the Digital Sandbox

 “Marv Jahde has many years of experience in the animal health space and through his real world experience has developed a more efficient and thorough process for tracking an animal’s origins throughout the food production process,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.

With its corporate partnership and connections, Digital Sandbox KC will help LimeLight take the next steps to commercialization.

“Our goal is to raise seed round capital investment,” says CEO Marv Jahde. “Digital Sandbox KC’s  resources can help us achieve that goal by funding market research and legal expenses and connecting us with accredited investors.”

LimeLight will use the Sandbox’s resources and connections to validate market conditions, determine their positioning and finalize the private offering, USPTO trademark application and intellectual property agreements.

Play-it Health

More than half of Americans—adults and children--are on chronic medications. Failure to take that medication can result in disastrous personal and financial consequences. With organ transplants, lack of adherence can mean graft loss and even death.  In diabetes, it can translate into increased complication and organ failure.  In HIV+ individuals, failure to adhere to prescribed medical regimens can mean increased conversion rates to AIDS.

There are significant financial losses as well: non-adherence costs the pharmaceutical industry alone an estimated $100 to 300 billion each year—and that’s on top of other financial losses due to increased complications and hospital readmissions.

Play-it Health, one of the first six companies to be eligible for funding the Digital Sandbox KC, has found a way to make taking medications and following medical regimes easier, and even fun, with the most comprehensive, innovative, and responsive adherence system to date. By working with the Sandbox’s resources and corporate partners, Play-it Health hopes to transform an innovative idea into a solid business.

An Easier Pill to Swallow

Dr. Kimberly Gandy, founder and CEO, had been confronted firsthand with the devastating consequences of nonadherence. She had watched patients, young and old, die due to an inability to adhere to complex medical regimens. As a clinician, she began to devise systems to solve this problem—and save lives.

Since some of the most problematic patients are adolescents, her solutions began using information technology, and more specifically, mobile information technology. With diverse software products, including apps, eBooks, games and web worlds, Dr. Gandy and Play-it Health have developed a system to engage patients more effectively.

For example, smartphone applications give tailored medication reminders, facilitate contact with caregivers and include motivational games, rewards and education. Another example, Play-it Health’s customizable eBooks provide an engaging approach to typically dry medical content by incorporating animated illustrations and pop quizzes.

Play-it Health has also identified a critical and missing link in other approaches to adherence. The medical system currently lacks the resources and capacity to monitor, analyze and continuously update the information necessary to provide optimal support to improve adherence to medical regimens. Play-it Health is developing a system to provide these services. Though the mainstay of the system is an automated component, these services will be backed by significant clinical expertise.

With all of this serious work as a backdrop, Dr. Gandy's daughter, Erica, wanted to make sure that Dr. Gandy did not forget to incorporate fun into her thinking. Erica was sure that fun would translate into participation. She began to draw and describe schematics of how she wanted games and medication administration to interface, a process that led to some of the first proposed products of Play-it Health.

Where Innovators Comes to Play

“Play-it Health is a great example of the Digital Sandbox KC partnering with an incredible entrepreneur to help solve a very serious real world problem,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.  “Dr. Gandy has used her vast expertise in the adolescent transplant field to find a better way to encourage younger patients to fully follow their post transplant medical adherence.” 

 “Within the Sandbox, we are hoping to gain the guidance necessary to take our company from a good idea with a solid foundation to a company with a means and end to moving forward with a sound, revenue generating model,” says Dr. Gandy.  “The seed funding will allow us to move further to achieving these goals.”

Trellie

Trellie’s first product, a wireless device disguised as a women’s fashion accessory, aims to help keep women better connected. As one of the first six companies ready for funding in Digital Sandbox KC, founders Claude Aldridge and Jason Reid hope the Sandbox will help them do the same.

“Our goal for the sandbox is twofold. First, we want to make connections inside local corporations that will give Trellie the best chance for success,” says Aldridge. These include retail distribution, strategic partnerships, marketing and product development. “Second, Trellie would like to use the Digital Sandbox to ideate, prototype and market validate Trellie 2.0.”

The ultimate goal is to leverage their first product into a company that will revolutionize hardware-based technology solutions for families by creating a range of products for women that help them save time, provide peace of mind and enable better communication with those people they care about most.

A Missed Call, A Bright Idea

Nothing is more frustrating than when you need to reach your mom, wife, daughter, sister, right now—and her cellphone is lost to in the swallowing abyss of a large handbag.

Aldridge and Reid knew the pain of unreachable spouses—and understood the possible implications of missing an important call from your boss, husband, babysitter, aging parents or your kid’s school. Personal pain points aside, they also had a market: 80% of all women carry their phone in their purse and consequently miss more than half of their incoming calls.

In 2012, they created Trellie, a Bluetooth-enabled, patent-pending solution to missing important calls from those who depend on you. Worn as a fashion accessory on the outside of a handbag, Trellie visually notifies the user of an incoming call to a mobile phone through a flashing LED light.

The first prototype for Trellie was funded with the help of Kickstarter, an online crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Aldridge and Reid attracted more than 515 backers, who in turn raised $33,168 for the Kansas City startup, 110 percent of their published goal. A week later, Trellie closed a $500,000 financing round.

“Trellie is a great example of how the Digital Sandbox KC can help local entrepreneurs make meaningful and valuable connections with some of KC’s largest companies,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.  “As Trellie continues to refine and develop new products, the ability to reach for meaningful market data or assistance in product distribution is critical to their rapid growth.”

Mapper

Brian Welde and his company Angling Technologies set out to revolutionize fishing maps – and with the help of Digital Sandbox KC, a new proof of concept center in Kansas City,  they’ll refine  their core mapping technology and move it into new markets.

“Brian is a classic example of an entrepreneur; he saw an opportunity to take existing technology and apply it to one of his passions – fishing.  From there, he gathered feedback and applied learned lessons to build a new product – Mapper – and evolve into new markets,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.

Entrepreneurial Beginnings

In 2004, all fishing maps were static. Anglers bought a paper map or pre-set digital maps for their GPS or depth finders.

“At that time I was building complex interactive mapping solutions that worked in web browsers for the Department of Defense and federal agencies,” said Brian Welde about Angling Technologies’ origins. “I saw a need to transfer that knowledge to outdoor recreation.”

Pairing his extensive knowledge of mapping technology with his passion for fishing, Welde created an interactive fishing map that allows anglers to make custom maps based on a constantly growing library of geographic information relevant to fishing. 

“The value proposition for anglers is that they can obtain more information online and customize this information to gain new insights into planning fishing trips or doing research for fishing tournaments,” says Welde.

Broadening the Scope

As a technologist, Welde could see the trend in location-based services rapidly advancing toward self service mapping solutions where consumers have the ability to promote/share/monetize their valuable local knowledge of place. By being an early adopter of open source software, consumer focused web-maps and crowd-sourced data, Welde was able to identify several key requirements for commercial web-mapping products. Mapper  was designed with these key requirements in mind to provide access to much larger and more diverse markets than fishing.

Mapper provides an interactive mapping solution that is easy to use, quick to set up, rich in context and functionality, and open to anyone. It is designed to allow users to rapidly create customized web-based maps populated with valuable local knowledge. Initial markets include fishing, outdoor recreation, community and real estate to supply maps for a wide array of uses such as events, trips, blogs, planning and anything where local knowledge is a valuable commodity yet traditionally hard to convey.  “The neat thing about Mapper is the creativity it inspires,” Welde said. “Our beta testers continually came up with new uses for the maps that we did not anticipate. Geography is an asset that most people do not consider. Mapper provides a way to unlock personal geographic knowledge.”

Playing in the Digital Sandbox

Angling Technologies is one of the first six innovative companies to be eligible for funding from Digital Sandbox KC, which provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes.  Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward. 

 “The Sandbox will help to make Mapper even better as we launch by allowing us to add new features, increase the ease of use, and refine some of the rough edges,” said Welde. “The challenge we have traditionally faced is exposure. We are hopeful that the connections we make in the Sandbox will help spread the word about Mapper to consumers and help us get established in many new markets.”

PlanetReuse Marketplace

PlanetReuse Marketplace is built on a simple but powerful concept: give homeowners instant access to reclaimed and surplus building materials.

Access to resources: Digital Sandbox KC is feeding the same need for PlanetReuse Marketplace, helping them find the resources—funding and mentors—to diversify its revenue model and build a better experience for their customers.

Building on a Solid Foundation

Nathan Benjamin founded PlanetReuse in 2008 to make reusing reclaimed materials easier, so that more people would do it. After spending nearly five years building a reclaimed building materials network to serve the commercial building industry, Benjamin founded a spinoff to serve residential customers: PlanetReuse Marketplace.

PlanetReuse Marketplace is an online platform that helps reuse centers make reclaimed and surplus building materials instantly accessible to homeowners nationwide.  Imagine CraigsList, but better looking, easier to use and updated in real time. PlanetReuse Marketplace enables reuse centers to attract new customers while keeping their loyal treasure hunters happy by displaying exactly what is in store at any given time. 

“Our aim is to make reuse as easy as buying new, increasing awareness for the reuse industry and decreasing the ever-growing amount of usable building materials in our landfills,” said Benjamin. 

Using proprietary InvenQuery technology and mobile app, reuse centers can populate their site and Facebook with their inventories, instantly, and in a single workflow. Items are removed automatically at point-of-sale.

“Everything we do is influenced by our triple bottom line approach to business: we take our people, our profits and the planet into account when making decisions,” added Benjamin. “Our partnership with Digital Sandbox KC will allow us to expand our capabilities and enable us to grow both as an organization and as a champion of the reuse economy. We have ambitious goals, innovative solutions and passionate people. We’re just getting started.” 

Playing in the Digital Sandbox

“PlanetReuse Marketplace is one of those terrific businesses that helps solve a real world problem, in this case, the amount of reusable building materials that end up in landfills, by using technology to make items visible and available to the marketplace,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “It’s just not a great business concept but also a helping to recycle usable materials.”

PlanetReuse Marketplace is one of the first six innovative companies to be eligible for funding from Digital Sandbox KC, which provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward. 

 

Heart To Heart Network

A family health crisis led to the creation of Heart To Heart Network, a company focused on improving the effectiveness of monitoring patients. As one of the first six companies ready for funding in Digital Sandbox KC, founder Abhi Ray hopes to change the way Type 1 diabetes patients are able to manage their health care.

“We see the Digital Sandbox as a great opportunity to take our technology to the next level,” said Ray. “Support for market research will help us prove the effectiveness in terms of acceptability to care providers, patients and families, resulting in better health.”

A Personal Story, A Public Benefit

The story of Heart To Heart Network begins with Ray’s wife, who had heart surgery at within a year of having her first baby. The surgery and rehabilitation were successful; but that was just the start. With a new heart valve in place, Ray’s wife was required to take anticoagulation therapy to prevent clots from forming. Medication compliance required constant monitoring of the INR level to ensure the blood is within therapeutic range.

Ray could find no good way to monitor the INR on a daily basis, and no easy way to communicate with her primary care physician in a timely manner. This gave Ray the motivation to look at ways to improve everyday monitoring of healthcare. With a background and experience as a software programmer, Ray started looking at approaches to help patients and care givers safely monitor health in their home environments.

After several ideas, Ray focused on a remote monitoring system that can be chronic disease specific, and funding from Digital Sandbox allows for specialization and testing of system for Type 1 diabetes pediatric patients. With the help of the Digital Sandbox, Heart To Heart Network will look at proving the product:

  • Is acceptable by patients and family members
  • Increases communication between providers and patients
  • Improves adherence behavior leading to overall wellness

Playing in the Digital Sandbox

Heart To Heart Network is one of the first six innovative companies to be eligible for funding from Digital Sandbox KC, which provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward.

“Heart To Heart is a great example of an entrepreneur using today’s technology and applying to a real world problem,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “Abhi’s firsthand experience with his wife’s condition and his understanding of information technology led him to finding a more timely and efficient way to handle patient needs.”

Local Ruckus

"What’s going on in Kansas City this weekend?”

That’s the simple and core question that spawned Local Ruckus, a Kansas City, Kan., startup and the first nationally viable, local events platform.

“Local Ruckus’ shift to a business-to-business model positions them well to capitalize on what they’ve built and developed,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of the Digital Sandbox KC.  “They’ve already made great strides in positioning the company for rapid growth.”

Doing the Local Thing

Local Ruckus was founded in January 2011, launched with its current platform in August 2012 and will release the next version this fall. A web-based tool for discovering and sharing local events, Local Ruckus cuts to the entertainment chase, helping users who are hunting for local events find and share them faster and easier than the newspaper trawl or overly complicated event sites.

“Being a part of the Digital Sandbox will help us acquire the appropriate resources to elevate our platform to the next level,” said co-founder Adam Arredondo. “With our new business-to-business platform, which aims to be the ‘Associated Press’ for local events, we're looking to enhance our system for efficient, mass distribution of our local events content.  Support by the Digital Sandbox will be instrumental in helping us achieve our immediate objectives.”

 

SportsPhotos.com

It all started with a great name for a great website. Brandon Schatz of SportsPhotos.com figured out he had a winner when he grabbed www.sportsphotos.com and launched a platform and marketplace for sports photographers to store and sell their sports photos.

The Digital Sandbox KC is helping Schatz develop a business model and set up a beta service with local high schools. “Some companies in the Sandbox don’t really require an investment of dollars,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “Brandon needed some coaching, guidance and connections to the right people.”

One connection was to TechStars Patriot Boot Camp, a competitive program held this summer in Washington, D.C.  "I really appreciate the Digital Sandbox folks letting me know about this opportunity," Schatz said. "They also connected me with Dan Strattman (Airport Life) who went through the boot camp last year so I could figure out the best way to use my time there."

TechStars Patriot Boot Camp is an intense three-day program under the RisingStars umbrella. The program works with a selected group of veterans and service member founders to build technology companies. Participation in the Patriot Boot Camp may be the catalyst for Veterans and Service Members to kickstart a company, find cofounders and advance as entrepreneurs. 

The RisingStars program was created to spur interest from some demographic groups that are underrepresented among technology startup founders, with the goal of extending technology company startup opportunities to these target groups. 

Brandon also made news recently when his photo of The Color Run in Brooklyn was featured on the cover of New York City’s Metro newspaper.

 

e-Beacons

The resources, connections and funding of Digital Sandbox KC will help startup e-Beacons launch its public safety solution, which will send out the first “beacon” in the event of an emergency, over web and mobile applications.

For the web, e-Beacons shows public safety dispatches location and incident data in real time, filtering emergencies so trained staff can focus on the greatest need. For mobile apps, e-Beacons allows users to report when they need help instantly.

The fully customizable system will serve designated population areas.

“e-Beacons is one of those straight forward companies that focuses on a filling a very real need in the public safety arena,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of the Digital Sandbox KC. “John and Hieu are developing a highly integrated system that is easy for the user and provides real-time alert and data for public safety groups.”

Lighting the First Beacon

There’s a scene in Two Towers, the second book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, where beacons on the seven peaks of Gondor’s White Mountains are kindled one by one to warn neighboring Middle Earth that Minas Tirith has been besieged by the enemy’s armies.

That scene was an epiphany for John Ruiz, CEO and co-founder of e-Beacons.

“Watching that scene gave me the idea to apply that ‘beacon’ system to real- life situations. I figured something similar could be effective using web and mobile applications,” said Ruiz, who had recently moved back to his hometown of Kansas City after attending Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, hot on the heels and opportunities of Google Fiber’s presence in Kansas City.

He began building out the application, using his newly developed programming skills gleaned from a free RareWire coding class at Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, a program of the Kauffman Foundation that helps the next generation of innovative firms learn how to start and grow their businesses. 

Ruiz quickly realized he needed an extensive backend system that could receive and organize the alerts. Exhausting his own development skills, he decided to pitch his idea at Startup Weekend Kansas City. His idea garnered positive responses, and Hieu Truong joined the team. Truong, who had recently graduated with a computer science degree from University of Arkansas, had driven to Kansas City on the off chance he would find a project to work on after graduating from the University of Arkansas.

e-Beacons didn’t win the weekend, although Ruiz and Truong both saw the potential and decided to join forces and pursue it. Ruiz started networking, pitching and building his connections. That naturally led to a presentation at 1 Million Cups.

“It was an event that truly changed our lives. After the 1MC presentation things went from 0 to 60, and it took us to where we are now. We became well connected within the community and started taking advantage of any and every resource offered to us,” said Ruiz.

Those resources included the E-Scholars Program at UMKC, LaunchKC, OfficePort, and other programs through the Kauffman Foundation and around Kansas City. With the help of some key community members, mentors and a couple of beta clients willing to take a chance on the startup, e-Beacons is now on the verge of successfully entering the market.

Lighting the Path

Ruiz and Truong will use the resources of the Digital Sandbox KC to take the next critical steps to move their startup toward commercialization. Funding and industry connections will help them cover initial startup costs and projects so they can continue to expand.

“Our ultimate goal is to achieve at least 1 percent market penetration, which would result in nearly $1 million in yearly revenue,” said Ruiz.

“The Digital Sandbox has helped e-Beacons continue to build out its product set and get it tested and ready for the market,” said Shackelford.

FormZapper

With funding for product development, Digital Sandbox KC will help startup FormZapper take commercial mortgage documents digital.  A software provider for commercial real-estate lending, FormZapper’s product LendingStandard is a web-based document management application for commercial lenders dissatisfied with the current imaging and homebrewed document management systems that now exist as alternatives to paper.

Founded in January 2012 by CEO Andy Kallenbach, FormZapper officially launched the summer of 2012 after COO Danielle Stine was brought on to the team. After generating a steady stream of business automating the paper processes of clients in healthcare, education and staffing, Matthew Marsaglia was brought on to the team as the product development lead.

Together, Kallenbach, Stine and Marsaglia pivoted the company in early 2013 and steered it toward a new, ideal market, bringing on Jan Valencia to assist with business development. Initially, FormZapper was a web-based document management solution for all types of small businesses. The company has since evolved into a web-based platform designed specifically for commercial real estate lenders.

Unlike alternative solutions in the marketplace that only assist lenders with parts of their loan origination process, FormZapper’s product LendingStandard is a soup-to-nuts solution that takes lenders through the entire loan process, from collecting borrower information, to generating legal documents for closing. FormZapper’s secure, compliant system increases loan production efficiency by automating redundant data entry, enhancing accuracy and enabling collaboration between all participating parties.

FormZapper is rethinking document management for commercial lenders.

Playing in the Sandbox

“With FormZapper, we saw the opportunity for the Digital Sandbox to help Andy and his team build a viable solution for an existing problem in today’s small business world,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of the Digital Sandbox KC.

Digital Sandbox KC provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward. 

With funds from the Digital Sandbox, FormZapper will fund product development, creating a web-based checklist builder to help internal lending staff create customized checklists for implementing loan applications and processing checklists per bank.

DivvyHQ

DivvyHQ (Alluresoft, LLC) has received funding from Digital Sandbox KC and Dundee Venture Capital of Omaha, Neb., to ramp up marketing and operations for the cloud-based content planning platform.

DivvyHQ was initially launched as the content marketing industry’s first spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application built specifically for professional content producers. Today, DivvyHQ helps organizations plan and facilitate their marketing and social media initiatives, and communicate more efficiently than ever. Within one easy application, customers can manage content ideas, their editorial team, production workflows and deadlines.

Dundee’s investment follows proof-of-concept funding from the Digital Sandbox that helped fill the IT management void in the company. Digital Sandbox support also provided resources to develop the proper corporate structure for the company, better positioning DivvyHQ for follow on funding.

“We are very excited about how these partnerships will allow us to build a rock-star team that will accelerate the development of our application and provide your content team with a more robust and customizable set of tools,” said Brody Dorland, co-founder.

DivvyHQ was launched in September 2011 at the first Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio.

“We were so excited to see our tool fill a big need and eliminate much of the pain that has been tolerated by so many content practitioners,” Dorland said.

Funding Match

DivvyHQ was a great fit for Dundee Venture Capital, given its focus on Midwest-based companies with a SaaS solution in a rapidly growing market. “We are excited to invest in Brock and Brody to help push DivvyHQ into the mainstream,” said Michael Wetta, principal at Dundee Venture Capital. “DivvyHQ’s unique approach to planning and executing sophisticated content marketing strategies combined with the team’s expertise in the increasingly complex and growing market created an attractive investment. ” 

The company also fit the Digital Sandbox profile of a company on the cusp of something big. “DivvyHQ is a great example of how the Digital Sandbox KC can help fill a gap and get a company fully prepared for their first real round of equity funding,” said Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox KC.  

Digital Sandbox funding for DivvyHQ was made possible by the Missouri Technology Corporation through a matching grant to the Digital Sandbox program.

The Next Chapter of DivvyHQ

With a solid foundation and a notable customer base in place, the company looks forward to introducing customers to the new DivvyHQ, a fast-growing company with a targeted focus on building the best tool for big brands, agencies, publishers and media companies who produce high-volumes of content. 

Founders will head back to Content Marketing World in September to give attendees the first introduction to the new DivvyHQ. Friends of DivvyHQ can use the promo code “DIVVYHQ” and get a $100 discount on registration.

TrackTi

When selling a home, the seller can often get little consideration. Real estate veterans Liz Zimmerman and Jaimie Macoubrie noticed that problem, and created a solution that’s on its way to becoming a thriving company.

TrackTi came as a result of brainstorming a solution for eliminating the scheduling chaos associated with selling a home.  Digital Sandbox KC provided additional resources that streamlined the steps needed to complete their product in order to successfully launch.

The #1 complaint from home sellers is the time lost waiting for scheduled showings. A buyer’s agent schedules showings for several homes in one day. The showing service allows for 1 – 2 hour windows for each home, which gives the buyer plenty of time to travel between homes. The burden is then placed on the seller to leave the home for a specific window of time, not knowing if the agent either arrived or left during the scheduled time. TrackTi constantly updates the seller as to the estimated arrival and departure time of the showing agent.

The patent and application not only covers real estate, but also other markets where waiting for a service call is an issue. Think cable company, refrigerator repair or package delivery.

LittleHoots

LittleHoots is a mobile application designed for busy parents to capture, create, archive and share precious things their children say and do. Think scrapbooking reinvented and on-the-go. The app allows users to capture an image or text, and then use artists' templates to instantly transform the moment or quote into a bit of memorabilia.

The background:
  • 92% of moms are connected to the Internet and access Facebook on their smartphone at least once per day
  • 22 million of those moms have young children and frequently use social media as a tool to post and share their children's quotes, dialogue and photos
The problem: These memories get lost in the social noise and there's no easy way to safely archive them for the future. Parents need a better way to preserve their children's memories.

The solution: LittleHoots is designed to help parents capture, beautifully create and easily archive their children's lives. It all happens in one simple, mobile platform so memories are beautifully designed and archived on the go. Parents can also share memories to their favorite social networks or simply keep them private. 

LittleHoots won Startup Weekend Kansas City #7. The value for parents caught the attention of the judges at the Startup Weekend. Naithan Jones, co-founder of Kansas City area startup AgLocal, was on the panel of judges. "They are tackling a real problem that social media today is struggling with, and it combines that with a very viral group (moms) and a very strong emotional message (sentiment)," he said in an email. "If they can key on user acquisition via mom's groups, private groups in the app and then provide backward discoverability of pics and photos that existed prior to the install of the app, they will have a winner.
 
The company will benefit from Digital Sandbox KC’s resources that support prototype development, testing and functionality refinement.

FanAddict


FanAddict is the first “fan-centric” event listing service, allowing users to easily track artists and relive their memories. FanAddict engages fans of all kinds with artists and events by genre, city, venue and event. Venues, promoters and bands use FanAddict to connect to a broader set of active consumers in a way that generates long term engagement and more sales.
 
Digital Sandbox KC resources are helping to prove scalability and develop the user engagement features for this exciting new platform.

Flyover Innovations

Flyover Innovations LLC is a hardware/software startup company focusing on easy to use smart A/V and AV accessory products. The first product, Blumoo™ , is a universal home entertainment "app-cessory" that provides users seamless control of the audio and visual equipment already installed in their home.

Digital Sandbox KC is working with FlyOver to develop a prototype on the iOS and Android mobile platforms.

Venture 360

Venture 360 has developed a technology platform to assist private equity investors in evaluating, closing and tracking investments in order to facilitate a private market for trading these securities. Digital Sandbox KC will provide resources to develop additional features so that the platform can support entrepreneurs in organizing their capital raising efforts.

The complete suite of software services for the private equity market includes a proprietary deal scoring and ranking system; investment closing; portfolio tracking; and individual investor portfolio management.

Digital Sandbox KC resources will be used to build the “entrepreneur facing” element of the Venture 360 platform.  With this element added, Venture 360 will release its beta version and seek additional investment.

XLRYNT

XLRYNT (Accelerant) Technologies uses a new, patent pending, approach to process networking application data at speeds 10 to 1000 times faster than existing architectures.  Funds from Digital Sandbox will be used in helping to secure the intellectual property and for a prototype to demonstrate the application of this innovative technology to 'Big Data' type operations.

TapTeach

Many people volunteer in their children’s classroom. Most do not create a crusade from that experience. Digital Sandbox KC is helping founder Adam Jones and TapTeach evolve the classroom experience itself.

You might say Jones learned a lesson when he volunteered in his kid’s classroom. “I was seeing a bunch of kindergarteners with mice and keyboards in front of them, touching the screen of the computers, not knowing how to work them,” Jones said. “And all day long, I was hearing teachers time and time again say they had put in grant requests with no success.”

That experience motivated Jones to step in. He was convinced that if he could connect educators with developers, together they could build apps that would benefit children and change their educational experiences.

One way that Digital Sandbox KC assists companies is by connecting them to the appropriate resources. Shortly after joining Digital Sandbox KC, Jones was awarded a Digital Sandbox KC scholarship for FastTrac® TechVenture™. 

TapTeach sponsored the first Back to School Appfest in August 2013, drawing educators, designers and developers together to address educational applications and evolve the classroom itself. More than 40 attended the event, representing 11 area school districts and universities. Long term, TapTeach hopes to become the Scholastic Books for technology in the classroom. The goal is to allow educators to use the revenues created from their apps to put touch devices in the hands of their students.

Mi Zócalo


Although 30 percent of iPhone users in the United States are Hispanic, less than 5 percent of Hispanic newspapers and radio stations have an iPhone app or a mobile website. Through the support of Digital Sandbox KC, Bluejacket Technology will take the next steps in developing its product, Mi Zócalo, for the U.S. Hispanic market and help Hispanic publishers move into the mobile era and create new revenue streams.

The Mi Zócalo platform allows the publisher to share existing content on mobile devices and increase revenue through additional advertising streams. For users, Mi Zócalo is a bilingual guide to the Hispanic communities of America. The app helps users find local bilingual news, events and buzz-worthy places to eat, shop and have fun based on the informed opinions of local Latinos. 

Mi Zócalo is the brainchild of a talented management team. Christina Frazier, CEO, is a serial entrepreneur who raised venture capital in China and sold her second company, Alianthus, Inc., to Galaxy Glory Holding Ltd in 2010.  She co-created a very popular top-20 android app that generated more than 500,000 downloads. Ed Reyes, CMO/Sales Director, is a member of the Reyes Media Group, which owns and operates Spanish language newspapers and radio stations in Kansas, Missouri and Texas.

Support from the Digital Sandbox will assist in the development of a “dashboard” user interface, critical for the implementation of beta testing.  

Innovative Health Media

Healthcare providers face any number of challenges in the current environment. Innovative Health Media (IHM), with the help of Digital Sandbox KC, has developed a product to solve at least one challenge: reduce the time and effort it takes for primary care providers and extended care facilities to accurately conduct Medicare Annual Wellness Visits.

IHM’s product, the e-AWV™ System, uses the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) as a tool to provide a physical and cloud-based Personal Health Record for Medicare patients. The e-AWV system helps clinicians meet Medicare requirements for reimbursement in a simple, intuitive and cost-efficient fashion.

The e-AWV serves both the needs of the patient and the clinician. Patients often do not have basic information about their own health, such as health history, medications, family history, risk factors and prevention. Physicians have not had the tools to educate their patients, with potential life-threatening results. The e-AWV Personal Health Record solves the communication problem between healthcare providers and patients.

Chuck Smith, an RN with more than 18 years of experience, founded the company in 2010 and created the e-AWV system. He and partner David Wilson have co-founded several companies ranging from real estate to temp staffing. The product has progressed through alpha and beta stages, and version 1.0 is currently in use.

Digital Sandbox KC funding will allow IHM to make several product enhancements and add features in order to build interest and market share. The founders recently participated in SparkLabKC and received $18,000 in equity funding from that source.

 

Briefcase


Jobs boards, recruiters, college placement offices and sheer competition - juggling the demands of the job hunt fresh out of college is tougher than trying to find an actual book with an old-school card catalog.

What online catalogs did for college research and sites like Kayak did for booking travel, Briefcase is doing for university placement offices and college job seekers, with the help of Digital Sandbox KC.

"One of the biggest struggles start-ups face is the ability to pull in resources relevant to the companies Minimum Viable Product, said Christian Fisher, CEO. “With the amazing resources, physical, monetarily and mentoring-wise that Digital Sandbox brings to the table, companies like ours can offset some of those struggles and ultimately be successful earlier on. We are proud and honored to be a part of this next group of remarkable companies chosen to the Digital Sandbox program."

Fisher moved to Kansas City from the Bay Area after being recruited to lead the global talent acquisition of a large digital advertising company. There, he met Nick Mallare, and together they embarked on a startup journey to “terraform” the landscape of job searching.

Briefcase, powered by Cobrapps, aggregates job boards and sites, delivers real-time push notifications to job seekers and keeps track of the entire process from start to finish and beyond. A powerful management tool for the job seeker, Briefcase also allows universities to distribute jobs, track job placement and ultimately improve their job placement rates.

With a great idea in the palm of their hand, Fisher and Mallare recruited their team, including Caleb Phillippi, COO and Alex Benson, Director of UX. They then assembled their advisory board and developed their platform.

Support from Digital Sandbox KC will help Briefcase continue to fully develop their initial product version.

 

LightBridge

LightBridge delivers distributed data storage solutions through deployment of our proprietary software into telecommunication facilities that currently exist. By leveraging their strategic partnerships with local, regional and national telecommunication carriers, LightBridge is able to substantially reduce monthly data storage wholesale costs.

Beyond the data storage cost savings LightBridge extends to its clients are the benefits of unprecedented security, redundancy and geographical distribution. Combining these elements is how LightBridge is disrupting the traditional data storage market.

Digital Sandbox KC is working with LightBridge to develop customer integration features and advise on intellectual property protection.

Handprint

Handprint lets average people replace retail purchasable items with their 3D printers. 

Support from Digital Sandbox KC resulted in the establishment of the company and will help Handprint finish the beta version of its software, assist in helping test the version on the necessary range of 3D printers, and run a demo campaign. Handprint also received a scholarship to attend the FastTrac business development class.

Knoda

Predictions are made every single day by almost everyone on the planet. However, there is no universal platform to make or track predictions. Predictions are written on blogs, tweeted, uttered by a pundit on television or just casually mentioned to a friend in the car. They are then lost to time and the transience of the Internet.

That is, until Knoda. A prediction tracking platform, Knoda takes and scores predictions, rates and ranks predictors and allows social interaction. 

With the help of Digital Sandbox KC, Knoda will turn its own prediction for startup success into reality. Knoda will use the tools in the Sandbox—both development support and industry connections—to build and release its application and beta test its concept in the marketplace.

Digital Sandbox KC is assisting in market validation and intellectual property search as well as development of an iOS application. 

Aware3

Aware3 is reinventing brick-and-mortar retail districts through an omni-channel digital experience.  Their platform, AMP, is a cloud-based service that can build and manage an end-to-end digital ecosystem, helping retail districts achieve growth through their digital touch points.  It serves as the “command center" for their digital presence, allowing them to provide a consistent and real-time user experience anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

RFP365

RFP365 provides software to facilitate the entire RFP process. From RFP creation, through vendor response collection, to scoring, this intelligent RFP software connects procurement teams and suppliers in an integrated and seamless platform. RFP365 helps teams work together, manage knowledge, and analyze their processes for continual improvement. 

Founded by Stuart Ludlow and David Hulsen in 2012, the company launched its first release in March and rebranded its site and application this fall.  Digital Sandbox KC will assist in upgrading the core infrastructure and support future integrations with external applications.

The product seeks to unify the components in the RFP process. The RFP process (including RFI, RFQ, etc.) has not matured. There are several disjointed components within the overall process which, when integrated, can lead to significant cost and time savings. Procurement teams need to reduce purchasing costs, increase speed-to-market, and make fact-based decisions. The current process of creating documents, delivering them to vendors, scouring proposals, and creating scoring checklists is heavily manual and inefficient. Vendor teams needs to be able to respond to RFPs in hours, not weeks. They need to be able to track tasks, manage knowledge, and work together no matter where individual members are located.

When the process is integrated, data is transferred from one team to another at key points. Data, not documents, can be filtered, searched, and leveraged as we expect in our modern, connected world. RFP365 can help small companies compete with large, incumbent providers. This competition can reduce overall costs. We help shorten the overall procurement timeframe by leveraging templates, searching knowledge repositories, and maintaining real-time access to data.

RFP365 allows procurement teams and their potential vendors to share data in an efficient and effective process. The platform provides benefits to both purchasers and vendors, respectively.

 

Welltodo

Welltodo is a mobile health technology company that is bringing personal health care into the age of big data and the intelligent machine. Founded by Chris Cardinal, Jim Console M.D., and Will Landecker, the company leverages the latest advances in data analytics, medical monitoring, and behavioral science to target chronic diseases with personalized behavioral interventions and disease management steps that lead to improved health outcomes.

Traditional models of health care don't adequately utilize the ever-growing availability relevant personalized health data that we leave behind just by living our day-to-day lives. This leads to:

  • A more fallible health care system full of health care recommendations that are based on insufficient and often outdated personal and population information
  • Denied relief to chronic disease sufferers
  • Accelerating system wide health costs proportionate to population aging and chronic illness cases
  • Significant global economic burdens from employee absences, workers' compensation claims, and lost worker productivity

Welltodo's initial product leveraging their Smart Health Platform is Welltodo Migraine, a mobile application which predicts individuals’ migraines, warns them prior to an attack, and gives personalized actionable insight on how to manage upcoming attacks. Currently migraine affects 11% (783M) of adults worldwide with a three-times higher rate in women.

Proof of concept funding will assist in implementation of a pilot study for their mobile app, Welltodo Migraine.

 

Informed Health Solutions

Readmission to the hospital comes at a huge cost for the hospital with the new penalties in place. The risk of readmission to the hospital is high for many patients, especially those with chronic, complex illnesses, such as heart failure.  Informed Health Solutions, with the assistance of Digital Sandbox KC, is working to change that model.

Informed Health Solutions has developed a sophisticated blend of both high-touch and high-tech tools, designed to safely transition newly discharged heart failure patients from the hospital to home. Use of the tools and processes developed by Informed Health Solutions typically reduces heart failure readmissions by 30-60%, at a per-patient cost far lower than other approaches.  IHS also shares a percentage of its revenues with its hospital customer.

Elizabeth Blanchard Hills, founder and president, explains it this way:  “We are focused on the care Transitions space; how patients successfully transition from a stay in the hospital back into the community.  Our processes are the result of great science—a randomized clinical trial we recently completed-- and our care model relies primarily upon the power of group interactions. Put simply, we help patients change their stories—instead of being isolated and afraid, we empower them to become engaged patients who partner successfully with their health care team.   The magic happens in groups—four clinics that meet weekly for one month following discharge.”

Informed Health Solutions joins other tech, mobile and data companies in the Digital Sandbox. The Digital Sandbox KC provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward. 

Hills was provided a Digital Sandbox KC scholarship to participate in FastTrac® TechVenture™, an intensive eight-session course designed to give technology and science-based entrepreneurs a proven framework and network of connections to help grow a great idea into the next viable innovation.  She credits the class with changing her strategic thinking. “I went from thinking of myself as a person with a passionate idea to thinking of myself as an investor. We heard one lecture about what investors look for. That was my big ‘ah ha’ moment…why wouldn’t I look at this as an investor?” she said.

Hills also credited Digital Sandbox KC with connecting her to other startups, mentors and resources.

“Informed Health Solutions is an example of how Digital Sandbox can help entrepreneurs and startups in many ways,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.  “Elizabeth was very passionate about her company but needed some help in further developing the business model so we offered her a Kauffman FastTrac scholarship and that was exactly what she needed at the time.”

While the company is still in its early stages, Informed Health Solutions is generating revenue and has been successful in several competitions and grant requests:

  • Semifinalist, 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Care About Your Care” video contest
  • Winner, 2012 Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s Innovator’s Award: Quality and Patient Safety category
  • Winner, National Institutes of Health grant, HF Clinic Appointments: Self-Management & Care of Heart Failure
  • Winner, SBIR grant, Lowering the Cost of Congestive Heart Failure
  • Winner, EAG 10th Anniversary Pay-it-Forward Celebration--$10,000 worth of marketing
  • Secured a pilot with KU Hospital beginning in early 2014

FolioMatch

FolioMatch is an educational portfolio platform designed for students as they navigate the competitive field while applying for college, graduate school or their first job.  FolioMatch helps match students with schools specializing in their degree field.   Additionally, the FolioMatch platform helps schools market more directly to the prospective students.

Evan Kirsch, founder and CEO, recounts the inspiration for the product. “I was sitting on my couch being pressured from family about how I was going to get a job after graduation.  Knowing the likelihood was not high (based on the economy and stories from previous graduates) I decided to create a new way to present myself from all other applicants and college seniors.  During the course of 2012, I shifted from building something for myself, to something for all students across the globe.” Kirsch and co-founder Andrea Moran based the company on this opportunity and have made great strides in development. Digital Sandbox is supporting front-end web development for FolioMatch’s platform.  The first of two projects is complete and will allow FolioMatch to launch and test its beta version.  The second project is currently under way. 

FolioMatch addresses a pressing need for students. Many discover too late that they need an attractive way to display the work they’ve accomplished. At the same time, other young professionals are left wondering what career path is right for them. FolioMatch aspires to be a resource to all the students out there who need more than a place to store their stuff. The company provides guidance and the tools students need to pursue their dreams – and be a success.

This is why FolioMatch is going beyond the online portfolio and has created a way to match students with the resources they need to succeed. FolioMatch has the ability to take the work done, plus any other interests, and match students with potential schools, scholarships, internships, service opportunities and a mentor. FolioMatch isn’t just an excellent resource for students: matching goes both ways. Now schools can find the perfect candidates for their scholarships and programs, without having to wonder if this student will excel at one’s campus. Their portfolios prove they are up to the challenge.

Speaking of challenge, it’s a tough job market out there for both businesses and college graduates. Now students will be able to get the experience they need and businesses will hire the students they want with our matching service. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.

Smart Steps LLC

Smart StepsLLC provides tools that empower persons with cognitive disabilities (such as autism or Down syndrome) to operate more independently in the community through smartphone apps and a call center.

After more than 30 years of working in special education, founder Dr. Cindy Fisher observed that some persons with disabilities do not need continual assistance, yet often are escorted in the community “just in case” an unexpected situation arises. Reasons for this may be that a person’s support team believes the person would not be able to communicate needs effectively or be able to resolve everyday, incidental problems that others naturally know how to handle. To accommodate the individual, adult services provide supports and monitoring for an hourly wage that is paid by tax monies or by the family, which is not cost effective. Sometimes adults with disabilities may just end up staying home, limiting their ability to pursue educational and vocational goals.

The Help Me! ™ smartphone application addresses this need for assistance. The application guides the user through basic steps in solving his or her immediate problem. If the problem is not solved in a few steps, the user is prompted to call for live backup support through a call center.  This tool encourages the user to attempt solving the problem rather than over-relying on someone else.  For others, it is a resource for those who prefer to solve the problem on their own. For those who may be hesitant to reach out, a prompt is provided to encourage and reassure the user to ask for help at that moment. Texting is an option, unlike other call services.

The market for this product could be quite extensive. Consider:

 

  • Ten percent of college students have a disability. By 2018, 11 out of every 1000 college students will have autism due to increasing incidence rates in younger ages.
  • Persons with disabilities such as autism or intellectual disabilities frequently have mental health issues, in particular, anxiety and depression.  They have difficulty navigating social relationships, a barrier in accessing naturally-occurring environmental supports.
  • Individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities: Medicaid paid out $56.6 billion for job coaches, group homes, personal assistants and in-home supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 2011. These funds are beginning to be redirected for technology in some areas, proving to save thousands of dollars in staffing in-home supports. This trend is expected to continue.
  • About 80,000 people are on waiting lists for supports nationally; in Kansas, the wait list is 5+ years.
  • Persons with other types of cognitive disabilities may also benefit (brain injured, mental illness).
  • Most adults with disabilities (70%) receive some type of daily support from their families. More than half live with their parents.
  • Most adults with disabilities own a computer and a cell phone.

The Digital Sandbox project will help complete the initial prototype.

 

Creelio

Creelio simplifies content marketing for small and medium-sized businesses.  The company tackles the “I know I should be blogging and tweeting regularly, but I don’t have the time” problem faced by many businesses. Creelio helps those businesses take advantage of content marketing as a smart and efficient way to build their brand and engage with a loyal community. 

In less than 20 minutes per month, businesses will have a growing social influence. Creelio removes the hassles of content marketing through a mobile marketing platform that delivers original, targeted, quality content that matches the company’s voice. Creelio regularly delivers content recommendations to a customer’s mobile phone where they can personalize and approve them for delivery to their Twitter, Facebook, and Blog accounts according to a customized schedule.

The market size is significant for custom content. According to the Custom Content Council (April 2013), annual spending on production and distribution of custom content rose 9.2% since 2012 to $43.9 billion. Of the average overall marketing, advertising and communications budget, 39% of funds were dedicated to content marketing. According to Outbrain.com’s Report: State of Content Marketing 2012, 96% of marketers surveyed use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to distribute their brand’s digital content, up from 88% in 2011.

Based on 1,000 respondents to a study, “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Content Marketing in America for 2013,” 40 to 44% expect to increase their output of Web updates, social content and SEO content in 2013. In an infographic built by blogging.org in 2012, there are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States with 42 million blog sites and 329 million people viewing blog content. Sixty-percent of businesses have a company blog, however, their rates of updating the blog are weak with 35% blogging once per month and 65% blogging once a year or less. In the micro-blog space, Twitter has more than 200 million active users sending more than 400 million tweets per day with 60% tweeting via mobile devices according to an article published in September 2013 in The Guardian.

Co-founders Steve Stava and Julie Edge bring industry experience to this new venture. Stava has 25 years of experience designing technology solutions. Edge has worked for more than two decades as a strategic communications and policy expert. Together, they have created the new “easy button” for content marketing. 

Digital Sandbox funding will help Creelio build the web interface and data analytics components for the platform.

 

Phisionary

Phisionary is developing United Benefits Portal, a web application that allows union members to access their fringe benefits information and provides an avenue for contractors to securely pay their union contributions online. Simplifying the backend operations of union management leaves administrators more time for recruiting and growth.

The current paper-driven system is fraught with insecurity and is very labor-intensive.  Human error is also a problem and the hours/wages spent on managing the segment is staggering.  This app diminishes the chance for human error while also securing union members’ personal information like social security number, address and insurance data.  Also, it will benefit union cash flow as it will enable immediate and online secure payment options for members and contractors. 

The Phisionary web-based application will offer all union members constant access to their benefit labor profile.  Beyond that, it serves to update each union’s system of operations by offering a secure and streamlined approach to handling such vital and secure personal information.  Also, this application will positively impact each union contractor’s ability to source labor from the union and pay the workers benefits quickly and securely.

According to the most recent census data there are currently 14.4 million registered union members in the United States.

The evolution of this idea stemmed from a request by Brotherhood Bank, the union bank of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, to explore some ideas for helping their union members stay more involved in union activities and their fringe benefits. 

The management team’s construction and union backgrounds have enabled them to build other strong connections in the industry. CEO Josh Wendel was a union bricklayer and still maintains a connection with that union. President and COO Dave Wowak has a background in construction subcontracting and has connections with Kansas City’s Teamster Local 41.  The advisory team includes Joe Huber of A.L. Huber Construction and Lawrence Rebman, Missouri Department of Labor’s former director. 

Digital Sandbox KC project funding will enable the company to develop a beta version of the company’s online app.

 

ClaimJockey

ClaimJockey files and manages long term care insurance claims for families and care providers, helping them access funds for needed care. ClaimJockey has a 90% success rate in having claims accepted after the first filing.

Here’s how it works:

1. The consumer, their family member or referral partner contacts ClaimJockey via a submission through the ClaimJockey website. The lead is electronically fed into ClaimJockey’s HIPAA compliant database system.

2. ClaimJockey’s experienced long term care insurance professionals meet with families to assess their needs and claim viability at no charge.

3. Highly trained case management staff then review the case, gather the required medical records, prepare and file the initial claims in the manor required by the various insurance companies.

4. After the initial filing and payment, additional claims must be filed on a monthly basis which can continue for years. The duration of ClaimJockey’s involvement ranges from three months to multiple years.

A highly experienced management team leads this effort, beginning with founder and president Wendy Rinehart. Rinehart is a nationally recognized long term care industry specialist and co-founder of the Long Term Care Guild, an industry association. She is joined by CEO David Rinehart, divisional vice president at LTC Financial Partners, General Electric and John Hancock; CFO Michael Briggs, president of INFINEDI, Inc., a top  medical claims processor; and Bob Miller, senior vice president of business development and sales, formerly with Amex Life, Genworth, CUNA and LTC Financial Partners.

With the help of Digital Sandbox KC, ClaimJockey will build a new website that can be linked to their HIPAA-compliant database.

Your Adoption Finance Coach

One-in-three people have some connection to adoption. According to the Dave Thomas Foundation, one-thirds of Americans have considered adoption, yet only 2% have actually completed one. International and domestic adoptions range from $35,000 - $65,000. Adoption agencies and service providers do not possess the core competency to provide financial services in addition to the adoption services they already provide to their clients.

Your Adoption Finance Coach provides adoption agencies and professionals with resources to address the high cost of adoption. The Adoption Finance Coaching System is a web-based, licensed training system that provides online tools and financial solutions for adoptive families.

Your Adoption Finance Coach offers three components:

  • The Adoption Finance Coaching System is a web-based, licensed training system providing adoption agencies, adoption services providers and adoption-friendly corporations with resources and financial solutions and tools to adoptive families. Fully integrated into the client’s existing website, the on-demand webinars, templates and personalized coaching bring all of the critical steps of adoption in house. This is a turn-key solution to the agency so they can be more competitive in the market, more efficiently serve their customers and complete more adoptions.
  • GotchaGiftRegistry.com, an online cash gift registry, serves as a tool to help adoptive parents raise the money they need to offset the costs of their adoption and is included in the resources and coaching system.
  • Your Adoption Coach Radio is a weekly, national radio show all about adoption. Reaching more than 325K listeners in the first year, the program focuses on educating and inspiring others about adoption.

Founder and CEO Kelly Ellison brings a unique blend of personal and professional experience to this startup. An adoptive parent and fund raising professional, she has extensive experience coaching families. Dan Cooper, COO, is an expert in SAAS and building company brands. The leadership team is rounded out by CFO Ted Stann and CTO Sean Wilkening.

Digital Sandbox KC assistance will help the company add new services to the current system and build a new gift registry feature.

Zorilla Research

Zorilla Research is changing the way commercial pharmaceuticals are developed by using computational technology that predicts problem interactions of a drug in the early stages of development. This enables the developing company to repurpose failed compounds earlier in the process and prevent costly late-stage drug trial failures.

At present, the failure rate of new chemical entities (NCEs) in the pharmaceutical space is around 87%. That is to say, almost 90% of chemical compounds identified as potential drugs fail at some point on the path to approval.

The current trend in the pharmaceutical industry toward shifting risk to smaller “discovery” companies is a smart choice, because these companies are focused. However, market conditions have resulted in an inability for these companies to negotiate successful deals, often even with compounds that are successful in early tests.

Zorilla Research intends to serve these small to mid-size discovery companies: increasing their success rates and facilitating more efficient use of their resources. With Zorilla’s SABLE structural analysis technology, clients can predict problem interactions in early stages of development, and potentially recover compounds that have moved into later phases.

In its entirety, the market for computational tools in drug discovery is estimated to be about $500 million a year in the United States, growing at about $200 million a year annually. Current estimates for the cost of taking a drug to market range from $500 million to $1 billion per drug, with a timeline of almost 15 years.

Dr. Gerald Wyckoff, CEO, is the driving force behind the creation of SABLE, which is protected by a provisional patent. Dr. Wyckoff is joined by Ada Solidar, who has experience in communication with academics as well as clinical and industry personnel.

With project funding from Digital Sandbox KC, Zorilla Research will move its SABLE software to a high-powered, cloud environment and develop a user-friendly interface for interaction with clients.

BigBang

BigBang is a backend as a service (BaaS) platform for developing real-time applications for mobile devices, desktops and the web. BigBang reduces complexity by providing developers with a streamlined API that allows them to build scalable applications without maintaining servers or infrastructure.

Jonathan Wagner founded BigBang on the premise that application developers want to develop real-time features that function identically on any device or platform. There are many good tools and frameworks for creating the client portion of a real-time connected application across devices, but few for developing the infrastructure.

BigBang provides client APIs that developers can use to add real-time networking and structured data storage to their applications quickly and simply. They work across platforms and operating systems, and are custom tailored for popular client frameworks and technologies. In many cases, applications can be developed entirely using the client APIs. Developers can scale their applications to thousands or millions of users with no code changes.

Wagner sees a significant market for the service. The current mobile application development services market is valued at roughly $20.5 million. The BaaS market as a whole is less than five years old and is expected to grow from $200 million to more than $7 billion in the next four years.

The founder brings real world application development to the company. Wagner was the application developer for Flex Rental Solutions (formerly Shoptick, acquired), now the leading provider of cloud based rental and event management software. At Electrotank (acquired by Hi5 Games), he developed crossplatform networking middleware for games, simulations and virtual worlds. Technology licensees include Disney, Ubisoft, Mattel, Viacom, Spinmaster and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Proof of concept funding from Digital Sandbox KC will help expand the number of programming languages supported by the API and provide technical documentation.

Genneo

Genneo gives people the tools to convert their own natural movement into battery charge for phones and other electronic devices. A new kind of generator that moves with the person, Genneo allows users to be less dependent on the power grid when using mobile electronics.

According to the company, people are spending more and more time away from the power grid while connected wirelessly for communication and entertainment so they need better options for remote and mobile charging. Mobile power generation products currently on the market are limited in application and complicated.

The Genneo captures energy from natural movements. Just carry it in a backpack or pocket and it turns energy from movement into battery charge. The products are also complete auxiliary batteries. They charge both from movement and from pre-charging, and have integrated high capacity batteries. They fast charge any device that charges from a USB port.

The company is targeting three markets: electronics retail, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) wholesale and military. Retail target consumers include backpackers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. As the technology improves and the product size decreases, the company will also target mass market consumers who now buy auxiliary battery products. Genneo’s early revenue has come from OEM customers who need a generator element integrated into their products. OEM applications so far include personal asset tracking and wearable technology. The strategy for the military market involves securing research grants and working through SBIR phases.

The company was founded in January of 2011 with Blake Isaacs as CEO. The leadership team is rounded out by Chief Creative Officer Daniel Mota Veiga and Vice President Nicholas McLean. Together, the group has extensive experience in product design and development.

The Digital Sandbox KC project will support a beta test build of up to 50 model G3000 units for field testing as a final step before launching Genneo branded products later this year.

 

Dewsly

Dewsly, is a safe and secure online community that brings together schools, teachers, parents and students -- all in one place -- to stay up-to-date on important school, classroom and activity updates. Dewsly can provide schools streamlined communication of important activities, news, and information using online tools that engage the community through articles, photo galleries, videos, and live streaming coverage of the education experiences that can be monitored and controlled by school administrators.

The company was founded in the summer of 2012 by Anthony Noll, Jake Lisby and Tom Clark.  The three combine a passion for education and community engagement with technical expertise and business strategy. The trio saw an opportunity in the current state of educational content. Today much of a school’s media content is captured in expensive analog formats within vertical silos which limit integration into more highly efficient digital platforms. Online searching for school information is difficult and results are oftentimes outdated and unusable. Additionally, the cost of maintaining traditional platforms (newspapers, yearbooks, and websites) while converting to new and ever evolving platforms is cost prohibitive to many school districts.

Dewsly™ provides an integrated, internet mobile based service solution that delivers exceptional value by improving media and communications systems to students, families, faculty, and the local community as a whole by providing schools with educational and digital media sharing services on a safe and secure platform.

Digital Sandbox KC will help Dewsly with the development of a smartphone app. 

 

ShotTracker

ShotTracker is the first piece of affordable, wearable tech for basketball players who want to improve their shooting. ShotTracker automatically tracks shot attempts, makes, and misses. Digital Sandbox KC assisted with the development of the web interface for the ShotTracker application.  With a successful proof of concept and working prototype, ShotTracker was able to solidify a significant Series A round of investment.

Revaluate

Revaluate lets you know what it’s like to live at a specific location…before you move there.  By combining a “carfax-like” home history report with a proprietary scoring platform, Revaluate has created a livability rating that allows buyers, renters and real estate professionals to quickly and accurately compare  significant and subtle differences between properties. 

“According to market research, 39% of people say they would not move where they currently live if they had known more about the property and the surrounding area,” said Revaluate co-founder Chris Drayer. “That’s what Revaluate does, gives you deep insight into a property before you move in.”

Revaluate simplifies, organizes and standardizes millions of data points across neighborhoods and specific addresses to produce a unique score for each address.  The score is based on four key Categories: Safety, Environment, Quality of Life and Expenses producing the unique “livability score” for each address. 

“Most current real estate sites will tell you the stuff you already know about a property”, said Chris, “Revaluate tells you about noisy construction projects, or continual issues with the buildings elevators or safety issues in the surrounding area…those things that can severely impact the livability after you move in.”

Chris and his team came to Digital Sandbox KC looking for direction and connections that could help them move forward with their concept.  

“I liked the Revaluate idea from the first time I heard Chris explain the concept,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.  “They’re unique ability to procure very detailed and pertinent data points at the address level is unique and valuable.”

After accepting a Digital Sandbox scholarship to Kauffman’s FastTrac Tech Venture course, the Revaluate team built a a more complete business plan and go-to market strategy.

“The Kauffman FastTrac course was so beneficial”, said Drayer, “not only for driving us to do a more complete business model but also for the connections we made.”

Revaluate has released its beta version to a limited audience in the Manhattan, NY real estate market.