KANSAS CITY, MO (MARCH 26, 2015) — Four more Kansas City-based early-stage companies have jumped into the Sandbox and are receiving funding support to help them move towards commercialization. The Digital Sandbox KC advisory team recently approved proof-of-concept projects for E.D. Dental Services, Hacumen, LaborChart and My Super Dispatch.
Digital Sandbox KC’s mission is to help launch new businesses and assist them in securing add-on funding. Launched in February 2013, the highly successful proof-of-concept program has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area. Results so far:
- 46 proof-of-concept projects funded for area startups
- 23 new KC-based companies created
- 27 companies have secured follow-on investment
- $12M million in follow-on funding
- 156 new jobs created
“We continue to see 20 – 25 exciting early-stage companies over our eight-week evaluation cycles,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of the program. “The quality and quantity of Kansas City’s early-stage companies continue to go up and up.”
The most recent four companies approved for projects are:
- E.D. Dental Services, doing business as The Dentist Is In, provides 24/7 dental consultation in emergency rooms, urgent care centers and wellness programs through telemedicine services. The “virtual dentist” program will help assess, triage, recommend care and appoint patients for dental treatment at a dentist’s office; saving millions of dollars of unnecessary and expensive procedures.
“We are honored to be part of the Digital Sandbox group. The funding we are to receive will help ensure our product is completed with security being a high priority,” said Maria Kunstadter, co-founder of E.D. Dental Services. “The honor of being accepted into this prestigious program validates our company’s story and future success. Thanks, Digital Sandbox.”
- Hacumen helps “Cyber Security” consultants collaborate on IT security audits and create detailed reports. Security consultants are in high demand and low supply, therefore it is critical to provide them the most advanced software. Hacumen fills a long unmet need, giving cyber security consultants the tools they require to maximize security audit results. Support from the Digital Sandbox KC will help build out Hacumen’s prototype.According to Hacumen’s founder, Neil Anderson, “The Digital Sandbox has been invaluable to us not only for prototype development, but their guidance and oversight has provided a deeper bridge into the KC business ecosystem.”
- LaborChart is a manpower management application for the construction industry, replacing the traditional whiteboard and primitive spreadsheet. LaborChart uses a simple drag-and-drop process to schedule work crews across multiple construction projects. The SaaS platform then uses automated SMS to pass along the applicable data across the workforce. LaborChart helps contractors save time, simplify workflow processes and ensure that manpower hours are maximized.
"Being selected for Sandbox funding is a huge step for LaborChart,” said Ben Schultz, LaborChart founder. “The funding will enable us to invest in product enhancements 6-9 months sooner than otherwise possible, which will help us maintain customer and market momentum.”
- My Super Dispatch is an app and web platform that helps trucking companies reduce paperwork; more quickly and efficiently invoice; and receive and process customer payments more quickly. Super Dispatch’s platform replaces traditional paper forms with a web platform that allows trucking companies to assign and exchange order data with their fleet in real time. By integrating the web platform with the Super Dispatch mobile app running on the driver’s phones, the company gains access to real time date on their fleet and each job status.
"It’s an honor being a part of Digital Sandbox. Being selected by DSB is a huge validation of the work we've done so far,” said founder Bek Abdullayev. “The funding will allow us to enter the market eight months early with a product our customers have been asking for."
Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis. The Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs. For more information about Digital Sandbox KC, go to www.digitalsandboxkc.com.
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.