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Gov Nixon announces $500k grant for Digital Sandbox KC

Posted on Sep 21, 2015
September 17, 2015
Speaking to hundreds of startup companies, industry leaders, and investors at Kansas City’s first ever Techweek, Gov. Jay Nixon today announced $1.19 million in grants for three Kansas City organizations that provide valuable resources to local entrepreneurs.

“Year after year, we continue to see more enterprising Missourians starting and expanding their businesses, creating jobs and growing our economy” said Gov. Nixon. “With these new investments to help startups and entrepreneurs launch their businesses, we will continue to ensure that the next big idea in tech innovation happens right here in Missouri."

In Fiscal Year 2015, Missouri ranked – for the first time - a top ten state for startup funding, according to Forbes

The grants announced today by the Governor include a $565,000 grant to LaunchKC, a $500,000 grant to Digital Sandbox, and a $125,000 grant to the Independence Economic Development Council. These grants will help these organizations provide mentorship, facilities and co-working spaces, access to capital, and other valuable resources to the region’s startup community.

“In just three short years, we’ve helped 55 ideas take off. From sports and medical devices to software solutions to food distribution, the Sandbox has helped fuel the Kansas City area’s startup community,” says Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox KC. 

Program results to date: 

  • 27 new business starts
  • 17 companies founded/co-founded by women
  • 55 development projects funded
  • 39 funded companies secured add-on investment
  • $22.7 million in total follow-on funding
  • $10.7 million in total sales
  • 247 total jobs created
  • $7.3 million total payroll for those jobs
  • 30 patent applications
  • 5 patents awarded so far
  • 3 successful exits (sold/merged for money)

 Digital Sandbox KC is a proof-of-concept program that significantly and rapidly moves early-stage entrepreneurs from concept to commercialization.  It is a unique collaboration among private, public, university/research and philanthropic organizations.  Since launching in February 2013, Digital Sandbox has provided project development funding for 55 companies that have collectively raised more than $22M and created 247 new Kansas City area jobs.

Complete announcement by the Governor here