Six additional companies joined Digital Sandbox KC in December, bringing the number of proof-of-concept projects funded to 20 for 2015. The newest recruits are Training for REAL, Miles, UpDown NightLife, PlanITimpact, Edcoda and League Ally.
“We continue to be amazed at the quality of companies being started in Kansas City,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “There’s been no letup in our applications since we started the program in 2013.”
The companies selected for support include:
Training For REAL is a hospitality consulting company that believes in changing simple training into engaged-learning to reduce attrition and increase sales. REAL stands for relevant effective affordable learning. The Digital Sandbox KC project will help Training for REAL move forward with a cloud-based training platform that allows for broader reach and scale.
“Digital Sandbox KC has connected me with pretty amazing people that provide the 'honest support' an entrepreneur needs,” said founder Tonya Round. “The funding will allow for a vision to be turned into a REALity.”
Miles is a mobile app that automatically tracks and logs mileage for business purposes. Miles users can now create and export their mileage logs without the need of manual input. The use of Digital Sandbox funds will allow Miles to complete its beta product in early 2016.
“Thanks to the support of Digital Sandbox, we will be able to complete our Beta builds for both iOS and Android devices. The connections brought by Jeff and his team have already kicked off discussions with several strategic partners,” said Lance Windholz, founder of Space Raptor, the developer of Miles.
The UpDown NightLife app lets clubs and bars improve customer satisfaction rates with bottle service. With just a few clicks of a button, a customer can reserve a table, pick mixers and put together a guest list. With help from Digital Sandbox KC, UpDown NightLife will complete app development and launch the project.
“With this new funding, we will launch and become a true social media platform for the nightlife,” said Joshua Lewis, CEO.
PlanIT Impact is developing a web application that allows architects and planners to better understand – at the earliest stages of the design and planning process – how a building will impact the environment, the community and the building’s inhabitants. Integrating 3D visualization and tapping into Open Data to gather site-specific information, the tool generates early performance calculations related to energy and water use, stormwater infiltration, greenhouse gas emissions, transportation, building mix, quality of life and potential ROI. The Digital Sandbox KC project focuses on the beta version of the product.
“This funding from Digital Sandbox fills a critical gap for us as a tech startup…this is the bridge we needed to be able to launch,” said Dominique Davison, CEO.
Edcoda is an innovative technology company that makes learning simple and fun by delivering customizable educational content to students using video games. Its interactive software engages students to learn and equips teachers with analytical tools to chart academic progress. Digital Sandbox KC support will help develop Edcoda’s e-learning platform and game.
"Funding and connection with Digital Sandbox KC will help in the full development of uniquely formatted electronic content that is a vital component in our business,” said Clarence Tan, CEO.
LeagueAlly is league management software that was initially built for a local rec sports league, KC Crew, which helped take it from 800 players to almost 4,000 in four years. The software is currently being rebuilt to scale and license to other leagues around the United States. The software efficiently automates the league process for managers and members as well as connects participants through leagues as they travel from city to city.
“The funding from Digital Sandbox KC couldn't come at a better time for us. It will allow us to finish the first iteration of our app and move exponentially faster to hire more people and get more funding that in turn will allow us to scale and market nationally,” said Luke Wade, founder and CEO.
Launched in February 2013, the Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area.
Results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:
• 61 proof-of-concept funded for area startups
• 23 new businesses created
• 181 jobs created
• $17.8 million in follow-on funding
Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run eight weeks. 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
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. More information and the Sandbox’s annual report can be found at www.digitalsandboxkc.com.
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