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Three New Companies Join the Sandbox

Posted by Amy Brost on Dec 20, 2017
Q4 Funded

Digital Sandbox KC wrapped up 2017 with three new companies selected for Sandbox project funding, each revolutionizing industries with innovative technologies. 

“We know that the more connected early-stage entrepreneurs are – to each other and to the resources – the higher their probability of success,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “The Sandbox is helping startups in KC make those connections. We’ve now funded 96 projects and worked with more than 500 entrepreneurs in the metro.”

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.  

The companies selected for support include:
Hungry? is a mobile app with an innovative algorithm to simplify the decision of what and where to eat, and help you find the fastest and cheapest dining options.

"We are so excited to see what we can accomplish with the support of the Sandbox,” said Kevin March, co-founder of Hungry?. “This funding is vital in the production of a novel feature in our app – the ability to help users find the best options for food delivery available in their city within seconds."

MusicSpoke is a global marketplace that allows musicians and educators to purchase sheet music directly from composers. 

“Funding from Digital Sandbox KC allows us to complete the missing piece of our platform,” said Jennifer Rosenblatt, co-founder of MusicSpoke. “This will help us scale quickly and reach new customers in ways never before possible.”

TradeLanes automates trade management for U.S. exporters, using an online platform to lower costs and remove days from the supply chain. 

“We are very grateful for this support from Digital Sandbox KC,” said Vijay Harrell, CEO of TradeLanes. “With this funding, we will complete an essential feature to our platform that will give us a proprietary competitive advantage over other solutions.” 

Launched in February 2013, Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 500 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area. 

Based on August 2017 impact surveys, results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:
• $1.8 million in project funding for 90 early-stage startups
• 46 new businesses created
• More than 536 new jobs created with more than $14 million in payroll
• $43.3 million in follow-on funding

Digital Sandbox KC reviews applications on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run eight weeks. Funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs. 

The Sandbox has expanded into new areas and markets through partnerships with the cities of Olathe, Independence and St. Joseph. In 2016, Digital Sandbox KC partnered with GXP Investments to launch the Energy Sandbox which provides project funding to entrepreneurs in Kansas and Missouri with energy-related concepts.

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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.