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Digital Sandbox KC News

Four New Startups Join the Sandbox

Posted on Jul 16, 2018
Welcome to the Sandbox


Four new companies have been added to the Digital Sandbox KC portfolio.

“From helping students prepare for college to analyzing voting records to predict legislative outcomes, the startups in the Sandbox are a great example of the diversity and creativity of this region’s entrepreneurs,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.

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:

Case Helper is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) communication platform for mass tort plaintiff lawyers. Case Helper provides attorneys faster, safer and more reliable exchanges of information with law firms and their clients, speeding up resolution of pending litigations and driving down operational costs.

“Support from Digital Sandbox KC will allow us to accelerate the completion of the Case Helper platform, and prepare for our upcoming initial trial,” said Olivier Griot, CEO of Case Helper.

College Coaching Network offers a scholarship mobile app that enhances the guidance counselor experience. Partnering with high schools, youth groups and employee benefits programs, College Coaching Network provides college and career life-coaching with 24/7 training and chat support services.

“Funding from the Sandbox provides the support we need to integrate new features for the scholarship app and give every student a chance to succeed,” said Claude Harris, founder of College Coaching Network.

FastDemocracy provides advanced and actionable insights into state and federal legislation. The FastDemocracy online platform allows subscribers to receive legislative email updates, an overview of bills by topic, bill summaries and voting records for valuable quantitative data and predictions.

"We’re thrilled to join the Digital Sandbox KC portfolio,” said Jill Kline, CEO and co-founder of FastDemocracy. “With this opportunity, we can officially launch our company and register patents to protect the innovative technology that enables political newcomers and professionals alike to engage fully and effectively in the legislative process.”

Funded through the Energy Sandbox, Digital Sandbox KC’s partnership with GXP Investments, PowerPlus IMPULSE® Cleaning System received $25,000 in project support for its patented boiler cleaning technology.  The PowerPlus system improves heat transfer efficiency, reduces energy consumption and emissions, and minimizes costs for coal fired utility boilers.

“Support from the Energy Sandbox will allow us to enhance the safety and performance of the IMPULSE® Cleaning System,” said Vince Barreto, president of PowerPlus Cleaning Systems.

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

Based on February 2018 impact surveys, results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:

  • More than $1.9 million in project funding
  • 104 proof-of-concept projects funded
  • More than 580 new jobs created with more than $14 million in payroll
  • $50.8 million in follow-on funding

Seeing the success of the program in Kansas City, 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.

Ready to bring your idea to the Sandbox?

Digital Sandbox KC accepts applications on a rolling basis, here. Many concepts that eventually received funding didn't get it the first time around, so don't hesitate to get your idea out there to start receiving feedback and guidance. 

And be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter, it's a great way to stay in the know about on what's happening in the Sandbox.