Digital Sandbox KC completed its third quarter application cycle by adding three new companies selected for Sandbox project funding, including one through its partnership with the City of Olathe. In addition, the City of Overland Park has joined the Digital Sandbox KC as a funding partner.
Since its inception in 2013, Digital Sandbox KC has provided project development funding for 121 area startups, which has spurred more than $70 million in follow on funding. “We continue to see a need for the early-stage, non diluted funding provided by Digital Sandbox KC,” says Jill Meyer, senior director of technology ventures at the UMKC Innovation Center who now oversees the program. “We know that helping companies at the earliest stages primes the pump for later stage investment.”
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.
“We are so happy to add Overland Park to the roster of great partners in Digital Sandbox KC,” adds Meyer. “The leadership of Overland Park clearly recognizes the benefit of investing in young companies to create a robust, growing economy.”
Carl Gerlach, mayor of Overland Park, announced the partnership between the Sandbox and Overland Park. The partnership will catalyze the smart and dynamic entrepreneurs that every community needs and wants.
The Sandbox project in Overland Park will be coordinated by Beth Johnson, senior vice president of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce. “It is young, growing companies that will develop the future leaders of Overland Park’s business community and drive new innovation,” says Johnson. “By providing a base of funding that accelerates smart, talented individuals and the teams they build to develop viable ideas into functioning businesses, Digital Sandbox KC plays a critical role in helping businesses scale and finding the best ways to integrate business with burgeoning new technologies.”
Funding from the City of Overland Park will support entrepreneurs based in that city. Applicants can simply click on the link for Overland Park on the Digital Sandbox KC website (www.digitalsandboxkc.com) to apply for those funds.
The companies selected for funding support this quarter continue to reflect the diversity that’s typical in the Sandbox. “This group showcases the wide spectrum of businesses assisted by the Sandbox, from a data platform for creative filmmakers and studios, to improved patient care in asthma, to biologics in regenerative medicine,” says Meyer.
The companies selected for support include:
FilmDove is an intelligent analytics platform that empowers filmmakers and studios to build their brands by connecting them to the right audiences, resources, film festivals and distributors. FilmDove's mission is to bridge the gap between content producers and distributors.
“The Sandbox grant funding will help us complete our prototype and position us for more local investment opportunities,” says co-founder Brandon Dunlap.
Pulmonaer Analytics, through its mobile platform Asthma Insight, improves collaboration between patients and doctors, provides access to personalized asthma care plans and provides education on how to best control asthma.
“We’re excited to join the Sandbox group of companies. This support will allow us to integrate new features into our HIPAA compliant platform that will enable patients to better control their symptoms, reduce unplanned doctors visits, and ultimately find the freedom to breathe better,” says Sunti Wathanacharoen, founder and CEO.
Ronawk LLC has developed a T-Block technology with the potential to quickly produce patient-specific biologics to treat cancer, diseases, organ injuries, and burns by enabling mass production of patient stem cells while dramatically minimizing resources, time, labor, and human error. Ronawk is based in Olathe and is supported through that city’s funding.
"With funding from Digital Sandbox, Ronawk LLC will be able to distribute beta versions of its T-Blocks to local scientists and clinicians to accelerate regenerative medicine research for KC area patients,” says founder/CEO A.J. Mellott. “Ronawk LLC is thrilled to join Digital Sandbox!"