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FireBoard

FireBoard is a Cloud Connected Smart Thermometer, designed for remote monitoring in both hot and cold environments, primarily in the commercial setting.   By bringing the thermometer into the “cloud connected age” using a feature-rich and cost-effective device, FireBoard solves a simple problem across multiple industry verticals including food service, transportation, health care, pharmaceuticals, and technology.

Many small businesses rely on a temperature controlled environment to properly, and safely, operate their business. Traditionally, checking the temperature manually and maintaining a log-book has been the baseline standard for monitoring temperature-controlled environments. Although technology has been available to monitor temperature remotely, these systems are expensive, require professional installation and are not very user friendly.

The FireBoard solution consists of a hardware device and a commercial cloud subscription, which allows 24/7/365 monitoring and history. The hardware device couples with temperature probes which can be conveniently installed in any location to monitor hot or cold temperatures.  The cloud service allows simple access and visibility from anywhere internet is available to monitor the system in real time. Alerts can be sent via SMS or email and can be configured remotely.

HCI Energy

HCI Energy has created the rapidly deployable Hybrid Cube as an environmentally responsible alternative to traditional generator technologies. Using a proprietary combination of field-proven innovations, the patented product will deliver a cost savings of up to 60 percent over traditional backup energy sources by improving performance through increased reliability and streamlining operations as a result of its innovative design.

The Hybrid Cube leverages wind, solar, green fuel cell and generator technologies to deliver reliable power with enhanced cost certainty in an unpredictable fuel market. Due to the solution’s secure, durable standard ISO-shipping container design, the opportunity to leverage increased output with lower total energy requirements in a format that leaves the surrounding environment unharmed is an attractive alternative for industries and communities worldwide.

HCI Energy developed the Hybrid Cube in an effort to assist with applications such as homeland security, wireless telecom support and disaster relief throughout the continental United States. Yet, the technology provides even greater opportunities globally for producing efficient, reliable power in unreliable grid or off-grid areas for cell phone tower operation, train signaling, U.S. overseas military operations, energy extraction, construction site back-up power and tailored community-based needs.

 

gr8box

gr8box helps customers discover foods free of the Big 8 Allergens. Each month gr8box sends a subscription box with 8 different, healthy snack and meal items. The website collects consumer feedback and helps customers find their new favorites locally and in the company’s ecommerce store. Consumer feedback and demographics are sold to help ensure consumers can access better products in the future.

The products available to those who eat an allergen free diet, out of necessity or optimal health, are not as accessible as traditional mainstream products. While demand is rapidly increasing, supply and distribution are lacking. This often results in frustration, wasted time and expense to the customer. Customers also lack a close tie to manufacturers and distributors to ensure there are improvements in taste and accessibility. Current practices force customers to wait until the next product is released, hoping it’s better.

Each month gr8box will send a subscription box filled with eight healthy, unique snack and meal items for customers to sample. Should the customers choose to add the item to their current diet, customers are directed to an online store for purchase and are provided inserts for their local grocery stores to stock the item. Also included in the box are manufacturers’ coupons and an offer to answer questions (via the website) about the enclosed products. In exchange for feedback, a discount will be given on the next month’s box. This data will be packaged in salable form and sold to manufacturers, distributors and data research firms to better improve the allergy free market all the while empowering the customer. gr8box believes allergy free items should be accessible.

“We're honored Digital Sandbox KC has selected gr8box to receive this funding to complete our development,” said Terri Jordan, founder. 

AddVenture

AddVenture’s mission is to create adventure-added advertisements. The mission is accomplished by producing GameAds – Games that are Ads, Ads that are Games. GameAds are short, intuitive, online video games tailored-made to the businesses’ image to generate website traffic, boost brand recognition and leverage sales. Unlike other video games where advertisements annoyingly pop up during the gameplay, GameAds themselves are the advertisements. Everything about a GameAd, from graphic and audio to gameplay and features, are all specifically designed to tell a lively and animated story about a business’ history, reasons for being, value proposition, products and services offered.

As youth marketing becomes increasingly difficult due to the rapid advancement of technology, small local businesses, with their limit budget for marketing, cannot afford to host huge online marketing campaigns to promote themselves to young consumers. Their inability to appeal to the youth market, a customer segment estimated to influence over $30 billion in annual spending, hinders them from growing, or even sustaining their businesses

AddVenture’s mission is to create adventure-added advertisements. Adventure is added to advertisements through something called GameAds – Games that are Ads, Ads that are Games. GameAds are short, intuitive, online video games tailored-made to the businesses’ image to generate website traffic and boost brand recognition. In order to convert this brand recognition into sales, GameAds are designed to incentivize the players to purchase from a business. GameAds do this by having achievement levels that players can unlock and win coupons, discounts, gift cards or free merchandises. Since the players need to work hard to win these prizes, they are entitled to their victories and will have a strong desire to “cash in” their winnings. Each time players use their coupons or take advantage of their gift cards is each time the business makes a sale.  

“It is such an honor to have been approved for project financing by Digital Sandbox,” said Phuc Ho, AddVenture co-founder and CEO.  “This vital and timely funding will definitely help AddVenture in researching and developing the high-quality products that users love. On top of the funding, Digital Sandbox’s reputation and trustworthiness will tremendously increase our chance of finding our early adopters.”

Bulletyn

Bulletyn increases student engagement around campus by digitizing the traditional bulletin boards. Students will be able to know everything that is going on around campus in real time 24/7 while organization leaders will be able to track and use analytics to plan events.

Students miss opportunities all the time due to not knowing about certain events or activities. Today schools still uses old, traditional and messy cork bulletin boards to post events, activities and any type of classified ads. Those boards are messy and students have to be physically present to find anything that might be of their interest. Students or organizations who want to promote on bulletin boards have to go through a process of making flyers, then getting approval to post.

Bulletyn is a mobile and web application that will provide students with real time access to everything happening on campus. Students will be able to find relevant events that interest them all in one place. Students can save events, get notified about upcoming events and explore new opportunities. Students can sell textbooks, find roommates or discover a new interest. Event organizers can gather analytics on previous events to better plan for the next one, as well as have access to other tools to communicate and engage with members.

 “We would like to thank Digital Sandbox to provide us funding to help further our venture,” said Mike Nguyen, founder of Bulletyn.

edcoda

edcoda's innovative technology adapts education to today's generation by making learning simple and fun. The IP-protected gaming software platform delivers customizeable curriculum-based content to students through fun and engaging video games.  In addition, the platform provides educators and school administrators with actionable, real time analytics, classroom management, content management, and reports— all which are streamlined and easy to use.  

Today's educational landscape is trending downward with disengaged American students rising from 20% fifteen years ago to about 45% of K-12 American students today. When coupled with classroom teachers' job satisfaction dropping to an all-time low of 23%, U.S. education is at a crossroad of adapting updated curriculum with new learning tools and methods. The major reasons listed for non-engagement are dull traditional teaching methods along with the lack of or inadequate technology tools.

edcoda is an e-learning platform integrated with a role-playing digital game specifically designed to deliver interchangeable industry-standard learning content and assessment questions to players/learners. edcoda helps engage learners as well as streamline educators’ responsibilities.  Additionally, the platform is adaptive, so student learners can progress at their own pace and observed real time by the instructor.

"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.

Miles

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.

Mileage is one of the most difficult transactions to track and prove, and is often most susceptible to audit. Due to the inconvenient and inefficient nature of tracking these trips, many people use the percent method when figuring out their mileage deductions. “I used my car for about 80% business and 20% personal.” This format does not meet IRS guidelines and could result in the IRS denying an entire mileage deduction, potentially costing thousands of dollars in taxes. This is a problem for small business owners, contractors, freelancers, sales team, business development and many more.

Miles creates automated reports that detail the following critical pieces of data for mileage reports

  • Travel date
  • Total Mileage Driven
  • Locations driven
  • Business purpose notation
  • Client association

All of this is done automatically while running quietly in the background of a phone. Users can easily generate reports that can be given to an accountant or used for reimbursement.

“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.

LeagueAlly

LeagueAlly is league management software that was initially built for a local Kansas City adult recreational sports league which helped take it from 800 players to almost 4,000 in four years. The software efficiently automates the league process for league managers and players as well as connects participants through leagues as they travel from city to city.

The product helps league managers organize leagues, equipment, umpires and players more efficiently, and provides a system that makes it easy for players to join and enjoy those leagues with as much automation as possible. LeagueAlly also addresses unused parks/fields by organizing that information and making it easier to network through recreational sports in new cities.

“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.

PlanITImpact

PlanITImpact 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.

According to 2013 US Energy Administration statistics, commercial and residential buildings use more energy and emit more CO2 than any other sector in the US – 47.6 percent – which is nearly as much as the transportation and industrial sectors combined. In response to this statistic, the sustainable design industry is growing rapidly, and as the public becomes more informed about the global effects of climate change and the impacts that our buildings have on greenhouse gas emissions, the demand for sustainable solutions will only increase. Yet, though the sustainable design industry has seen an explosion in innovative buildings and systems, the tools available to architects and planners are woefully behind the curve.

PlanIT Impact is a web application that is intended to make the schematic phase of the planning and design process really smart. The tool integrates with SketchUp, a ubiquitous 3D modeling tool used by the vast majority of design professionals in the U.S. The tool taps into national and local Open Data APIs to access an aggregate of relevant, site-specific data, which the tool pulls - along with data that is embedded in the 3D model - through a series of algorithms to generate early building and site performance projections. These projections are presented in the form of a 0-100 score in each of the eight modules: energy and water use, stormwater infiltration, greenhouse gas emissions, transportation, building mix, quality of life and potential ROI.  PlanIT Impact offers the ability to explore “what if” scenarios and compare design iterations to better understand how design options affect performance.

“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.

Training For REAL

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.

High attrition in the hospitality industry, combined with ineffective training and structure, lead to increase cost, lower revenue and smaller margins. Other emerging pain points are minimum wage and service included pricing.

  • Attrition – Industry Average 87% @ $500 per Front Of House (FOH) employee
  • Ineffective Training Program – Poor Leadership & Service/Lost Sales/Less Repeat Guests
  • Increased Competition – Not many 2nd chances
  • 6 out of 10 restaurants close within the first three years

REAL addresses the industry pain points straight on by filling the gap between the status quo that has been in place for decades and the astronomically expensive customized program that may or may not be digital. REAL’s Cloud-based Training Platform allows for the delivery of a consistent product, message and culture.

REAL uses adult learning methods and questions based on clinical insights to create what we call 360º testing – full circle understanding.  The company also tracks results that have been tied into the restaurant’s point of sale system to monitor and measure.  This allows for accurate and quick analysis to drive performance and profitability.

“Digital Sandbox KC has connected me with 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.”

UpDown NightLife

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.

Bottle service is not always a seamless process. It can be stressful, from not knowing who to call or when to call to trying to create reservations, pick mixers, and get a guest list together. Some nights, it can be hard just getting into a hot joint.

Whether a customer comes to “Turn Up” the night or are out to “Get Down”, the UpDown Nightlife app makes the journey a lot easier. The UpDown NightLife app is developed to make the night a success; with just one click a customer can reserve a table, pick mixers, and put together a guest list.

The app allows customers to follow all the clubs of their choice. When a user clicks into the app, that person’s timeline pops up. The customer can scroll to look at these clubs to check out specials.

 “With this new funding, we will launch and become a true social media platform for the nightlife,” said Joshua Lewis, CEO.

TeraCrunch

TeraCrunch is helping customers all over the world unlock the full potential of data. Top fortune 100 companies have selected TeraCrunch solutions to make important and mission-critical business decisions by applying data insights to inform and influence products, branding, customer engagement and experiences.  

"Our mission is to support enterprises in key and novel decision making opportunities via actionable intelligence and insights over “big data," says Tapan Bhatt, founder and CEO.  "We do this using our Unified Big Data Analytics platform (UBA) to aggregate, synthesize, analyze and distribute large volumes of data (“Big Data”) and content that provide actionable intelligence and meaningful insights to enterprises. Through these insights, CMO's can make advanced marketing decisions and CIO's accelerate their efforts to manage challenges and opportunities across various functions."

From healthcare to marketing to optimizing operational processes TeraCrunch's system helps identify early indicators, trends, gaps and helps solve business problems. 


Lazser Down

If you watch football games on TV, you have likely noticed the technology deployed to make the broadcast more viewer-friendly. But why isn’t that available for in-stadium viewing? L‚Äčazser Down has developed a solution that could improve the in-stadium experience for fans.  

Every football play begins with the official spotting the ball with a down marker and chain. We see the down and then guess at the exact distance. TV technology has addressed this through a number of innovations available to the home viewer while the in-stadium method is a technological dinosaur, virtually unchanged in more than 100 years. 

Enter former football coach, Michael Foster, who invented a solution.

“Lazser Down provides real-time down and distance that is digitally displayed on the field and synchronized with the stadium scoreboard,” says J. Michael Foster, CEO. Measurements are read out by the yard, foot and, when necessary, by the inch. Foster says, “It is frustrating because the determination of distance can be subjective. Placements can be different based on angle or a misread of the ball.”

The patent approved Lazser Down technology is synchronized with the stadium scoreboard through electronic, laser, and RF (radio frequency) technology. 

The value of this advanced in-stadium system technology will improve strategy of coaches and players while enhancing the on-field administration by officials.  

“There is a lot of interest in integrating technology into the ‘in-stadium’ experience,” says Jeff Shackelford, executive director, Digital Sandbox KC. “And Lazser Down's unique real-time technology improves the in-stadium experience.” 

pHLOGISTIX

While athletes are battling it out on a football, soccer or other athletic field, head injuries are stealing the headlines. Effective diagnosis of concussions is limited to observing symptoms typical of head trauma. But now, pHLOGISTIX has a blood test for concussions in development for point-of-injury diagnosis.

Repetitive concussions can lead to dementia and other neurological conditions if untreated.  Given the remarkable explosion in youth participation in contact sports, concussive rates in girls are exceeding those of boys.  

“Sandbox money will allow us to integrate the analyte and clinimetric data in order to have proof-of-concept,” says Barry Festoff, M.D., founder and CEO of pHLOGISTIX. “This can significantly change the way concussion and mild traumatic brain injury are diagnosed and treated. Current methods are all subjective.”

“As a father with a son playing football, anything we can do to better recognize and diagnose concussions is an important advancement,” says Shackelford, noting that no other solution like this exists. “pHLOGISTIX’s platform includes a digital component and software allowing for point-of-injury diagnostics that are objective.” 

LittleHoots

LittleHoots is a mobile application designed for busy parents to capture, create, archive and share precious things their children say and do. Think scrapbooking reinvented and on-the-go. The app allows users to capture an image or text, and then use artists' templates to instantly transform the moment or quote into a bit of memorabilia.

The background:
  • 92% of moms are connected to the Internet and access Facebook on their smartphone at least once per day
  • 22 million of those moms have young children and frequently use social media as a tool to post and share their children's quotes, dialogue and photos
The problem: These memories get lost in the social noise and there's no easy way to safely archive them for the future. Parents need a better way to preserve their children's memories.

The solution: LittleHoots is designed to help parents capture, beautifully create and easily archive their children's lives. It all happens in one simple, mobile platform so memories are beautifully designed and archived on the go. Parents can also share memories to their favorite social networks or simply keep them private. 

LittleHoots won Startup Weekend Kansas City #7. The value for parents caught the attention of the judges at the Startup Weekend. Naithan Jones, co-founder of Kansas City area startup AgLocal, was on the panel of judges. "They are tackling a real problem that social media today is struggling with, and it combines that with a very viral group (moms) and a very strong emotional message (sentiment)," he said in an email. "If they can key on user acquisition via mom's groups, private groups in the app and then provide backward discoverability of pics and photos that existed prior to the install of the app, they will have a winner.
 
The company will benefit from Digital Sandbox KC’s resources that support prototype development, testing and functionality refinement.

Heart To Heart Network

A family health crisis led to the creation of Heart To Heart Network, a company focused on improving the effectiveness of monitoring patients. As one of the first six companies ready for funding in Digital Sandbox KC, founder Abhi Ray hopes to change the way Type 1 diabetes patients are able to manage their health care.

“We see the Digital Sandbox as a great opportunity to take our technology to the next level,” said Ray. “Support for market research will help us prove the effectiveness in terms of acceptability to care providers, patients and families, resulting in better health.”

A Personal Story, A Public Benefit

The story of Heart To Heart Network begins with Ray’s wife, who had heart surgery at within a year of having her first baby. The surgery and rehabilitation were successful; but that was just the start. With a new heart valve in place, Ray’s wife was required to take anticoagulation therapy to prevent clots from forming. Medication compliance required constant monitoring of the INR level to ensure the blood is within therapeutic range.

Ray could find no good way to monitor the INR on a daily basis, and no easy way to communicate with her primary care physician in a timely manner. This gave Ray the motivation to look at ways to improve everyday monitoring of healthcare. With a background and experience as a software programmer, Ray started looking at approaches to help patients and care givers safely monitor health in their home environments.

After several ideas, Ray focused on a remote monitoring system that can be chronic disease specific, and funding from Digital Sandbox allows for specialization and testing of system for Type 1 diabetes pediatric patients. With the help of the Digital Sandbox, Heart To Heart Network will look at proving the product:

  • Is acceptable by patients and family members
  • Increases communication between providers and patients
  • Improves adherence behavior leading to overall wellness

Playing in the Digital Sandbox

Heart To Heart Network is one of the first six innovative companies to be eligible for funding from Digital Sandbox KC, which provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward.

“Heart To Heart is a great example of an entrepreneur using today’s technology and applying to a real world problem,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “Abhi’s firsthand experience with his wife’s condition and his understanding of information technology led him to finding a more timely and efficient way to handle patient needs.”

ClaimJockey

ClaimJockey files and manages long term care insurance claims for families and care providers, helping them access funds for needed care. ClaimJockey has a 90% success rate in having claims accepted after the first filing.

Here’s how it works:

1. The consumer, their family member or referral partner contacts ClaimJockey via a submission through the ClaimJockey website. The lead is electronically fed into ClaimJockey’s HIPAA compliant database system.

2. ClaimJockey’s experienced long term care insurance professionals meet with families to assess their needs and claim viability at no charge.

3. Highly trained case management staff then review the case, gather the required medical records, prepare and file the initial claims in the manor required by the various insurance companies.

4. After the initial filing and payment, additional claims must be filed on a monthly basis which can continue for years. The duration of ClaimJockey’s involvement ranges from three months to multiple years.

A highly experienced management team leads this effort, beginning with founder and president Wendy Rinehart. Rinehart is a nationally recognized long term care industry specialist and co-founder of the Long Term Care Guild, an industry association. She is joined by CEO David Rinehart, divisional vice president at LTC Financial Partners, General Electric and John Hancock; CFO Michael Briggs, president of INFINEDI, Inc., a top  medical claims processor; and Bob Miller, senior vice president of business development and sales, formerly with Amex Life, Genworth, CUNA and LTC Financial Partners.

With the help of Digital Sandbox KC, ClaimJockey will build a new website that can be linked to their HIPAA-compliant database.

Aware3

Aware3 is reinventing brick-and-mortar retail districts through an omni-channel digital experience.  Their platform, AMP, is a cloud-based service that can build and manage an end-to-end digital ecosystem, helping retail districts achieve growth through their digital touch points.  It serves as the “command center" for their digital presence, allowing them to provide a consistent and real-time user experience anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

Smart Steps

 Smart Steps Mobile is a decision-making app designed for teens and adults with cognitive disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome.  It allows the user to solve everyday problems such as a late ride or a lost backpack. Prompts include social skills, safety tips and when to call for help.  “The Digital Sandbox KC helped the initial prototype to complete and launch the Smart Steps Mobile application,” says Jeff Shackelford, executive director of Digital Sandbox KC,  “and to create a portal for user-created decision trees, the top request from parents and professionals. 

"User-created content is one of several planned features to personalize the app," said Cindy Fisher, Ed. D., President and CEO of Smart Steps, LLC.  "With this feature, Smart Steps Mobile will appeal to a wider age range and in a variety of situations at school, work, home and in the community."
 

Cindy Fisher completed  UMKC’s E-Scholars program  an intensive entrepreneurial development program offered through the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  The program is designed to provide promising entrepreneurs with the support and resources needed to launch scalable and sustainable ventures.  E-Scholars has helped to launch more than 160 ventures since its first graduating class in 2011, ranging from enterprise software to health care services to consumer products.  

Digital Sandbox KC and UMKC partnered together to fund startups coming out of the program.  



Mobility Designed

Mobility Designed creates mobility devices to improve quality of life for those with mobility challenges. Their first product, the M+D™ Crutch, solves the problem of pain and potential damage to armpits, hands and wrists caused by the use of standard crutches. M+D™ Crutches are designed to provide pain free support and a custom ergonomic fit. 

“We are very excited to have gotten this funding from the Digital Sandbox.  It is incredibly rewarding to have an organization like the Sandbox believe in what we are trying to accomplish because it validates all the work we have done,” said Liliana Younger, CEO, Mobility Designed.  “This grant will get us so much closer to making our product a reality."

People who have to use crutches know how incredibly uncomfortable it can be.  "Honestly, it can be downright painful," says Digital Sandbox KC executive director, Jeff Shackelford.  "Liliana and team recognized this problem and created a patent-pending product which includes a high level of IP innovation."   Pain-free mobility is just a step away.  

Liliana Younger completed  UMKC’s E-Scholars program  an intensive entrepreneurial development program offered through the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  The program is designed to provide promising entrepreneurs with the support and resources needed to launch scalable and sustainable ventures.  E-Scholars has helped to launch more than 160 ventures since its first graduating class in 2011, ranging from enterprise software to health care services to consumer products.  

Digital Sandbox KC and UMKC partnered together to fund startups coming out of the program.