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Phisionary

Phisionary is developing United Benefits Portal, a web application that allows union members to access their fringe benefits information and provides an avenue for contractors to securely pay their union contributions online. Simplifying the backend operations of union management leaves administrators more time for recruiting and growth.

The current paper-driven system is fraught with insecurity and is very labor-intensive.  Human error is also a problem and the hours/wages spent on managing the segment is staggering.  This app diminishes the chance for human error while also securing union members’ personal information like social security number, address and insurance data.  Also, it will benefit union cash flow as it will enable immediate and online secure payment options for members and contractors. 

The Phisionary web-based application will offer all union members constant access to their benefit labor profile.  Beyond that, it serves to update each union’s system of operations by offering a secure and streamlined approach to handling such vital and secure personal information.  Also, this application will positively impact each union contractor’s ability to source labor from the union and pay the workers benefits quickly and securely.

According to the most recent census data there are currently 14.4 million registered union members in the United States.

The evolution of this idea stemmed from a request by Brotherhood Bank, the union bank of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, to explore some ideas for helping their union members stay more involved in union activities and their fringe benefits. 

The management team’s construction and union backgrounds have enabled them to build other strong connections in the industry. CEO Josh Wendel was a union bricklayer and still maintains a connection with that union. President and COO Dave Wowak has a background in construction subcontracting and has connections with Kansas City’s Teamster Local 41.  The advisory team includes Joe Huber of A.L. Huber Construction and Lawrence Rebman, Missouri Department of Labor’s former director. 

Digital Sandbox KC project funding will enable the company to develop a beta version of the company’s online app.

 

RFP365

RFP365 provides software to facilitate the entire RFP process. From RFP creation, through vendor response collection, to scoring, this intelligent RFP software connects procurement teams and suppliers in an integrated and seamless platform. RFP365 helps teams work together, manage knowledge, and analyze their processes for continual improvement. 

Founded by Stuart Ludlow and David Hulsen in 2012, the company launched its first release in March and rebranded its site and application this fall.  Digital Sandbox KC will assist in upgrading the core infrastructure and support future integrations with external applications.

The product seeks to unify the components in the RFP process. The RFP process (including RFI, RFQ, etc.) has not matured. There are several disjointed components within the overall process which, when integrated, can lead to significant cost and time savings. Procurement teams need to reduce purchasing costs, increase speed-to-market, and make fact-based decisions. The current process of creating documents, delivering them to vendors, scouring proposals, and creating scoring checklists is heavily manual and inefficient. Vendor teams needs to be able to respond to RFPs in hours, not weeks. They need to be able to track tasks, manage knowledge, and work together no matter where individual members are located.

When the process is integrated, data is transferred from one team to another at key points. Data, not documents, can be filtered, searched, and leveraged as we expect in our modern, connected world. RFP365 can help small companies compete with large, incumbent providers. This competition can reduce overall costs. We help shorten the overall procurement timeframe by leveraging templates, searching knowledge repositories, and maintaining real-time access to data.

RFP365 allows procurement teams and their potential vendors to share data in an efficient and effective process. The platform provides benefits to both purchasers and vendors, respectively.

 

Welltodo

Welltodo is a mobile health technology company that is bringing personal health care into the age of big data and the intelligent machine. Founded by Chris Cardinal, Jim Console M.D., and Will Landecker, the company leverages the latest advances in data analytics, medical monitoring, and behavioral science to target chronic diseases with personalized behavioral interventions and disease management steps that lead to improved health outcomes.

Traditional models of health care don't adequately utilize the ever-growing availability relevant personalized health data that we leave behind just by living our day-to-day lives. This leads to:

  • A more fallible health care system full of health care recommendations that are based on insufficient and often outdated personal and population information
  • Denied relief to chronic disease sufferers
  • Accelerating system wide health costs proportionate to population aging and chronic illness cases
  • Significant global economic burdens from employee absences, workers' compensation claims, and lost worker productivity

Welltodo's initial product leveraging their Smart Health Platform is Welltodo Migraine, a mobile application which predicts individuals’ migraines, warns them prior to an attack, and gives personalized actionable insight on how to manage upcoming attacks. Currently migraine affects 11% (783M) of adults worldwide with a three-times higher rate in women.

Proof of concept funding will assist in implementation of a pilot study for their mobile app, Welltodo Migraine.

 

FolioMatch

FolioMatch is an educational portfolio platform designed for students as they navigate the competitive field while applying for college, graduate school or their first job.  FolioMatch helps match students with schools specializing in their degree field.   Additionally, the FolioMatch platform helps schools market more directly to the prospective students.

Evan Kirsch, founder and CEO, recounts the inspiration for the product. “I was sitting on my couch being pressured from family about how I was going to get a job after graduation.  Knowing the likelihood was not high (based on the economy and stories from previous graduates) I decided to create a new way to present myself from all other applicants and college seniors.  During the course of 2012, I shifted from building something for myself, to something for all students across the globe.” Kirsch and co-founder Andrea Moran based the company on this opportunity and have made great strides in development. Digital Sandbox is supporting front-end web development for FolioMatch’s platform.  The first of two projects is complete and will allow FolioMatch to launch and test its beta version.  The second project is currently under way. 

FolioMatch addresses a pressing need for students. Many discover too late that they need an attractive way to display the work they’ve accomplished. At the same time, other young professionals are left wondering what career path is right for them. FolioMatch aspires to be a resource to all the students out there who need more than a place to store their stuff. The company provides guidance and the tools students need to pursue their dreams – and be a success.

This is why FolioMatch is going beyond the online portfolio and has created a way to match students with the resources they need to succeed. FolioMatch has the ability to take the work done, plus any other interests, and match students with potential schools, scholarships, internships, service opportunities and a mentor. FolioMatch isn’t just an excellent resource for students: matching goes both ways. Now schools can find the perfect candidates for their scholarships and programs, without having to wonder if this student will excel at one’s campus. Their portfolios prove they are up to the challenge.

Speaking of challenge, it’s a tough job market out there for both businesses and college graduates. Now students will be able to get the experience they need and businesses will hire the students they want with our matching service. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.

Informed Health Solutions

Readmission to the hospital comes at a huge cost for the hospital with the new penalties in place. The risk of readmission to the hospital is high for many patients, especially those with chronic, complex illnesses, such as heart failure.  Informed Health Solutions, with the assistance of Digital Sandbox KC, is working to change that model.

Informed Health Solutions has developed a sophisticated blend of both high-touch and high-tech tools, designed to safely transition newly discharged heart failure patients from the hospital to home. Use of the tools and processes developed by Informed Health Solutions typically reduces heart failure readmissions by 30-60%, at a per-patient cost far lower than other approaches.  IHS also shares a percentage of its revenues with its hospital customer.

Elizabeth Blanchard Hills, founder and president, explains it this way:  “We are focused on the care Transitions space; how patients successfully transition from a stay in the hospital back into the community.  Our processes are the result of great science—a randomized clinical trial we recently completed-- and our care model relies primarily upon the power of group interactions. Put simply, we help patients change their stories—instead of being isolated and afraid, we empower them to become engaged patients who partner successfully with their health care team.   The magic happens in groups—four clinics that meet weekly for one month following discharge.”

Informed Health Solutions joins other tech, mobile and data companies in the Digital Sandbox. The Digital Sandbox KC 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. 

Hills was provided a Digital Sandbox KC scholarship to participate in FastTrac® TechVenture™, an intensive eight-session course designed to give technology and science-based entrepreneurs a proven framework and network of connections to help grow a great idea into the next viable innovation.  She credits the class with changing her strategic thinking. “I went from thinking of myself as a person with a passionate idea to thinking of myself as an investor. We heard one lecture about what investors look for. That was my big ‘ah ha’ moment…why wouldn’t I look at this as an investor?” she said.

Hills also credited Digital Sandbox KC with connecting her to other startups, mentors and resources.

“Informed Health Solutions is an example of how Digital Sandbox can help entrepreneurs and startups in many ways,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.  “Elizabeth was very passionate about her company but needed some help in further developing the business model so we offered her a Kauffman FastTrac scholarship and that was exactly what she needed at the time.”

While the company is still in its early stages, Informed Health Solutions is generating revenue and has been successful in several competitions and grant requests:

  • Semifinalist, 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Care About Your Care” video contest
  • Winner, 2012 Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s Innovator’s Award: Quality and Patient Safety category
  • Winner, National Institutes of Health grant, HF Clinic Appointments: Self-Management & Care of Heart Failure
  • Winner, SBIR grant, Lowering the Cost of Congestive Heart Failure
  • Winner, EAG 10th Anniversary Pay-it-Forward Celebration--$10,000 worth of marketing
  • Secured a pilot with KU Hospital beginning in early 2014

Knoda

Predictions are made every single day by almost everyone on the planet. However, there is no universal platform to make or track predictions. Predictions are written on blogs, tweeted, uttered by a pundit on television or just casually mentioned to a friend in the car. They are then lost to time and the transience of the Internet.

That is, until Knoda. A prediction tracking platform, Knoda takes and scores predictions, rates and ranks predictors and allows social interaction. 

With the help of Digital Sandbox KC, Knoda will turn its own prediction for startup success into reality. Knoda will use the tools in the Sandbox—both development support and industry connections—to build and release its application and beta test its concept in the marketplace.

Digital Sandbox KC is assisting in market validation and intellectual property search as well as development of an iOS application. 

SportsPhotos.com

It all started with a great name for a great website. Brandon Schatz of SportsPhotos.com figured out he had a winner when he grabbed www.sportsphotos.com and launched a platform and marketplace for sports photographers to store and sell their sports photos.

The Digital Sandbox KC is helping Schatz develop a business model and set up a beta service with local high schools. “Some companies in the Sandbox don’t really require an investment of dollars,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “Brandon needed some coaching, guidance and connections to the right people.”

One connection was to TechStars Patriot Boot Camp, a competitive program held this summer in Washington, D.C.  "I really appreciate the Digital Sandbox folks letting me know about this opportunity," Schatz said. "They also connected me with Dan Strattman (Airport Life) who went through the boot camp last year so I could figure out the best way to use my time there."

TechStars Patriot Boot Camp is an intense three-day program under the RisingStars umbrella. The program works with a selected group of veterans and service member founders to build technology companies. Participation in the Patriot Boot Camp may be the catalyst for Veterans and Service Members to kickstart a company, find cofounders and advance as entrepreneurs. 

The RisingStars program was created to spur interest from some demographic groups that are underrepresented among technology startup founders, with the goal of extending technology company startup opportunities to these target groups. 

Brandon also made news recently when his photo of The Color Run in Brooklyn was featured on the cover of New York City’s Metro newspaper.

 

Handprint

Handprint lets average people replace retail purchasable items with their 3D printers. 

Support from Digital Sandbox KC resulted in the establishment of the company and will help Handprint finish the beta version of its software, assist in helping test the version on the necessary range of 3D printers, and run a demo campaign. Handprint also received a scholarship to attend the FastTrac business development class.

LightBridge

LightBridge delivers distributed data storage solutions through deployment of our proprietary software into telecommunication facilities that currently exist. By leveraging their strategic partnerships with local, regional and national telecommunication carriers, LightBridge is able to substantially reduce monthly data storage wholesale costs.

Beyond the data storage cost savings LightBridge extends to its clients are the benefits of unprecedented security, redundancy and geographical distribution. Combining these elements is how LightBridge is disrupting the traditional data storage market.

Digital Sandbox KC is working with LightBridge to develop customer integration features and advise on intellectual property protection.

FanAddict


FanAddict is the first “fan-centric” event listing service, allowing users to easily track artists and relive their memories. FanAddict engages fans of all kinds with artists and events by genre, city, venue and event. Venues, promoters and bands use FanAddict to connect to a broader set of active consumers in a way that generates long term engagement and more sales.
 
Digital Sandbox KC resources are helping to prove scalability and develop the user engagement features for this exciting new platform.

Flyover Innovations

Flyover Innovations LLC is a hardware/software startup company focusing on easy to use smart A/V and AV accessory products. The first product, Blumoo™ , is a universal home entertainment "app-cessory" that provides users seamless control of the audio and visual equipment already installed in their home.

Digital Sandbox KC is working with FlyOver to develop a prototype on the iOS and Android mobile platforms.

Venture 360

Venture 360 has developed a technology platform to assist private equity investors in evaluating, closing and tracking investments in order to facilitate a private market for trading these securities. Digital Sandbox KC will provide resources to develop additional features so that the platform can support entrepreneurs in organizing their capital raising efforts.

The complete suite of software services for the private equity market includes a proprietary deal scoring and ranking system; investment closing; portfolio tracking; and individual investor portfolio management.

Digital Sandbox KC resources will be used to build the “entrepreneur facing” element of the Venture 360 platform.  With this element added, Venture 360 will release its beta version and seek additional investment.

XLRYNT

XLRYNT (Accelerant) Technologies uses a new, patent pending, approach to process networking application data at speeds 10 to 1000 times faster than existing architectures.  Funds from Digital Sandbox will be used in helping to secure the intellectual property and for a prototype to demonstrate the application of this innovative technology to 'Big Data' type operations.

Briefcase


Jobs boards, recruiters, college placement offices and sheer competition - juggling the demands of the job hunt fresh out of college is tougher than trying to find an actual book with an old-school card catalog.

What online catalogs did for college research and sites like Kayak did for booking travel, Briefcase is doing for university placement offices and college job seekers, with the help of Digital Sandbox KC.

"One of the biggest struggles start-ups face is the ability to pull in resources relevant to the companies Minimum Viable Product, said Christian Fisher, CEO. “With the amazing resources, physical, monetarily and mentoring-wise that Digital Sandbox brings to the table, companies like ours can offset some of those struggles and ultimately be successful earlier on. We are proud and honored to be a part of this next group of remarkable companies chosen to the Digital Sandbox program."

Fisher moved to Kansas City from the Bay Area after being recruited to lead the global talent acquisition of a large digital advertising company. There, he met Nick Mallare, and together they embarked on a startup journey to “terraform” the landscape of job searching.

Briefcase, powered by Cobrapps, aggregates job boards and sites, delivers real-time push notifications to job seekers and keeps track of the entire process from start to finish and beyond. A powerful management tool for the job seeker, Briefcase also allows universities to distribute jobs, track job placement and ultimately improve their job placement rates.

With a great idea in the palm of their hand, Fisher and Mallare recruited their team, including Caleb Phillippi, COO and Alex Benson, Director of UX. They then assembled their advisory board and developed their platform.

Support from Digital Sandbox KC will help Briefcase continue to fully develop their initial product version.

 

Innovative Health Media

Healthcare providers face any number of challenges in the current environment. Innovative Health Media (IHM), with the help of Digital Sandbox KC, has developed a product to solve at least one challenge: reduce the time and effort it takes for primary care providers and extended care facilities to accurately conduct Medicare Annual Wellness Visits.

IHM’s product, the e-AWV™ System, uses the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) as a tool to provide a physical and cloud-based Personal Health Record for Medicare patients. The e-AWV system helps clinicians meet Medicare requirements for reimbursement in a simple, intuitive and cost-efficient fashion.

The e-AWV serves both the needs of the patient and the clinician. Patients often do not have basic information about their own health, such as health history, medications, family history, risk factors and prevention. Physicians have not had the tools to educate their patients, with potential life-threatening results. The e-AWV Personal Health Record solves the communication problem between healthcare providers and patients.

Chuck Smith, an RN with more than 18 years of experience, founded the company in 2010 and created the e-AWV system. He and partner David Wilson have co-founded several companies ranging from real estate to temp staffing. The product has progressed through alpha and beta stages, and version 1.0 is currently in use.

Digital Sandbox KC funding will allow IHM to make several product enhancements and add features in order to build interest and market share. The founders recently participated in SparkLabKC and received $18,000 in equity funding from that source.

 

Mi Zócalo


Although 30 percent of iPhone users in the United States are Hispanic, less than 5 percent of Hispanic newspapers and radio stations have an iPhone app or a mobile website. Through the support of Digital Sandbox KC, Bluejacket Technology will take the next steps in developing its product, Mi Zócalo, for the U.S. Hispanic market and help Hispanic publishers move into the mobile era and create new revenue streams.

The Mi Zócalo platform allows the publisher to share existing content on mobile devices and increase revenue through additional advertising streams. For users, Mi Zócalo is a bilingual guide to the Hispanic communities of America. The app helps users find local bilingual news, events and buzz-worthy places to eat, shop and have fun based on the informed opinions of local Latinos. 

Mi Zócalo is the brainchild of a talented management team. Christina Frazier, CEO, is a serial entrepreneur who raised venture capital in China and sold her second company, Alianthus, Inc., to Galaxy Glory Holding Ltd in 2010.  She co-created a very popular top-20 android app that generated more than 500,000 downloads. Ed Reyes, CMO/Sales Director, is a member of the Reyes Media Group, which owns and operates Spanish language newspapers and radio stations in Kansas, Missouri and Texas.

Support from the Digital Sandbox will assist in the development of a “dashboard” user interface, critical for the implementation of beta testing.  

TrackTi

When selling a home, the seller can often get little consideration. Real estate veterans Liz Zimmerman and Jaimie Macoubrie noticed that problem, and created a solution that’s on its way to becoming a thriving company.

TrackTi came as a result of brainstorming a solution for eliminating the scheduling chaos associated with selling a home.  Digital Sandbox KC provided additional resources that streamlined the steps needed to complete their product in order to successfully launch.

The #1 complaint from home sellers is the time lost waiting for scheduled showings. A buyer’s agent schedules showings for several homes in one day. The showing service allows for 1 – 2 hour windows for each home, which gives the buyer plenty of time to travel between homes. The burden is then placed on the seller to leave the home for a specific window of time, not knowing if the agent either arrived or left during the scheduled time. TrackTi constantly updates the seller as to the estimated arrival and departure time of the showing agent.

The patent and application not only covers real estate, but also other markets where waiting for a service call is an issue. Think cable company, refrigerator repair or package delivery.

DivvyHQ

DivvyHQ (Alluresoft, LLC) has received funding from Digital Sandbox KC and Dundee Venture Capital of Omaha, Neb., to ramp up marketing and operations for the cloud-based content planning platform.

DivvyHQ was initially launched as the content marketing industry’s first spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application built specifically for professional content producers. Today, DivvyHQ helps organizations plan and facilitate their marketing and social media initiatives, and communicate more efficiently than ever. Within one easy application, customers can manage content ideas, their editorial team, production workflows and deadlines.

Dundee’s investment follows proof-of-concept funding from the Digital Sandbox that helped fill the IT management void in the company. Digital Sandbox support also provided resources to develop the proper corporate structure for the company, better positioning DivvyHQ for follow on funding.

“We are very excited about how these partnerships will allow us to build a rock-star team that will accelerate the development of our application and provide your content team with a more robust and customizable set of tools,” said Brody Dorland, co-founder.

DivvyHQ was launched in September 2011 at the first Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio.

“We were so excited to see our tool fill a big need and eliminate much of the pain that has been tolerated by so many content practitioners,” Dorland said.

Funding Match

DivvyHQ was a great fit for Dundee Venture Capital, given its focus on Midwest-based companies with a SaaS solution in a rapidly growing market. “We are excited to invest in Brock and Brody to help push DivvyHQ into the mainstream,” said Michael Wetta, principal at Dundee Venture Capital. “DivvyHQ’s unique approach to planning and executing sophisticated content marketing strategies combined with the team’s expertise in the increasingly complex and growing market created an attractive investment. ” 

The company also fit the Digital Sandbox profile of a company on the cusp of something big. “DivvyHQ is a great example of how the Digital Sandbox KC can help fill a gap and get a company fully prepared for their first real round of equity funding,” said Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox KC.  

Digital Sandbox funding for DivvyHQ was made possible by the Missouri Technology Corporation through a matching grant to the Digital Sandbox program.

The Next Chapter of DivvyHQ

With a solid foundation and a notable customer base in place, the company looks forward to introducing customers to the new DivvyHQ, a fast-growing company with a targeted focus on building the best tool for big brands, agencies, publishers and media companies who produce high-volumes of content. 

Founders will head back to Content Marketing World in September to give attendees the first introduction to the new DivvyHQ. Friends of DivvyHQ can use the promo code “DIVVYHQ” and get a $100 discount on registration.

Local Ruckus

"What’s going on in Kansas City this weekend?”

That’s the simple and core question that spawned Local Ruckus, a Kansas City, Kan., startup and the first nationally viable, local events platform.

“Local Ruckus’ shift to a business-to-business model positions them well to capitalize on what they’ve built and developed,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of the Digital Sandbox KC.  “They’ve already made great strides in positioning the company for rapid growth.”

Doing the Local Thing

Local Ruckus was founded in January 2011, launched with its current platform in August 2012 and will release the next version this fall. A web-based tool for discovering and sharing local events, Local Ruckus cuts to the entertainment chase, helping users who are hunting for local events find and share them faster and easier than the newspaper trawl or overly complicated event sites.

“Being a part of the Digital Sandbox will help us acquire the appropriate resources to elevate our platform to the next level,” said co-founder Adam Arredondo. “With our new business-to-business platform, which aims to be the ‘Associated Press’ for local events, we're looking to enhance our system for efficient, mass distribution of our local events content.  Support by the Digital Sandbox will be instrumental in helping us achieve our immediate objectives.”

 

Trellie

Trellie’s first product, a wireless device disguised as a women’s fashion accessory, aims to help keep women better connected. As one of the first six companies ready for funding in Digital Sandbox KC, founders Claude Aldridge and Jason Reid hope the Sandbox will help them do the same.

“Our goal for the sandbox is twofold. First, we want to make connections inside local corporations that will give Trellie the best chance for success,” says Aldridge. These include retail distribution, strategic partnerships, marketing and product development. “Second, Trellie would like to use the Digital Sandbox to ideate, prototype and market validate Trellie 2.0.”

The ultimate goal is to leverage their first product into a company that will revolutionize hardware-based technology solutions for families by creating a range of products for women that help them save time, provide peace of mind and enable better communication with those people they care about most.

A Missed Call, A Bright Idea

Nothing is more frustrating than when you need to reach your mom, wife, daughter, sister, right now—and her cellphone is lost to in the swallowing abyss of a large handbag.

Aldridge and Reid knew the pain of unreachable spouses—and understood the possible implications of missing an important call from your boss, husband, babysitter, aging parents or your kid’s school. Personal pain points aside, they also had a market: 80% of all women carry their phone in their purse and consequently miss more than half of their incoming calls.

In 2012, they created Trellie, a Bluetooth-enabled, patent-pending solution to missing important calls from those who depend on you. Worn as a fashion accessory on the outside of a handbag, Trellie visually notifies the user of an incoming call to a mobile phone through a flashing LED light.

The first prototype for Trellie was funded with the help of Kickstarter, an online crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Aldridge and Reid attracted more than 515 backers, who in turn raised $33,168 for the Kansas City startup, 110 percent of their published goal. A week later, Trellie closed a $500,000 financing round.

“Trellie is a great example of how the Digital Sandbox KC can help local entrepreneurs make meaningful and valuable connections with some of KC’s largest companies,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.  “As Trellie continues to refine and develop new products, the ability to reach for meaningful market data or assistance in product distribution is critical to their rapid growth.”