Digital Sandbox KC Takes First Steps In Helping Companies Prove ConceptsAmy Brost
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (May 3, 2013) — This spring, Digital Sandbox KC reached across the greater Kansas City metro seeking the region’s most innovative technology-based ideas. To date, the Sandbox has received 94 submissions, ranging from health care IT to data security to creative mobile applications.
“We were expecting a strong response for this first round of submissions, and we got it,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “The creativity in Kansas City is astounding, and we’re ready to help transform these ideas into viable startups and sustainable businesses.”
Digital Sandbox KC provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward. Projects will be “in the sandbox” only as long as needed to meet a defined commercialization plan.
“The goal is to help everyone who submits their ideas to the Sandbox get primed for commercial success,” adds Shackelford. “The 94 companies currently in the Sandbox are all in varying stages of development with unique needs and we’ve provided all of them with a suggested next step forward. With that in mind, we feel there are currently six in the best position right now to use Sandbox funding for consulting and equipment to help them spring forward.”
The first six innovative companies include Limelight Technologies, Heart To Heart Network and Pearl Leaves from the life sciences space; Planet Reuse and Angling Technologies/Mapper, which are software platforms; and Trellie, a mobile application. Support for these six includes helping cover software development costs or, in the case of Trellie, focused connections to key corporate partners.
“The Sandbox is not a business plan competition; we welcome all ideas and innovators and help them get from idea to commercialization as quickly as possible,” said Shackelford.
For all ideas not yet ready for prototyping, Digital Sandbox KC is providing counseling and connections to industry leaders and corporate partners. Resources included the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center, Enterprise Center of Johnson County, the Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College and SCORE. Fourteen of the innovators received scholarships to attend FastTrac Tech Venture.
This summer, Digital Sandbox KC will hold drop-ins and meet-ups for all Sandbox participants, giving these entrepreneurs and startups a chance to interface with and glean insights from corporate partners.
Digital Sandbox KC will also host an open house at its Union Station space during One Week KC.
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