Digital Sandbox KC identifies second round of concepts and companies ready for prototype support

Digital Sandbox KC identifies second round of concepts and companies ready for prototype support

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (June 21, 2013) —  Digital Sandbox KC has tapped the next group of innovative Kansas City companies to receive early-stage support to help bring their ideas to commercialization.

“We’re excited that the next group of innovative companies is ready for prototype funding,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “This is how we envisioned the program working.  We’ll have more and more companies moving through the Sandbox and heading toward commercialization.  With that in mind, we’ve transitioned to accepting submissions on a rolling basis so companies can jump in the Sandbox at any time.”

The latest nine companies represent a wide variety of online platforms and mobile applications across gaming, education, event management, personal security, big data, prediction tracking and social media.

The latest companies in the Sandbox ready for funding support are:

  • Knoda, a prediction tracking platform
  • Prodigy Arcade, a platform to develop games that teach coding basics to youth
  • Local Ruckus, a platform to promote events
  • FolioMatch, an education portfolio platform
  • NeighborsGrow, a social platform for local growing communities
  • Divvy, a content/event calendar management platform
  • e-Beacons, a mobile personal security application
  • FormZapper, a platform for migrating paper forms to online versions
  • Terafeed/Abzooba, a big data analytics platform

 “We continue to be impressed by the creative ideas and concepts coming out of the Kansas City community,” added Shackelford. “We have a wealth of talent here, and we’re excited to do our part to connect these entrepreneurs to mentors and corporate partners that can help them transform their 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.

Support for these nine companies includes funding for prototypes, product and back-end development; help with IP investigation; finding focused connections to key corporate partners and other consulting; and equipment to help them spring forward.

These second round of innovative companies joins six others that were approved for funding by the Sandbox:  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. 

For all ideas not yet ready for prototyping, Digital Sandbox KC is providing counseling and connections to industry leaders and corporate partners.  Resources include 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.

This summer, Digital Sandbox KC is holding 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 is also hosting an open house at its Union Station space on Thursday, June 27, 2013, during 1Week KC. Details of upcoming events can be found on the website,


Digital Sandbox KC is an unprecedented partnership among private companies, universities, entrepreneurial support organizations and government agencies across the Kansas City region designed to spur the creation of high growth companies.  Digital Sandbox KC provides proof of concept resources including market validation, prototyping and beta testing support for development of digital technologies within new and existing businesses. Initial funding came through a $1 million federal i6 Challenge Grant for a proof of concept center. 

The Sandbox was developed by KCSourceLink through the collaboration of partners such as: corporate (Sprint, Hallmark, UMB, VML, Cerner, RareWire, SparkLabKC), academic (UMKC, University of Kansas), nonprofit (Enterprise Center of Johnson County; Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute; Union Station, Inc.; KCNext), public (Missouri Technology Corporation, Mayors’ Bistate Innovation Team, Economic Development Corp. of KC) and philanthropic (Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation).

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