Digital Sandbox Approves Funding for Four More InnovationsAmy Brost
The Digital Sandbox KC advisory board has approved four more innovations for proof-of-concept funding and support. To date the program has worked with more than 100 innovative companies throughout the Kansas City region.
“There is no shortage of bright, creative entrepreneurs in Kansas city,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “Our goal is the help as many as possible get in business.”
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 four companies most recently selected for support include:
Briefcase: 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 a convenient, one-click job application process on a mobile phone, Briefcase captures each student’s information instantly, providing universities with feedback on placement numbers and hiring information. Support from Digital Sandbox KC will help Briefcase continue to fully develop their initial product version.
Fanaddict: FanAddict is the world’s first “fan-centric” event listing service, allowing users to easily track artists and relive their memories. Venues, promoters and bands gain important exposure to new and existing consumers active in purchasing songs, tickets and merchandise. Support from Digital Sandbox KC will allow Fanaddict to deliver the “in store” versions of Apple and Android, add key engagement features such as the journal and feeds, complete user terms and conditions and protect design marks.
Innovative Health Media: IHM solves the communication problem between healthcare providers and patients by developing innovative solutions that decrease healthcare costs, promote personal responsibility and save lives. IHM’s 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. Digital Sandbox KC funding will support the development of version 1.5, enhancing functionality for patients.
Mi Zócalo: Bluejacket Technology has created Mi Zócalo, a mobile content management and advertising platform that helps U.S. Spanish-language publishers create differential revenue streams from existing content. Mi Zócalo is a bilingual guide to the Hispanic communities of America. It 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 in the know. Funding from Digital Sandbox KC will assist in the development of a “dashboard” user interface, critical for the implementation of beta testing.
So far Digital Sandbox KC has worked with innovations and ideas ranging from health care IT to data security to creative mobile applications.
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.
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).
Visit at http://www.digitalsandboxkc.com