Digital Sandbox KC Picks Five More Companies for Early-Stage SupportAmy Brost
KANSAS CITY, MO. (APRIL 14, 2016) — Five additional companies have joined Digital Sandbox KC, bringing the number of proof-of-concept projects funded to 69. The five new startups range from interactive mobile apps to software contracting to (SaaS) software-as-a-service case management.
“Once again the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Kansas City can be seen by this group of diverse entrepreneurs,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “From portable power plants to socially interactive juke boxes, Kansas City startups cover it all.”
Digital Sandbox KC is a proof-of-concept program that significantly and rapidly moves early-stage entrepreneurs from concept to commercialization. It is a unique collaboration among private, public, university/research and philanthropic organizations.
The companies selected for support include:
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.
“Building hardware, it takes a substantial amount of research, development and investment – having the support from Digital Sandbox will help us launch our first viable product,” said Ted Conrad, founder.
Foundation Accelerator is a comprehensive software platform for residential foundation repair contractors to help them stay organized and efficient while dramatically increasing the quality of service and reducing costs. Few resources have been customized to this type of contracting business.
“We are extremely excited that Digital Sandbox saw the potential in our company and their recognition alone holds a lot of respect in Kansas City,” said Brad Huxol, founder and CEO.
Hybrid Communications 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.
“We’re thrilled that Digital Sandbox has chosen to support HCI Energy in our work to power the global grid with opportunity. This partnership is the next step in bringing affordable, reliable energy to the people and projects that will drive the economy forward, and meeting critical needs in communities around the world,” said Ray Ansari, founder and CEO of HCI Energy.
Vector Legal Method is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) case management solution for litigation (law firms, attorneys, and clients). Designed and tested by several litigators, Vector applies a uniform and intuitive structure that all litigators can use to organize their workflow. It effectively manages document storage and retrieval, the case deadlines and tasks associated with those documents, and provides “at-a-glance” case status overviews and case summaries (for case tracking, reports and analytics).
“The Digital Sandbox grant will help Vector Legal Method bridge the developmental gap by providing critical funding for design work. With this funding, Vector will retain the top-flight development and design talent necessary to deliver the features envisioned by Vector’s founders and attorney advisors,” said Staci Brinkman, co-founder and managing director.
YouSpin is a socially interactive jukebox system and mobile application for bars, nightclubs and restaurants. YouSpin allows people to play music, chat with others in the venue, get drink specials, play trivia and create their own bar experience from their fingertips.
“The Digital Sandbox grant is an amazing opportunity for YouSpin. It will allow us to build some things we’ve been wanting to build for years,” said Adell Hendon, CEO.
Launched in February 2013, the Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area.
Results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:
• 69 proof-of-concept funded for area startups
• 27 new businesses created
• 247 jobs created
• $22.7 million in follow-on funding
Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run eight weeks. Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs. Visit www.digitalsandboxkc.com for more information. Currently funding is available for Kansas City area companies in Missouri and Olathe, KS.
About Digital Sandbox
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. More information and the Sandbox’s annual report can be found at www.digitalsandboxkc.com.
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