GXP Investments to Team with Digital Sandbox KC to Launch Energy Sandbox

GXP Investments to Team with Digital Sandbox KC to Launch Energy Sandbox

KANSAS CITY, MO (June 28, 2016) — Digital Sandbox KC and GXP Investments are teaming up to launch a Kansas City-based Energy Sandbox, a new proof-of-concept program targeting early-stage entrepreneurs focused on the energy sector.

Digital Sandbox KC has a been a highly successful program helping early-stage technology entrepreneurs with new business concepts centered on digital information technologies.  The new Energy Sandbox will utilize the current program infrastructure to help early-stage energy-focused entrepreneurs move from concept towards commercialization.

“Digital Sandbox KC fills a gap in our city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with respect to early, early stage tech entrepreneurs,” said Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox KC.  “With the help of many Kansas City corporations and organizations, we’ve been very successful in moving tech entrepreneurs significantly forward and creating new jobs throughout the city.  GXP Investments said ‘why not do the same for early-stage energy-focused entrepreneurs’ and stepped up to be the founding partner.  Our hope is to stimulate much early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the energy space and to involve many other corporate partners.”

The program looks to not only financially help early-stage energy-focused entrepreneurs move forward, but to also connect them to valuable corporate and business-building resources in the Kansas City region. 

“We believe the Energy Sandbox can drive innovative thinking in the energy space, and further establish the Kansas City region as an entrepreneurial hub,” said Dennis Odell, senior director at GXP Investments.  “We hope this support will surface many new ideas and encourage entrepreneurs working on the challenges of energy.”

The Energy Sandbox will launch July 1, 2016 and applications will be accepted via the online application process. In addition to the Kansas City region, applications are encouraged from throughout the Great Plains Energy service area, which spans western Missouri and eastern Kansas.

Similar to Digital Sandbox KC, applications for Energy Sandbox will be taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles will run eight weeks.  Energy Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs.

To apply, go to Energy Sandbox (www.digitalsandboxkc.com/energy).

About GXP Investments

GXP Investments (“GXPI”) is the non-regulated investment affiliate of Great Plains Energy Incorporated. GXPI is led by a management team experienced in regulated and non-regulated energy solutions, investments, entrepreneurship and strategy; and is focused on investments within the energy value chain that are adjacent to Great Plains Energy’s core utility operations.  Great Plains Energy Incorporated is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest.

About Digital Sandbox KC

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. To date the program has provided more than $1 million in project development funding for Kansas City-based entrepreneurs helping them secure more than $22 million in new investment funding and helping to create more than 250 new metro-area jobs.