Another Round of Funding for St. Joseph StartupsAmy Brost
Entrepreneurs in the St. Joseph area will have another chance to play in the sand.
The Innovation Stockyard and Digital Sandbox KC are continuing their efforts to drive new business growth in northwest Missouri. After a successful first round of project reviews, the program is accepting applications from entrepreneurs in the St. Joseph area with scalable business concepts that can grow quickly and create a high volume of jobs.
“The partnership with Digital Sandbox KC has been terrific,” said Ronan Molloy, Innovation Stockyard president. “We’re working together to help fill an existing gap in the ecosystem, maximizing our existing resources and increasing the quantity and quality of early-stage entrepreneurs in northwest Missouri.”
Funded by a grant to the Innovation Stockyard from the Missouri Technology Corporation and matching funds from Buchanan County and the City of St. Joseph, the program targets early-stage entrepreneurs in St. Joseph who have concepts that can rapidly grow a business into a significant employer. Businesses will receive as much as $15,000 in project development funding and coworking space for three to six months at the Innovation Stockyard, located inside the Kit Bond Incubator.
“We find that the Sandbox draws people with ideas who may not have known where to go,” said Jeff Shackelford, Digital Sandbox KC director. “We’re creating a pipeline for early-stage, high-growth potential companies in the St. Joseph area by utilizing all the local resources and all the resources associated with Digital Sandbox KC.”
Toss It Curbside was the first company to receive funding through the St. Joseph program. Toss It Curbside provides professional removal service for unwanted items. As the name indicates, customers can place their unwanted items on the curb and the Toss It Curbside team will coordinate the item’s removal and delivery to a local donation or recycle center, leaving very little for the landfill. With Digital Sandbox KC support, the company plans to optimize app- and web-based functions to help the company expand to new markets.
“The funding from Digital Sandbox KC and St. Joseph will help our business go further, faster,” said Aaron Brennan, Toss It Curbside co-founder.
Launched in February 2013, the Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 500 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the Kansas City metro area.
Results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:
• More than $1.8M in project funding grants
• 93 proof-of-concept projects funded for KC-area startups
• More than 536 new jobs created with more than $14 million in payroll
• $43,329,430 in follow-on funding
Applications for the St. Joseph program will be accepted via the Digital Sandbox KC online application process. The deadline for applications is January 12. Seven companies will be chosen to present to a panel of Digital Sandbox KC and St. Joseph evaluators on January 26 in St. Joseph. Visit www.digitalsandboxkc.com/programs/stjoe for more information.