Empowering kids through Healthy Hip Hop: A journey from music to tech entrepreneurship

Empowering kids through Healthy Hip Hop: A journey from music to tech entrepreneurship

The journey of Kansas City startup Healthy Hip Hop began with a personal revelation for its founder, Roy Scott, who, after reflecting on the impact of mainstream hiphop, envisioned a platform that could offer a healthier alternative for young listeners. 

Roy grew up in Kansas City immersed in hiphop culture. Initially pursuing a career in music, he had a sudden change of heart after becoming a parent. 

“I was picking my son up from school one day when he was like 3 or 4, and he started repeating the music I had written that promoted drugs and violence,” Roy says. “That was a big lightbulb moment for me, where I really reflected how impactful hip-hop was on me as a kid. I knew I had to do something positive. That was the beginning of Healthy Hip Hop.” 

What is Healthy Hip Hop? 

Healthy Hip Hop is an app that empowers and educates children with relatable music and innovative technology to help kids learn interactively through engaging activities.  

“We take the urban hip-hop beat, and put a positive message over it for kids, focusing on education to promote wellness,” Roy says. 

The company offers two main products: a mobile application tailored for parents and a web application designed for educational settings. 

The mobile app functions as a direct-to-consumer platform for parents, resembling a fusion of Spotify and TikTok with a specific focus on curating content suitable for children.  

“You can think of it as Spotify meets TikTok but for children and families,” Roy says. “Parents can stream the music in the app exclusively. And kids can create these TikTok style videos within a safer environment.”  

The other product is a web app geared toward educators, giving them access to educational content and resources. Teachers can use the app in the classroom to enhance their lesson plans and engage students. 

 Tapping into Resources for Tech Entrepreneurs 

Since launching, Healthy Hip Hop has taken advantage of many of the resources that Kansas City offers tech startups, including project funding from Digital Sandbox KC in 2017.  

“Digital Sandbox KC was a key in helping Healthy Hip Hop reach the next level in the early days,” Roy says. “It played a pivotal role in providing support and guidance during our transition from a music-focused endeavor to a tech-driven enterprise. The Sandbox has been so impactful for me and many other companies here in the Kansas City area.” 

In addition to receiving project funding from Digital Sandbox KC, Roy says he also received help and mentorship from other Kansas City resources including KCSourceLink, Kauffman FastTrac and LaunchKC. 

In Nov. 2020, Healthy Hip Hop was named an Arch Grant recipient of $50,000 in non-equity cash, in exchange for establishing a second headquarters in St. Louis. 

Another pivotal moment for Healthy Hip Hop came last year when the company won the Legacy Pitch Competition, which led to a partnership with actor Michael B. Jordan. With the celebrity’s support, the company has expanded its reach and influence, paving the way for future growth. 

 Your startup could be the next to receive expert advice and up to $20,000 in project development funding from Digital Sandbox KC. Apply today! 

Primed for growth 

The company’s most significant deal to date is a $500,000 contract with the Dallas Independent School District in Texas. The company is also engaged with several schools across the Kansas City metro and Atlanta. 

Looking ahead, the company’s focus will be on scaling and introducing AI features to enhance the user experience. Partnerships with corporations, influencers and strategic investors are on the horizon, marking an exciting phase of growth for Healthy Hip Hop. 

“The next six to 12 months are all about achieving hockey stick growth,” Roy says. “We’re expanding partnerships, introducing AI technology and continuing to push forward.”