Sandbox Companies

Sandbox Companies

Super Dispatch

Super Dispatch is an app and web platform that helps trucking companies reduce paperwork; more quickly and efficiently invoice; and receive and process customer payments more quickly.  Super Dispatch’s platform replaces traditional paper forms with a web platform that allows trucking companies to assign and exchange order data with their fleet in real time.  By integrating the web platform with the Super Dispatch mobile app running on the driver’s phones, the company gains access to real time data on their fleet and each job status.

“It’s an honor being a part of Digital Sandbox.  Being selected is a huge validation of the work we’ve done so far,” said founder Bek Abdullayev. “The funding will allow us to enter the market eight months early with a product our customers have been asking for.”

Lending Standard (FormZapper)

With funding for product development, Digital Sandbox KC will help startup FormZapper take commercial mortgage documents digital.  A software provider for commercial real-estate lending, FormZapper’s product LendingStandard is a web-based document management application for commercial lenders dissatisfied with the current imaging and homebrewed document management systems that now exist as alternatives to paper.

Founded in January 2012 by CEO Andy Kallenbach, FormZapper officially launched the summer of 2012 after COO Danielle Stine was brought on to the team. After generating a steady stream of business automating the paper processes of clients in healthcare, education and staffing, Matthew Marsaglia was brought on to the team as the product development lead.

Together, Kallenbach, Stine and Marsaglia pivoted the company in early 2013 and steered it toward a new, ideal market, bringing on Jan Valencia to assist with business development. Initially, FormZapper was a web-based document management solution for all types of small businesses. The company has since evolved into a web-based platform designed specifically for commercial real estate lenders.

Unlike alternative solutions in the marketplace that only assist lenders with parts of their loan origination process, FormZapper’s product LendingStandard is a soup-to-nuts solution that takes lenders through the entire loan process, from collecting borrower information, to generating legal documents for closing. FormZapper’s secure, compliant system increases loan production efficiency by automating redundant data entry, enhancing accuracy and enabling collaboration between all participating parties.

FormZapper is rethinking document management for commercial lenders.

Playing in the Sandbox

“With FormZapper, we saw the opportunity for the Digital Sandbox to help Andy and his team build a viable solution for an existing problem in today’s small business world,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of the Digital Sandbox KC.

Digital Sandbox KC provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward. 

With funds from the Digital Sandbox, FormZapper will fund product development, creating a web-based checklist builder to help internal lending staff create customized checklists for implementing loan applications and processing checklists per bank.

E-Beacon (EB Systems)

The resources, connections and funding of Digital Sandbox KC will help startup e-beacons launch its public safety solution, which will send out the first “beacon” in the event of an emergency, over web and mobile applications.

For the web, e-beacons shows public safety dispatches location and incident data in real time, filtering emergencies so trained staff can focus on the greatest need. For mobile apps, e-beacons allows users to report when they need help instantly.

The fully customizable system will serve designated population areas.

“e-beacons is one of those straight forward companies that focuses on a filling a very real need in the public safety arena,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of the Digital Sandbox KC. “John and Hieu are developing a highly integrated system that is easy for the user and provides real-time alert and data for public safety groups.”

Lighting the First Beacon

There’s a scene in Two Towers, the second book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, where beacons on the seven peaks of Gondor’s White Mountains are kindled one by one to warn neighboring Middle Earth that Minas Tirith has been besieged by the enemy’s armies.

That scene was an epiphany for John Ruiz, CEO and co-founder of e-beacons.

“Watching that scene gave me the idea to apply that ‘beacon’ system to real- life situations. I figured something similar could be effective using web and mobile applications,” said Ruiz, who had recently moved back to his hometown of Kansas City after attending Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, hot on the heels and opportunities of Google Fiber’s presence in Kansas City.

He began building out the application, using his newly developed programming skills gleaned from a free RareWire coding class at Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, a program of the Kauffman Foundation that helps the next generation of innovative firms learn how to start and grow their businesses. 

Ruiz quickly realized he needed an extensive backend system that could receive and organize the alerts. Exhausting his own development skills, he decided to pitch his idea at Startup Weekend Kansas City. His idea garnered positive responses, and Hieu Truong joined the team. Truong, who had recently graduated with a computer science degree from University of Arkansas, had driven to Kansas City on the off chance he would find a project to work on after graduating from the University of Arkansas.

e-beacons didn’t win the weekend, although Ruiz and Truong both saw the potential and decided to join forces and pursue it. Ruiz started networking, pitching and building his connections. That naturally led to a presentation at 1 Million Cups.

“It was an event that truly changed our lives. After the 1MC presentation things went from 0 to 60, and it took us to where we are now. We became well connected within the community and started taking advantage of any and every resource offered to us,” said Ruiz.

Those resources included the E-Scholars Program at UMKC, LaunchKC, OfficePort, and other programs through the Kauffman Foundation and around Kansas City. With the help of some key community members, mentors and a couple of beta clients willing to take a chance on the startup, e-beacons is now on the verge of successfully entering the market.

Lighting the Path

Ruiz and Truong will use the resources of the Digital Sandbox KC to take the next critical steps to move their startup toward commercialization. Funding and industry connections will help them cover initial startup costs and projects so they can continue to expand.

“Our ultimate goal is to achieve at least 1 percent market penetration, which would result in nearly $1 million in yearly revenue,” said Ruiz.

“The Digital Sandbox has helped e-beacons continue to build out its product set and get it tested and ready for the market,” said Shackelford.

Grant Company

Grant Company is an entrepreneurial communications and marketing company based in St. Joseph. Established in 2017, Grant Company offers a unique marketing and advertising model for agribusiness clientele in the KC Animal Health Corridor and across North America and Europe.

Carroll’s Irish Bitters

Carroll’s Irish Bitters is a St. Joseph-based startup making handcrafted small-batch bitters. In addition to timeless favorites, co-founders Brian Carroll and Christina Hitch are developing new bitters recipes and formulas for bartenders across the region.

TravelHive

TravelHive is a social travel bookmarking and collaborative planning platform. Travelers can use TravelHive to bookmark inspirations from any website to create and share collaborative travel itineraries.

College Coaching Network

College Coaching Network offers a scholarship mobile app that enhances the guidance counselor experience. Partnering with high schools, youth groups and employee benefits programs, College Coaching Network provides college and career life coaching with 24/7 training and chat support services.

FastDemocracy

FastDemocracy provides advanced and actionable insights into state and federal legislation. The FastDemocracy online platform allows subscribers to receive legislative email updates, an overview of bills by topic, bill summaries and voting records for valuable quantitative data and predictions.

PowerPlus Cleaning Systems

The PowerPlus IMPULSE® Cleaning System is a patented boiler cleaning technology that improves heat transfer efficiency, reduces energy consumption and emissions, and minimizes costs for coal fired utility boilers.

Case Helper

Case Helper is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) communication platform for mass tort plaintiff lawyers. Case Helper provides attorneys faster, safer and more reliable exchanges of information between law firms and their clients, speeding up resolution of pending litigations and driving down operational costs.