Kansas City-based accelerator BetaBlox announced the 10 companies pitching their companies during the program’s Sept. 23 demo day at The GRID.
BetaBlox recently received a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, as part of the KC Accelerator challenge. The 2017 demo day is sponsored by the foundation, BetaBlox founder Wes Bergmann said.
This year’s event is set for a Saturday and is split into three showcases — scheduled for 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The new format is hoped to allow more attendees, giving entrepreneurs a better chance at making connections, Bergmann said.
“The presenting startups at this year’s Demo Day have already posted more than $5 million worth of revenue since joining BetaBlox,” he said.
Founded in 2012, BetaBlox provides mentorship, access to investors, downtown office space, classes and bootcamps to startups — in exchange for 5 percent equity in their business. Each cohort accepts roughly 10 teams into the six-month program.
In 2016, the accelerator launched a program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Tulsa program has now accepted more than 30 startups since its debut. As BetaBlox grows, Bergmann said, the program needs to focus on stabilization.
“This last year represented a year I define as defense; we essentially didn’t do anything new or innovative, just a lot more of what we’ve proven works,” he said. “We had to concentrate on defense because doubling our size overnight brought with it many growing pains. It’s starting to feel like those pains are subsiding. This coming year we go back on offense. But before we do, we’re ready to throw a giant and valuable party.”
Check out the 2017 BetaBlox cohort:
Founder: Spencer Carlson
No matter your budget, 2020 Adventures is a travel agency that will connect consumers with vetted local hosts at their destination, creating culturally relevant experiences. The firm has garnered nearly $1 million in revenue and is now piloting a product, Wunduru, with Cerner. Wunduru is an on-demand peer-to-peer platform with which users can list experiences.
Name of firm: ACT Gaming
Founder: Frank Murry
ACT Gaming brings automated solutions to the gaming industry. Its technology is now utilized by Grand Treasure Casino and the firm has partnered with Eldorado Casino & Resorts, which includes all Isle of Capri properties.
Name of firm: Catered Curriculum
Founders: Sarah Jacobs and Delta Manos
Catered Curriculum is a subscription box program for preschool-aged students, offering hands-on and curriculum based activities to your doorstep. The program aims to empower parents by providing them with the necessary resources they need to prepare children for kindergarten in their own homes. Launched by two former preschool teachers, the firm has acquired subscribers from more than 20 states and Canada.
Name of firm: DraftPak
Founder: Colin Elwell
Lawrence, Kansas-based startup Draftpak is a portable device that attaches to a keg to serve cold beer without hassle. The firm was featured in this spring’s “Gear Guide” from “Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine”. So far, DraftPak has sold about 10,000 devices.
Name of firm: Kara’s Food Elixir
Founder: Kara Carter
Kara’s Food Elixir offers a line of sauces, condiments and kitchen helpers designed to add flavor to meals. Carter sells most product as wholesale to restaurants.
Name of firm: Luxe
Founders: Richard McCoy,Ernesto Suarez and Andrew Van Beek
Luxe is a mobile concierge app that allows residents to book and manage apartment services. The firm participated in Digital Sandbox KC and has already established partnerships with Kansas City development groups.
Name of firm: Phisionary
Founders: Josh Wendel and Kyle Paul
Phisionary is a cloud-based mobile app development company. The firm is also a recipient of Digital Sandbox KC funding and has made two new hires this year.
Name of firm: Sensory AI
Founder: Mike Brummett
Using smart sensors and artificial intelligence, Sensory AI integrates technology into city vehicles to automate road inspections. Formerly named KC AIR LLC, the firm was born after a One Day KC student-led startup competition in 2015.
Name of firm: Technology for Humankind
Founder: John Harrison
Producing Internet of Things technology products that promote mindful relationships, Technology for Humankind launched its first product, Filmin, which is a Wi-Fi enabled tough light connecting loved ones. The firm manufactures and sells 200 lights per day, with sales expected to double over the holiday season.
Name of firm: Zipport
Founder: Laura Buckman
For those diagnosed with Leukemia and other diseases, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to have to take your shirt off at the doctor’s office for medical access. Zipport is an apparel line providing comfort and modesty via zipper access for ports, PICC lines and other medical devices. The firm’s product line and sales have doubled since joining Betablox.