Three startups from Kansas are among the semifinalists in a competition to snag $10,000 from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
The Kauffman Foundation’s One in a Million contest announced Wednesday 15 semifinalists from 12 states. Semifinalists will travel to Kansas City during Global Entrepreneurship Week for a chance to become one of five finalists for the cash.
The companies representing the Kansas City area are:
- AEGLE Palette, of Shawnee, Kan., which created a digital placemat that helps users monitor and control their dietary intake.
- blooom, of Leawood, Kan., which offers users an online 401k tool that automates management of funds to maximize growth.
- Idle Smart, of Kansas City, Kan., which created automated engine start-stop technology that reduces overnight idle time by 70 percent, reducing costs for fleets by keeping batteries charged and engines warm.
Katie Baker, a One in a Million organizer, said that now the 15 companies will have an opportunity to further hone their pitches before Global Entrepreneurship Week.
“The Kauffman Foundation created the One in a Million competition to give all the amazing entrepreneurs that present at 1MC communities another level of experience, exposure and feedback,” she said. “These companies have convinced the judges that they satisfy a market need, and have long-term potential and strong management team. … Now they will get training through three webinars before they even get to Kansas City on November 17th, one-on-one coaching before and after their semifinalist presentations and exposure to experts who will give them feedback they likely would not have access to otherwise.”
Two other area startups — Tin Man Prints and Second Life Studios — were among the first round of 40 contestants for the dough, but did not advance. The competition, which received 377 applicants, challenges startups that have presented at the foundation’s 1 Million Cups program.
A panel of judges evaluated contestants’ business plans and pitch videos and then selected the semifinalists to compete for a grand prize of $10,000. Second- and third-place winners will receive $5,000 and $1,000, respectively.
The five finalists selected from the semifinal round will compete in a live competition in Kansas City on Nov. 17 during Global Entrepreneurship Week.