The results are in for Digital Sandbox KC — and they look good.
The business incubator on Wednesday unveiled its most recent statistics on the program’s impact in Kansas City. Launched in early 2013, the program provides up to $25,000 in non-dilutive grants to area, early-stage entrepreneurs for specific projects.
Since inception about three years ago, the organization has funded 65 proof-of-concept projects, which have in turn led to the creation of 339 jobs at a payroll of $9 million.
Digital Sandbox director Jeff Shackelford congratulated participating firms, noting their accomplishments in Kansas City and beyond.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our Digital Sandbox KC companies,” Shackelford said in a release. “The program is doing just what we hoped it would do: create companies and jobs, and contribute to the local economy. We have the capacity to help several more local entrepreneurs and we encourage everyone to apply to the Sandbox.”
Of the projects funded, 75 percent — or 49 firms — have received follow-on funding, beating the national average of nearly 40 percent, according to CB Insights. In total, Sandbox firms have raised more than $28 million in follow-on funding.
The organization said it’s also making progress in its diversity efforts. Women make up 34 percent of founding teams, while 22 percent of teams employ people of color.
Digital Sandbox’s success in Kansas City has led the organization to launch a new incubator focused on energy startups. It also expanded its original model to nearby cities of Independence, Mo. and Olathe, Kan.
Below are further updates on the program:
- $1.2 million funded to entrepreneurs by Digital Sandbox
- 34 new Kansas City-based companies created
- Firms brought in $3,141,733 in 2015 sales, with total sales of $16,737,921 since Digital Sandbox’s inception
- 5 companies have reached $1 million in sales
- Firms have launched a total of 55 products, with 38 patent applications and 6 patents currently awarded
- The average Digital Sandbox award is $19,000
Digital Sandbox welcomes applications on a rolling basis and evaluates startups every eight weeks. The incubator has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area. In addition to its business incubator, Digital Sandbox also hosts open-to-the-public entrepreneurial instructional seminars. Visit www.digitalsandboxkc.com for more information.