After trying deliberations that went into Monday evening, the Kansas City-based grants competition LaunchKC has revealed its 20 finalists that will vie for a piece of the $500,000 pie.
The competition — which will distribute $500,000 via 10, $50,000 non-dilutive grants — drew more than 400 tech startup applicants for the second year in a row.
A panel of judges combed through the applications to find the top 20 applicants, which serve an array of industries, including health, agriculture, education, mobile and more. LaunchKC reported that the finalists include 11 from the metro area, seven other states and two international startups from Austria and Portugal.
“It was a very difficult field for the judges to select from. It’s a very competitive landscape both in Kansas City and around the rest of the country and world,” said Drew Solomon, vice president of business and job development at the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. “We saw a large uptick in the agriculture and health spaces from a technology perspective. Also, there are 40 to 50 companies who absolutely could have been a finalist. It really is humbling to try and make these decisions. I wish we could fund 50 of them with a grant.”
The firms listed below will pitch their firms on Sept. 16 during a presentation at Techweek KC. Judges will then announce 10 winners later that day during a live celebration to conclude the conference. The grant competition is led by the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and the Downtown Council of Kansas City.
Here are the finalists:
- Aces Health (Bentonville, Ark.) – Health Tech
- ConsultUS (Prairie Village, Kan.) – Ag Tech
- Backstitch – (Detroit, Mich./Kansas City, Mo./Sprint Accelerator) – Cloud Services
- Big Bang – (Kansas City, Mo.) – Cloud Services
- BLITAB – (Austria) – Education Tech
- EnduraLock – (Overland Park, Kan.) – Other
- Eyes on Freight – (Kansas City, Mo.) – Logistics
- Glober – (San Francisco, Calif.) – Mobile Tech
- Fitness Technology – (Kansas City, Mo.) – Health Tech
- Forest Devices – Alpha Stroke (Pittsburgh, Pa.) – Health Tech
- Herd Scout – (Overland Park, Kan.) – Ag Tech
- iShare Medical Records – (Kansas City, Mo.) – Health Tech
- Magnomics – (Portugal) – Ag Tech
- MailControl – (Chicago, Ill.) – Cloud Services
- Mobility Designed – (Prairie Village, Kan.) – Other
- Mycroft AI – (Lawrence, Kan./Sprint Accelerator) – Artificial Intelligence
- NeuroCognetix – (Columbus, Ohio) – Health Tech
- Ombitron – (Seattle, Wash.) – Internet of Things
- PerfectCube – (Lenexa, Kan.) – Data Analytics
- Super Dispatch – (Kansas City, Kan./Sprint Accelerator) – Mobile Tech
Winners of the 2015 LaunchKC grants were: Blooom, Integrated Roadways, KC Drone Company, Nodal Security, Health ID, PopBookings, Pycno, SquareOffs, Vertisense and VideoFizz.