Four Kansas City area startups — and one Lawrence, Kan. firm — have qualified to the top 40 of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s 1 in a Million pitch competition.
The competition offers those who have presented at 1 Million Cups in the last year a chance to snag a $25,000 prize. Hundreds of applicants — who must have presented with 1 Million Cups between Aug. 12, 2015 and Aug. 24, 2016 — submitted a 60-second video pitch to enter the competition. The field, however, has now been narrowed down to 40 competitors.
Here are the area companies still in the running:
- The Grooming Project (Kansas City, Mo.) non-profit that connects at risk mothers with the opportunity to learn the trade of pet grooming.
- Paw Party (Kansas City, Mo.) interactive purchasing and delivery for dog and cat gifts.
- Thrive (Kansas City, Mo.) offers intuitive tools to effectively manage business resources.
- Premier Elder Solutions (Kansas City, Mo.) software-as-a-service that assists caregivers for the elderly, terminally ill and permanently disabled.
- DraftPak (Lawrence, Kan.) a portable device that attaches to a keg in efforts to serve cold beer without hassle.
The virtual competition asks the public to vote online and select the top 15 by Friday, Sept. 30. Semi-finalists will be announced Oct. 3, at which point the public will be asked to narrow down to the top five. A panel of Kauffman fellows will pick the winner.
Established in Kansas City in 2012, 1 Million Cups was created to connect the entrepreneurial community. Every Wednesday, two startup founders present to a panel and community audience in effort to challenge their business model. The format has since spread to 99 communities around the world.
Kansas City-area startup Blooom won the 1 in a Million competition in its inaugural year by presenting its online 401(k) management tool. Four other metro startups made it to the top 40.