Kansas City’s reign atop the national 1 in a Million contest has ended.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced Wednesday that Anchoraged-based Pandere Shoes won the contest, beating out one local finalist and winning $25,000 in the process. The Grooming Project was the sole Kansas City firm left in the competition, which challenges 1 Million Cups presenters from around the U.S. to compete for a $25,000 prize.
Pandere Shoes was founded by Laura Oden, Celia Crossett and Ayla Rogers.
To compete in 1 in a Million, eligible startups had to submit a 60-second video pitch for the prize. Kansas City-based financial tech startup Blooom took home the first prize last year, earning Kansas City bragging rights in the inaugural contest.
The Grooming Project is a nonprofit that teaches at-risk mothers the trade of dog grooming to provide them with an opportunity for a living wage. Founder Natasha Kirsch started the enterprise because she believes that a living wage does more than provide people with money — she wants to elevate and empower women from situations of poverty, crime or abuse.
For reaching the top five of the competition, the company will receive a $5,000 cash prize. To learn more about the Grooming Project, check out Startland’s feature on the firm.