Business incubator Digital Sandbox KC reported Wednesday its substantial effect on growing the area economy through its funding and mentorship of early-stage firms.
Since its launch in 2013, Digital Sandbox has funded 85 projects, helping to create dozens of new products from startups. That’s resulted in hundreds of new jobs and million of dollars in payroll, said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox.
“When we launched the Sandbox, our stated goal was to improve the quantity and quality of early-stage startups in Kansas City to drive new business starts and create new jobs,” Shackelford said in a release. “Our latest impact study shows we’re continuing to fulfill that mission.”
Digital Sandbox provides up to $25,000 in non-dilutive grants to area, early-stage entrepreneurs for specific projects. The program surveys its companies twice a year and unveils statistics on their economic impact. Like years past, 2017’s report detailed impressive stats.
The program has awarded $1.7 million to 85 startup projects, with an average award of about $20,600. Those startups have gone on to raise about $38.2 million in follow-on funding and created 480 jobs in the area with more than $12 million in payroll.
In addition, Digital Sandbox reported the startups have generated $7.3 million in sales in the last six months and, collectively, $22,667,041 in sales since inception. Digital Sandbox firms have launched 130 products, applied for 57 patents — 8 of which were awarded.
“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 and we’re ready to do more. We encourage everyone to bring their ideas to the Sandbox.”
The organization also detailed demographical stats on its participating firms. Women are represented on 33 percent of participating firms’ founding teams, 24 percent of founding teams have people of color and 6 percent have veterans, according to Digital Sandbox’s report.
Digital Sandbox operates affiliate programs in Independence, Mo., and Olathe, Kan. Shackelford previously shared with the community the ways in which to snag funding from Digital Sandbox, which you can read about here.
The program welcomes applications on a rolling basis and evaluates startups every eight weeks. The incubator has worked with more than hundreds of entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area. Visit www.digitalsandboxkc.com for more information.