Nearly nine months after pledging to invest $1 million worth of Full Scale’s development resources in Kansas City startups, impact already is clear among numerous companies, said Matt DeCoursey, who has leveraged a podcast and “Suite and Greet” networking to build deeper connections to the local innovation community.
“We have the ability to help a lot of different types of businesses move the needle,” said DeCoursey, co-founder of Full Scale alongside Matt Watson, the startup leader behind fast-growing Stackify. “And when we see something we believe in and want to be involved in, we want to try to do so in a way that helps businesses increase their growth trajectory.”
Among DeCoursey’s success stories since Full Scale’s pledge in February: Mixtape the Game, Healthy Hip Hop and DivvyHQ — companies that have received equity based investments from Full Scale, a firm that recruits and supplies offshore skilled developers for businesses looking to digitize or expand.
Click here to learn more about Full Scale’s pledge.
Click here to read about the startup’s impact on the Lauren Lawrence-led Stenovate.
More than just a check
Mixtape the Game began as a card game that allows people to tell stories and share moments through songs, said Joel Johnson, inventor of the Kansas City-created game.
“I really was looking for something that took my personal experiences with music and family and friends and gamified it,” he said.
Click here to read more about the origins of the game.
Johnson was looking to digitize his card game when he met Full Scale’s founders at a “Suite and Greet” event, a relaxed informal setting where founders could pitch their business ideas to Watson and DeCoursey, who also host the Kansas City-based Startup Hustle podcast. (The Mixtape founder later became a guest on the duo’s podcast as well.)
“Mixtape the Game is not a typical product investors invest in,” Johnson said. “I’ve applied to other programs like Digital Sandbox and the E-Scholars Program at UMKC, but people didn’t see it … as a multimillion dollar fast growth exit idea.”
But the idea piqued DeCoursey’s interest, Johnson said.
“In addition to being an entrepreneur, [DeCoursey] has a background in the music industry. He could relate to the music portion of it, the power of music and how it affects people,” Johnson said.
Full Scale’s developers are in the process of helping Johnson create an iOS app for Mixtape the Game that will tentatively be ready by the end of this year, he added.
“I not only have the investment dollars, but I also have two really successful mentors to help me troubleshoot problems,” he said.
Adding fuel to the fire
DivvyHQ, a Kansas City-based content marketing platform, was looking to advance its development team, said co-founder Brock Stechman.
“We are in a really competitive and saturated market,” he said. “So we have to move in an incredible speed to stay ahead of the market. Full Scale is enabling us to do that.”
With the help of Full Scale and its overseas team of talent, the startup has doubled its bandwidth of full time engineers and its ability to release product updates is now faster, Stechman said.
Full Scale’s investment pledge also includes a partnership with LaunchKC, a program of the Economic Development Council of Kansas City, Missouri, that powers FinTech, HealthTech and CleanTech accelerator programs to connect tech startups with resources and funding in Kansas City.
Click here to read about the concept behind the LaunchKC accelerator approach.
“We’ve committed $10,000 to each cohort that they select in all of their verticals,” DeCoursey said. “That’s anywhere from 15 to 25 businesses, so that’s fairly substantial.”
The Watson-DeCoursey duo also recently awarded $60,000 in Full Scale development credits during the 2019 Pure Pitch Rally.
Click here for a breakdown of Pure Pitch Rally winnings.
In a city where finding resources for tech companies is a challenge, DeCoursey said, Full Scale’s investments have helped recipient startups scale up both in terms of their online presence and practical knowledge of the industry.
“The long-term goal is we want to do anything we can to push the business forward in their revenue and development timeline,” he said.
This story was produced through a collaboration between Missouri Business Alert and Startland News.