When the Kansas City Chiefs kick off Super Bowl Sunday in Miami, avid fan and Arrowhead Stadium regular Roy Scott will be cheering from his temporary home in Atlanta.
“It’s incredible what the Chiefs are doing for Kansas City — it’s a really exciting time,” an all-smiles Scott said Tuesday from the Peach State where his startup, Healthy Hip Hop, recently began a new Techstars program aimed at social impact.
The hip hop artist and founder — whose “Chop It Up” Chiefs video anthem has garnered more than 82,000 views and who hosts an online “Chop It Up” game recap series — already is finding renewed energy and inspiration in Atlanta, he said.
“Hip hop was birthed in New York, but for the past 30 years, the culture and music have really lived in Atlanta,” Scott said. “It couldn’t have been a better fit for where Healthy Hip Hop is going.”
The Kansas City-born startup encourages students and teachers to get active “through music, movement and a message.” The business model is split between revenue from live events and an educational app.
“We’re trying to influence a generation of kids through hip hop culture — using positive lyrics and cutting-edge technology to get them excited about education in a culturally relevant way,” Scott said.
Click here to read about Healthy Hip Hop’s 2018 reboot.
Techstars’ three-month Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator is expected to help Scott on his journey as it provides hands-on mentoring, funding and global connections to Healthy Hip Hop and nine other for-profit, mission-driven companies focused on addressing environmental, social and sustainability issues.
“This class represents a rich diversity of creative thinkers, practical problem-solvers and committed entrepreneurs who are driven by purpose and compelled to make a difference,” said Barry Givens, managing director of Techstars Social Impact. “It is precisely this kind of diversity of thought, perspective and conviction that powers sustainable change.”
A demo day is set for April 29 in Atlanta.
Click here to read more about the cohort.
“We’re already drilling deep into the bottom of the business,” said Scott. “It just started Monday and it’s been extremely intense as we break down every facet of Healthy Hip Hop and fine-tune our processes.”
Among the already clear messages from mentors and advisors: Don’t ditch the startup’s seemingly difficult-to-scale, but profitable live events in lieu of tech.
“We’re actually now piloting a franchise model around our live events,” Scott said. “I have a dance crew in Kansas City, St. Louis, Atlanta and California. We get them a setup where they have our backdrop, a sound system, our music, our mascots, and we can send them out to local areas. That way we can have Healthy Hip Hop shows simultaneously in different markets.”
A veteran of the Kansas City startup scene, competition circuit, and resource-rich entrepreneur support system, the founder was quick to note how programs helped push his company along the road to Atlanta.
“Kansas City has always supported me from the very beginning,” he said, citing work through such support programs as Kauffman FastTrac, LaunchKC and LEANLAB Education. “I’ve done a lot of testing in Kansas City, and from there I’ve really started to spread my wings.”
In November, Healthy Hip Hop was named an Arch Grant recipient of $50,000 in non-equity cash, in exchange for establishing a second headquarters in St. Louis.
Click here to read more about the Arch Grants award.
“It basically green lighted me into St. Louis, where they have some really cool things happening in their entrepreneurship ecosystem,” Scott said. “Now I’ve really hit the trifecta with Atlanta.”
“The momentum has been building and now I’m getting validation, more investors behind me,” he continued. “Our app just went live in iOS, going live on Android around March. Coming to Atlanta is going to be the springboard to the next level.”
Watch Roy Scott’s “Chop It Up” video below.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.