Four new Digital Sandbox KC companies reflect a wide breadth of technology, diversity and ingenuity that’s not only typical of the proof-of-concept program, but needed as the startup community attempts a rebound amid the ongoing pandemic, said Jill Meyer.
“Our current environment has been a challenging one to navigate for many of our entrepreneurs,” said Meyer, senior director of the Technology Venture Studio at the UMKC Innovation Center, which operates Digital Sandbox. “As a part of our city’s startup community, we have a critical role to play to keep feeding the pipeline of innovation in the metro and to support the earliest innovations that will grow and fuel the economy.”
Since Digital Sandbox was founded in 2013, it’s funded more than 130 area startups and spurred more than $102 million in follow-on funding, Meyer said, noting the early project funded is needed now more than ever.
“With innovations ranging from telehealth solutions, to on-demand diesel exhaust fluid production, to marketing team software, to a solution that helps pilots avoid in-air collisions, the latest additions to the Sandbox demonstrate the vision and brilliance that will drive our economy forward,” she added.
Specific funding amounts for each company were not immediately disclosed, though startups can each request up to $20,000.
The four latest companies selected for Digital Sandbox KC support include:
- Air Traffic Awareness (Kansas City, Missouri) — Air Traffic Awareness provides patent-pending solutions that enhance situation awareness for general aviation to increase in-flight safety to avoid midair collisions. Its solutions leverage the ADS-B technology, which is geared to replace the secondary RADAR system in all aircraft. As of Jan. 1, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration requires every aircraft to be outfitted with an ADS-B out. This opens up a market for real-time applications, like Air Traffic Awareness, to be compatible with every aircraft in the U.S. Click here to read more about Air Traffic Awareness from Startland News.
- AWA Technology LLC (Kansas City, Missouri) — NORDEF has developed technology to produce diesel exhaust fluid on-demand in an as-a-service business model. The result is the potential removal of millions of tons of harmful NOx emissions from upstream logistics and millions of tons of single-use plastics from landfills, while providing high-quality, long-life diesel exhaust fluid. The company plans to disrupt a more than $30 billion market.
- The Market Base (Overland Park, Kansas) — The Market Base is marketing software that eliminates the hiring process and high cost of working with an expert marketing team. In less than 10 minutes, a business owner can build a team and start a full marketing campaign for less than $18 a day.
- SureShow App (Kansas City, Missouri) — SureShow solves a problem that physicians often face: the loss of revenue for no-show appointments. When appointments are missed, SureShow’s platform sends alerts to the physician and to the patient’s mobile device and invites the patient to participate in virtual services directly with a doctor, among other features for patients and health care providers. Click here to read more about SureShow from Startland News.
“In this time of uncertainty, being able to support early-stage companies and put them on a path to landing more capital is critical,” said Meyer.
Click here to read more about the Pure Pitch Rally, which is set to include three of the four Digital Sandbox companies — Air Traffic Awareness, AWA Technology and SureShow — during its Oct. 12 competition.
Digital Sandbox KC is a proof-of-concept program that significantly and rapidly moves early-stage entrepreneurs from concept to commercialization. It is a unique collaboration among private, public, university/research and philanthropic organizations.
Click here to learn more about Digital Sandbox KC.
“We’re honored to receive the Sandbox grant,” said Jannae Gammage, chief troublemaker of The Market Base. “The program aligns with our own personal and company values: to level the playing field for underserved and under-funded founders. We were ecstatic to learn we would be on the receiving end because like most founders, a win like this is the difference between 10-times growth and going out of business.”