More than a dozen startups and small businesses are now finalists for the Kansas City chamber’s Emerging Business Award, vying for recognition amid a field of promising homegrown contenders.
Among them: two of Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2021, a handful of young businesses recently profiled by the publication for showing their momentum in spite of pandemic challenges, and an array of women-owned companies making an impact on their industries.
Finalists in the running for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce honor include:
- 2923 Comics/VenBoo — A tech app that helps vendors find opportunities to monetize their passions. Click here to read a recent Startland News feature on VenBoo.
- Appliance 911 — A family owned appliance repair company specializing in refrigerators, ice makers, washers, dryers, dishwashers and stoves/ovens. (Winner of a Honeywell Fan Favorite Award during the Chamber’s recent two-day, 40-business virtual small business Showcase.)
- Civic Saint — A lifestyle brand with handmade, small-batch goods crafted with care. Click here to read a recent Startland News feature on Civic Saint.
- Madison Stitch — Now selling bags and other hand-stitched products, Madison Stitch platforms the original designs and craft of the stitchers who rose from the margins to provide critical supplies to local hospitals during the pandemic.
- MPower Co. — An online financial courses and coaching business.
- The Market Base — An easy-to-use online platform that pairs clients with a professional marketing team that supports on-demand strategy, copywriting, social media, and graphic design. Click here to read Startland News’ Startups to Watch feature on The Market Base.
- The Next Paige Agency — Kansas City’s first Black-owned talent management and production agency that focuses on the performing arts and helps creatives pursue their dreams by providing opportunities, resources and training. Click here to read a recent Startland News feature on The Next Paige.
- Yes! Athletics — Woman-owned business creating shoes and apparel for girls in non-traditional girls’ sports. Click here to read a 2020 Startland News feature on Yes! Athletics.
- 3DHQ — A full service 3D printing and technology company offering 3D design, rapid prototyping, 3D photography and more. Click here to read a 2020 Startland News new story on 3DHQ.
- Deeper Than Money — A financial education-driven consulting company on a mission to help millennials pay off debt, save and win with money.
- Ronawk — A biotech startup innovating precision technologies to pave the way toward personalized healing. Its T-Block platform technology involves 3D bioprinted hydrogel matrices that can be used to mimic virtually any tissue in the human body. Click here to read a recent Startland News new story on Ronawk.
- Stellar Image Studios — A women-owned, midwest video production company, turning clients’ stories into moving pictures. Click here to read a recent Startland News new story on Stellar Image Studios.
- The AV Collection — An ultra-premium sparkling wine in a can that can be enjoyed on its own or in cocktails with the ultimate goal of empowering people, promoting diversity, reducing waste and giving back to the arts communities around the world.
- The Schupp Collective — A curator of the best quality, trend-right home furnishings from liquidated truck loads and offer them at highly discounted prices.
The candidates will next be evaluated by an independent panel of judges who will dive into each company’s pillars of community involvement, employee engagement and growth/sustainability, according to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, which announced the 14 finalists Tuesday.
Criteria for judging is similar to that for the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year “Mr. K” Award — the organization’s top business accolade — but for companies three years old or younger.
Click here to read more about the finalists for the 2021 Small Business of the Year honors.
The Emerging Business Award is set to be announced during the Chamber’s June 24 Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon. The event will be in-person at the Downtown Marriott for candidates and sponsors, and live-streamed to the public.
Click here to register for the 2021 Small Business Celebration virtual event.
In addition to Emerging Business Award, the following awards are set to be presented:
- The Small Business of the Year “Mr K” Award
- Small Business Equity Award
- Weida Award for International Small Business of the Year
- Legacy of Kansas City Award
BMG Advisors won the Emerging Business Award in 2020. It previously was presented as the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, most recently recognizing Rhonda Dolan of Udo in 2019.
Editor’s note: Startland News is a non-financial partner of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and a nonprofit member of the business organization.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation works to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity.