Only a handful of Kansas City startups — three of which hail from Johnson County — are among 21 companies selected for a Wichita-based accelerator designed for growth-minded startups in the thick of their product-market fit and customer-acquisition journeys.
The NXTSTAGE Customer Traction Cohort is designed to help early-stage companies break through barriers to generate revenue and identify scalable offerings. It also aims boost the lives and businesses of a diverse array of Kansas entrepreneurs.
Participating companies tapped for the new cohort offer a variety of products and services: breakthrough biotechnology solutions, tech-enabled services to enhance the lives of women, value-added capabilities for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and everyday offerings to enhance the culture and vitality of rural Kansas communities.
Kansas City-area companies selected for the 2023 group include:
- Clara Biotech (Jim West), Lawrence — Biotechnology company building an exosome isolation and purification platform enabling the biopharma industry to create future breakthrough medicines.
- Dexer (Lance Burditt), Overland Park — The ag industry’s first handsfree data capture service to help cross-industry specialists create records, using just their voice, recognizing industry-specific and scientific terms, with no internet access.
- Grad Cap Remix (Rashawnda Wright), Overland Park — An insert for graduation caps, transforming caps to be wearable for all hair types and styles, specifically curly and textured hair.
- Poshed On The Go (Ruth Shrauner), Shawnee — Brining luxury beauty and spa services to your door, on demand or by appointment.
Part of the Wichita-based NXTUS initiative, the NXTSTAGE Customer Traction Cohort launched in 2022, thanks to a “Build to Scale” grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Additional funding from NetWork Kansas has enabled the 2023 program to more than double in scope to better serve rural entrepreneurs. The program includes both in-person workshops and intensive 1:1 coaching in partnership with Fluent’s national Flex Accelerator program.
Additional Kansas startups chosen for the 2023 NXTSTAGE Customer Traction Cohort:
- Aligning Cosmos, Garden City
- Barr T Beef, Elkhart
- Body Contour by Bella, Garden City
- Bondfire Strategy, Wichita
- Eclectic Bistro, Dodge City
- Forge Podcast, Maize
- Good Company, Kinsley
- HorseThief Reservoir, Jetmore
- ICT Lifestyle Management, Wichita
- Lovely Dots, Wichita
- Nomad Laser Cleaning, Wichita
- Prairie Mermaid, Liberal
- Rusty Rose, Jetmore
- S&P Catering, Jetmore
- Sew Loved Quilt Shop, Elkhart
- Wichita Cheesecake Company, Wichita
- Yours Truly, Great Bend