MANHATTAN — A demo day with $100,000 on the line culminated in a Kansas City startup leaving the stage with the event’s second-highest winnings.
Poshed on the Go earned $23,500 in funding Thursday from the Kansas State University Accelerator program, coming in just behind the grand-prize winner, PillReady, Wichita, with $36,000.
The Shawnee-based company is on a mission to empower beauty professionals to build their personal brands, expand their client base, build a flexible schedule, and create passive income through e-commerce, while simultaneously ensuring clients are getting luxury beauty services brought to the comfort of their home, hotel room, or even office.
Click here to learn more about Poshed On The Go’s on-demand app that matches stylists with last-minute needs nearby.
“I had a fantastic experience through the KSU Accelerator program,” said Ruth Shrauner, founder of Poshed on the Go. “I learned so much and benefited greatly from meeting with the mentors who graciously gave us their time.”
Thursday’s demo day capped an eight-week accelerator program, hosted by the College of Business Administration’s Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. The program provided 10 select startups with much-needed resources, including faculty-led courses, hands-on student research teams and access to the university’s world-class alumni mentor network.
“The accelerator allows us to share our unique resources with the broader entrepreneurial community,” said Chad Jackson, the Jack Vanier director of the university’s Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. “Our faculty, alumni mentors and students are incredible resources, and we are excited to share their expertise to support startup ventures.”
Click here to learn more about the K-State accelerator.
Big winner PillReady earned favor with judges by developing a medication management system used by pharmacies to improve medication adherence.
“I think this a great program,” said Tom Anderson, founder of PillReady, commenting on the K-State accelerator. “Even if you have been through something similar before, it was a wonderful experience, and I learned a lot.”
It was a sentiment shared by the third-most-funded company, Topeka’s FindMyDirectDoctor, which was awarded $21,000 in funding.
“The quality and quantity of feedback I received is way beyond any type of guidance I have received since the inception of my company,” said Harsha Moole, founder of FindMyDirectDoctor, largest online directory listing platform for concierge doctors and direct primary care physicians in the U.S. “The accelerator program was an amazing opportunity.”
Funding for the 10 companies in the accelerator program ranged from $1,000 to the $36,000 awarded to PillReady. Startup-specific funding totals were not disclosed beyond the top three winners.
Other participating companies included:
- Acclivity Technologies (Kirk Pappan, Sandra Merkel-DeJames), Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina — A health technologies company developing new therapeutics and biomarkers to treat atherosclerosis and diabetes.
- Blackbox (Tristan Threatt, Tucker Sutton, Noah Bortnick), Kansas City — Seeks to be the region’s leading digital finance firm by providing institutional investors, financial advisors and private clients with investment vehicles offering a secure gateway to cryptocurrency exposure.
- MyPal AI, (Yslam Akmyradov), Bothell, Washington — An AI application that helps those learning a new language by providing practice with an AI chatbot in a human-like conversation.
- Health Partners MD (Courtney Younglove), Overland Park — Provides a disease management program for employers that specifically targets obesity and obesity-related conditions.
- HealthyID (Laura Owen), Lenexa — A life science company that focuses on preventive health products and services. Its mission is to help people move from “sick care” to “health care” through at-home wellness testing, education and innovation.
- Miller Enterprises (Tyler Miller), Manhattan — Sells and repairs pre-owned boats and provides renovation, handyman and demolition services and trailer rentals.
- Sharing Solace (Crystal Webster), Olathe — Supports grievers and their loved ones through technology-elevated gifts wrapped in a community of strength and support.