Twenty of Kansas City’s most promising young companies — including the KC Chamber’s “Emerging Business of the Year” — are among the latest cohort of ScaleUP! Kansas City, the metro’s longest running program for growth-minded entrepreneurs with scaling businesses.
ScaleUP! Kansas City companies receive coaching, perspective and connections to scale, create new jobs, open new locations, develop resiliency for the future and strengthen the regional economy, according to program leaders. It is open to entrepreneurs in any industry.
The program’s just-announced 13th cohort includes founders from such headline-making companies as NvisionKC — named “Emerging Business of the Year” in June by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; Grad Cap Remix — a GROWKS portfolio company and a Kansas Small Business Development Center Emerging Business of 2023; and The Next Paige — a Kansas City talent agency that boasts clients like former Chiefs star Tamba Hali.
Like the business owners from the previous 12 ScaleUP! KC cohorts, these newest scaling entrepreneurs lead small businesses across the Kansas City region and represent diverse industries, such as construction, fitness, tech, food, staffing, real estate, home goods, medical, florals, accounting, HVAC, roofing, marketing and more.
“Oftentimes business owners are so involved in the day-to-day operations that they forget to work on their business, instead of just working in it,” said Jill Hathaway, program coordinator for ScaleUP! Kansas City. “This program shows entrepreneurs over 16 weeks how to navigate the obstacles that have been holding them back from scaling and helps them finally reach goals they’ve wanted to achieve for so long. I’m excited to see how the connections, coaching and skill-building will help them reach that next tier.”
The full cohort of companies from both sides of the state line includes:
- Grace Ahn, NvisionKC, Overland Park, Kansas — NvisionKC is a cutting-edge, minority- and woman-owned tech firm that empowers organizations with process automation, analytics and custom solutions.
- LaTasha Crawford, Miscellaneous Staffing Services, Kansas City, Missouri — Miscellaneous Staffing Services began as a janitorial service and has evolved to a staffing service in 2019. The company re-envisioned the business model with a hybrid component to match the changes that so many faced in 2020.
- Brian Critchfield, Better Places LLC, Independence, Missouri — Better Places LLC is a real estate investment and home renovation company that serves many investors, property management companies and home owners.
- Jason Crowley, INDIGEX, North Kansas City, Missouri — INDIGEX, short for Integrated Digital Experts, provides enterprise IT services to small- and medium-size businesses from design through implementation to ongoing support.
- Jeffrey Dutzel, Dutzel’s Catering, Independence, Missouri — Dutzel’s Catering offers meals and custom event experiences that are just as unique as our clients. With dozens of menu options and combinations to choose from, we make our clients’ vision come to life.
- Shay Elder, Eangee Home Design, Lawrence, Kansas — Eangee Home Design provides eco-friendly, fair-trade and handmade home goods to retailers and consumers.
- Katie Folsom, Jovie, Kansas City, Missouri — Jovie recruits, hires, screens and trains quality caregivers for families. The company offers in-home nanny and sitter placement, event care, backup care and substitutes.
- Dr. Aston Goldsworthy, Core Medical Center, Blue Springs, Missouri — CenterCore Medical Center provides walk-in care, workers’ comp services and treatment for motor vehicle accidents, along with physical therapy and pain management services.
- Sarah Jaeger, EverWild Florals, Kansas City, Missouri — EverWild Florals provides designer-curated bouquets delivered same day or via subscription basis, along with weddings and event floral design.
- Jessica Krause, New Lyfe Accounting, Liberty, Missouri — New Lyfe Accounting is a strategic partner that provides outsourced CFO services to the construction industry.
- Katie Longhauser, Virtually Yours Agency, Overland Park, Kansas — Virtually Yours Agency helps businesses find trusted virtual support so they can reach new heights in business and in life.
- Angela Maciel, The Hungry Hatch, Kansas City, Missouri — The Hungry Hatch menu consists of a variety of wraps, rice and quinoa bowls and salads inspired by places around the world catering to multi-diets.
- Malory Mertz, Town & Country Heating and Cooling Company LLC, Lenexa, Kansas — Town & Country Heating is a one-stop HVAC solution for residential and commercial needs. The company offers expert repair, replacement and maintenance services.
- Sam Moore, Marquee Roofing LLC, Raymore, Missouri — Marquee Roofing is a roofing and guttering company that specializes in residential and commercial re-roofs based primarily off insurance scopes.
- Nick Nikkhah, 3DHQ, Kansas City, Missouri — 3DHQ is where we 3D print your imagination. The company offers 3D scanning, 3D printing, design, rapid prototyping and soon, 3D-printed homes.
- Alex Pena, BIRD Construction – Handyman, Lee’s Summit, Missouri — BIRD Construction fixes what your husband or wife fixed. The company is forward-thinking and can come up with a solution to any project.
- Haley Struxness, WERQ Fitness, North Kansas City, Missouri — WERQ is the wildly addictive cardio dance fitness workout based on pop and hip-hop music. The company makes working out and staying healthy fun.
- Elaina Thomas, The Next Paige, Kansas City, Missouri — The Next Paige is Kansas City’s first Black-owned talent agency that helps creatives pursue their dreams by providing resources and opportunities.
- Larissa Uredi, No-Where Consultants, Kansas City, Missouri — Voted best marketing agency in KC, No-Where Consultants provides technical development and marketing strategy for scaling, socially conscious businesses.
- RaShawnda Wright, Grad Cap Remix, Overland Park, Kansas — Grad Cap Remix transforms the traditional graduation cap to fit most hair types and styles, specifically curly, textured hair.
ScaleUP! Kansas City provides direct support for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and firms — to include underserved and underrepresented communities/populations — and strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem by filling a gap for second-stage businesses, said Hathaway.
The program helps qualified businesses with revenues above $250,000 reach their expansion goals by leveraging and expanding existing proven programs, synergies and connections in the Kansas City region.
“Year after year, ScaleUP! Kansas City has helped entrepreneur after entrepreneur get the confidence, one-on-one coaching and professional peer network they need to grow the next multimillion dollar businesses in the region and become business leaders in the community,” she said. “ScaleUP! KC provides the valuable training that creates prosperity for the economy in the region.”
ScaleUP! KC is administered by the UMKC Innovation Center. It is funded by the Missouri Small Business Development Center at the University of Missouri — Kansas City and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.