The caliber of founders leading the latest startups funded by Digital Sandbox KC is truly exceptional, said Jill Meyer, describing a third-quarter cohort that includes a Pipeline Pathfinder member, a KC Chamber Small Business of the Year finalist, and the former CEO of the KC Tech Council.
“Their industry experience and dedication are the cornerstones of their potential success, and we’re excited to be a part of their journey,” said Meyer, senior director of Technology Venture Studio, which houses Digital Sandbox KC. “Digital Sandbox KC continues to play a pivotal role in nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of startups and tech-driven businesses.”
The five startups selected — from ventures offering convenient lodging to health care employees to creating innovative construction materials from recycled plastic — will each receive up to $20,000 in project funding, helping the companies push their new technologies to market.
“We are grateful to be a recipient of the Digital Sandbox KC grant and even more excited to be a part of the Sandbox family,” said Shapree’ Marshall, founder and CEO of A Traveled Path Homes, one the newly funded startups. “With the funding, we plan to implement key functionality features and security metrics and accelerate our product’s launch.”
The funding is a game-changer for Mentor Mentee, another recipient, said Ryan Weber, CEO of the startup and former leader of the KC Tech Council.
“This financial boost allows us to accelerate our platform’s development and continue to fuel the engine that transfers wisdom from one generation of technicians to the next,” Weber said.
The full list of just-funded companies includes:
- A Traveled Path Homes (Shapree’ Marshall), Overland Park, Kansas — A tech startup in the lodging industry, offering a solution to health care employees who are challenged with finding safe, affordable and convenient lodging for their mid-term rental needs.
- MedCurate (Ashley McClellan), Leawood, Kansas — Uber for healthcare staffing. The startup’s platform removes the middle-man — staffing agencies — to save health providers money and maximize on the ‘gig’ economy to create a qualified, adaptable health care workforce of the future.
- Mentor Mentee (Ryan Weber), Kansas City, Missouri — A specialized SAAS platform that supports employers and new technicians in their growth and career paths. Mentor Mentee’s platform is available via the web, iOS and Android.
- RJ Building Materials (Reda Ibrahim), Kansas City, Missouri — RJ Building Materials creates innovative construction materials from recycled plastic using proprietary formulations and pressing methods. Structural sheathing panels exhibit improved strength, durability and environmental friendliness.
- Tributum Tech (Christopher Small), Leawood, Kansas — A private market investment compliance platform with an initial focus on Section 1202 of the Internal Revenue Code (Qualified Small Business Stock).
The founder of RK Contractors — honored by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in 2022 — Reda Ibrahim’s new, but related innovation will get a direct boost from the funding.
“Digital Sandbox KC will allow us to obtain a hydraulic press and achieve full sized construction panels for demonstration and sales purposes,” said Ibrahim, founder and CEO of RJ Building Materials. “Utilizing recycled plastic in novel construction materials is a huge opportunity, allowing for more durable, flexible products and helps solve a huge environmental problem. The Sandbox is propelling the circular economy and helping our company grow.”
Companies like RJ Building Materials have demonstrated exceptional potential for growth and innovation, Meyer said, and their inclusion in the proof-of-concept program reflects Digital Sandbox KC’s commitment to fostering technological advancement and entrepreneurship in the region.
In addition to project funding, startups in the program gain access to the Technology Venture Studio community and technical project support.
Click here to submit an idea and pitch to Digital Sandbox KC.