News Release: LaunchKC advances 20 entrepreneurs to competition finals

In Uncategorizedby edckcadmin

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Sept. 4, 2018 – LaunchKC today revealed 20 finalists for its fourth annual grants competition for tech entrepreneurs.

LaunchKC attracts hundreds of tech entrepreneurs each year – including a 32 percent increase and a near-record 586 applicants this year – to compete for cash grants and an opportunity to build and grow their new businesses in Kansas City.

The 20 entrepreneurs will be in Kansas City in five weeks to compete for non-dilutive grants on Friday, Oct. 12, during LaunchKC Pitch Day on the final day of the Techweek Kansas City conference at Union Station.

This year’s finalists include 12 from the Kansas City metropolitan area; another seven from six different U.S. states; and one international business from Israel.

“It was a robust year for applications and strong applicants,” said Drew Solomon, senior vice president of business and job development for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and competition chair for LaunchKC. “We put our panel of judges to the test as they thoroughly evaluated each application over the last five weeks.”

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the Economic Development Corporation.

LaunchKC is a national grants competition designed to attract tech entrepreneurs to compete for non-dilutive grants and the opportunity to build their new and emerging tech businesses in Kansas City, Missouri.

“LaunchKC has attracted more than 2,100 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our four years of competitions,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “When we award the next round of grants on Oct. 12, we will reach the $2 million mark in awards.”

Today’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 586 applicants to the 20 finalists announced today.

The finalists (listed alphabetically by company name, current location and business type) for the LaunchKC grants competition include:

  • AgVoice – Atlanta, Ga. – Ag Tech
  • Bluepoint2 – Leawood, Kan. – Health Tech
  • Boddle Learning – Kansas City, Mo. – Ed Tech
  • Bungii – Overland Park, Kan. – Mobile Technology
  • Case Helper – Kansas City, Mo. – Cloud Services
  • Digs – Chicago, Ill. – Fin Tech
  • Erkios Systems – Kansas City, Mo. – Network Security
  • Just Play Sports Solutions – Lawrence, Kan. – Cloud Services
  • Listing, LLC – Kansas City, Mo. – Real Estate Tech
  • MindSport – Overland Park, Kan. – Health Tech
  • Motega Health – Lawrence, Kan. – Health Tech
  • OpenCities – Kansas City, Mo. – Cloud Services
  • PlaBook – Kansas City, Mo. – Ed Tech
  • Project Ray – Yokneam, Israel – Mobile Technology
  • Realquantum – Overland Park, Kan. – Fin Tech
  • Ripe.io – San Francisco, Calif. – Ag Tech
  • SaRA Health – Kansas City, Mo. – Health Tech
  • SmartBridge – Bethesda, Md. – Health Tech
  • Strayos – St. Louis, Mo. – Data Analytics
  • Venture360 – Lee’s Summit, Mo. – Fin Tech

In addition to cash grants, finalists are competiting for a network of business startup support, including industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

“LaunchKC is built to be an economic game-changer in Kansas City by supporting start-up businesses, creating jobs, attracting talent, unlocking value and engaging follow-on investors,” Hurd said.