Kansas City Watch List 2018: Startups and Scaling Businesses

Kansas City Watch List 2018: Startups and Scaling Businesses

For five years running, we’ve kept the Watch List of KC startups and growing companies, those companies that are turning ideas into sought after businesses.

Companies on the KC Watch List received funding, grant or investment, in 2016 and 2017, or two investments or grants in 2017. We keep a rolling tally of companies who received funding in our monthly Show Me the Money series, along with other benchmarks that are helping us progress toward becoming America’s most entrepreneurial city.

So keep an eye on these KC companies—they look to be going someplace:

Big Bang
Kansas City, Missouri

Big Bang is a platform for developing real-time applications for mobile devices, desktops and the Internet of Things. With Big Bang’s SDKs and APIs, developers can create low-latency, real-time applications without worrying about servers or infrastructure.

Kansas City, Missouri

Billdrill is an independent growing database from anonymous users and their bill submissions. These submissions are completely user based from around the United States and allow other users to compare how much they are paying, or should be for a service.


Leawood, Kansas

blooom is a low-cost, online platform created to help improve the way average Americans manage their 401(k) retirement plans. This is their third consecutive year on the watch list and they were featured in the 2016 We Create KC report.

Overland Park, Kansas

Reviewing and comparing insurance claims is onerous and time-consuming. ClaimKit’s product, RiskGenius, simplifies the process for insurance professionals and their customers using machine learning and natural language processing. No artificial intelligence needed to know this is their third year on the Watch List.

Drones 4 Hire
Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Drones4Hire is a drone hiring platform that connects licensed professional drone pilots to those who need them, created to help clients locate the best drone pilots in their area.

ELIAS Animal Health
Olathe, Kansas

One in four dogs will develop cancer in their lifetime. ELIAS Animal Health is elevating the hope of veterinarians and pet owners alike by changing the way cancer is fundamentally treated. ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy (ECI™) harnesses the power of the dog’s own immune system to eliminate the cancer. This is their third time on the Watch List.

Kansas City, Missouri

In 2017, FEWDM dropped their high-tech fitness devices and pivoted to selling workout apparel. They made this decision based on the strength of their brand and will continue to rally customers around their tagline, For Everybody Who Doubts Me. Co-founders Tommy and Kacey Saunders were featured in our fourth annual We Create KC report.  

Flow Forward Medical, Inc.
Fairway, Kansas

Flow Forward is developing a novel approach to rapidly establish high-quality vascular access sites for hemodialysis. The goal of their Arteriovenous Fistula Eligibility (AFE) System™ is to make hemodialysis more successful for patients and doctors alike.

H3 Enterprises
Kansas City, Missouri

Healthy Hip Hop (H3) Enterprise is an edtech company powered by the arts, entertainment and social interaction. Known by some as the Sesame Street of 21st century, H3 Enterprise has gained a tremendous amount from KC’s entrepreneurial ecosystem after a disappointing Shark Tank experience. Read their story.  

Hidden Abilities, LLC   
Lawrence, Kansas

Hidden Abilities creates assistive technology for people with learning disabilities, beginning with the Read ‘n Style pen, their first product which scans text and reads it aloud for people with dyslexia.

Lawrence, Kansas

This is HylaPharm’s fourth year on the Watch List and is a university spinout company developing cancer chemotherapies targeted for potentially deadly, locally advanced cancers that affect nearly 200,000 Americans each year.

ImpeDx Diagnostics
Kansas City, Missouri area

ImpeDx Diagnostics has secured exclusive rights to develop and market a novel system for rapidly detecting bacteria in blood culture specimens for use in clinical laboratories. Their mission is to reduce the mortality rate of septic patients by providing rapid diagnostic products.

Idle Smart
Kansas City, Kansas

Idle Smart is an automated engine start-stop solution for truck fleets that reduces overnight idle time, provides year-round cabin comfort and maintains fleet uptime by keeping batteries charged and engines warm.

Kansas City, Kansas

LendingStandard creates an open, but secure online environment where organizations can request, receive, edit and collaborate on all the information and documentation required to finance a commercial  transaction. This is their fifth year on the Watch List, a testament to their growth and stamina.

Livestock Lens
Olathe, Kansas

LivestockLens provides applications for individual livestock management and helps farms increase profits from their existing operations. Currently, most livestock animals are managed as a group leading to suboptimal results.

Metactive Medical, LLC
Olathe, Kansas

Metactive is developing novel, endovascular medical devices for the treatment of neurovascular and peripheral vascular diseases. Metactive’s versatile metal balloon technology has multiple product applications.

Mobility Designed
Kansas City, Missouri

Founders Liliana and Max Younger have leaned on many organizations in KC’s entrepreneurial community to grow Mobility Designed to where it is today. Their first product, the ergonomical and comfortable M + D Crutch, took off after a viral video. And now their business is set to do the same with a new CEO. This is their third year on the Watch List and they were featured in year two of our We Create KC report.

Kansas City, Missouri

MusicSpoke is building the world’s largest marketplace for artist owned sheet music. They allow composers to retain their copyrights and provide commissions on every sell. In 2017, MusicSpoke received grants from LaunchKC and Digital Sandbox KC

Kansas City, Missouri

A Techstars company and 2016 LaunchKC recipient, Mycroft is an open source artificial intelligence voice assistant that can be used in a wide range of products in many different industries. Their mission is to democratize AI and voice, giving anyone access to the technology that will soon be an integral part of their lives.

Orbis Biosciences, Inc.
Lenexa, Kansas

Orbis Biosciences, Inc. provides controlled-release delivery technologies to create revolutionary pharmaceutical products that are safer and more effective than existing treatment options.

Kansas City, Kansas

OssiFi is focused on developing the next generation of bone graft substitutes to stimulate fracture repair, reduce the rate of delayed or non-unions and accelerate return to function.

OYO Fitness
Kansas City, Missouri

OYO Fitness develops and markets portable fitness equipment. The OYO Personal Gym is a total body portable gym that features SpiraFlex resistance technology developed for NASA astronauts to strength train on the International Space Station.

Kansas City, Missouri

Pepper is an Internet of Things platform and service provider that enables other brands to easily enter the smart home and automation space. The company brings intelligent control and seamless interactions to a variety of connected IoT devices.

Kansas City, Missouri

PerfectCube is a data analysis tool designed to give small retail businesses meaningful data about their business and tell them what to do with it. Small retail stores don’t have the resources of large franchise systems or chain stores. PerfectCube aims to change that.

Kansas City, Missouri

PopBookings is an online software for event and promotional staffing agencies that makes the process of booking and communicating with event staff simple by streamlining every step on one easy platform. This is their fourth year on the Watch List.

PlanIT Impact
Kansas City, Missouri

PlanIT Impact is a cloud-based web application that allows architects, designers, engineers, developers and planners to better understand—at the earliest stages of the design process—how a building or respective area will impact the environment.

Kansas City, Missouri

PreScreend is the leading provider of on-demand background screens, offering a complete suite of solutions that allow customers to mitigate risk, minimize reporting errors and make a more informed decision.

Merriam, Kansas

ShotTracker improves the performance of competitive athletes by bringing elite level analytics to the masses. Their latest innovation, ShotTracker TEAM, captures real-time practice and game stats for basketball teams. This is their fourth year on the Watch List.

Site 1001
Kansas City, Missouri

Site 1001 is an advanced facilities management platform that uses core building information, building systems and sensor data in combination with artificial intelligence to put the “smart” in “smart buildings.” The company is a spin off of JE Dunn Construction.

Super Dispatch
Kansas City, Missouri

Super Dispatch is a mobile platform that helps transportation companies eliminate paperwork, manage fleets, track shipments and integrate with existing software systems. Their next goal is to help those looking for haulers connect with truckers, digitally.

Lawrence, Kansas

Tapyness is the quickly deployed customer feedback solution that market leaders across service sectors use to get instant clarity, rapidly identify sources of dissatisfaction, and build customer loyalty.

Toss It Curbside, Inc.
St. Joseph, Missouri

Toss It Curbside provides professional removal services for unwanted items and coordinates delivery to local donation or recycle centers, leaving very little for the landfill. They received proof-of-concept funding from the St. Joseph Digital Sandbox program in 2017.

Training for REAL
Kansas City, Missouri

Training for Real provides consultations and training programs to help their customers succeed in the ever-changing hospitality business. Their team has years of experience in the industry and provides customized solutions.

Vector Legal Method
Kansas City, Missouri

Vector Legal Method is  a software-as-a-service case management solution for the litigation industry. Designed for lawyers by lawyers, Vector is the first true bridge between corporations and their outside counsel.  

Kansas City, Missouri

Formerly CasaIQ, Zego is the premier smart amenity platform for apartments. The flagship Zego® “Smart Apartment” is a turnkey package that allows any apartment to provide a luxury smart amenity for their residents.


Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *