ScaleUP! Kansas City Reveals 8th Cohort of Business Owners

ScaleUP! Kansas City Reveals 8th Cohort of Business Owners

Here they are: The next 17 Kansas City business owners to join ScaleUP! Kansas City, an elite and intensive program that primes local business owners with the knowledge, tools and network to grow their businesses.

Like the seven cohorts of business owners before them, this new batch of small-business entrepreneurs is leading businesses across the Kansas City metro and represent varied industries, such as IT, wellness, distribution, landscaping, education, architecture and more.

“Year after year, we see that ScaleUP! KC is such a vital program for the city’s small-business owners—and you can see that in the numbers,” says Jill Meyer, program director of ScaleUP! KC. “Our ‘Scalers’ are creating jobs and giving our local economy a solid foundation. The program gives successful business owners the tools, time, direction, in-person coaching and peer group to help them find ways to grow their businesses.”

For four months, the ScaleUP! KC program immerses business owners in intensive training that connects them with subject-matter experts to give them the strategic perspective they need to grow.

Meet ScaleUP! Kansas City Cohort 8

Mollie Ahlers-Estes, Ahlers Building Maintenance Co., LLC, Lenexa, Kansas
Ahlers Building Maintenance Co., founded in 2000, is a commercial janitorial service provider that offers janitorial cleaning, floor care, window washing and day-porter services.

Henrik Andersen, Scandinavian Co-Op, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri
Scandinavian Co-Op is a specialty landscape contractor that installs hardscape projects—such as detached garages, patios and driveways—as well as solves erosion and drainage problems.

Angel Canady, Natural High Wellness Center, Leawood, Kansas
Natural High Wellness Center and Spa is Kansas City’s premiere holistic day spa offering an array of detoxifying and rejuvenating spa services and treatments, such as massage therapy, colon hydrotherapy and detox facials and bodywraps.

Kristen Christian, Bee Organized, LLC, Overland Park, Kansas
Bee Organized is a residential organizing company that provides unique, customized and sustainable organizing solutions, as well as concierge services and assistance and organizing support during major life transitions.

Brandon Dye, Dye Electric, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri
Dye Electric is an energy and electrical company. The Dye Electric team has 30 years of combined experience with building and designing efficient and reliable electrical systems.

Drew Ford, Kakkuro Suite, Overland Park, Kansas
Kakkuro Suite provides user-friendly business software for organizations to scale and grow their business. Kakkuro provides intuitive and customizable CRM, project management, inventory, accounting, reports and dashboard systems that are quick and easy to set up as a suite or a la carte.

Aaron Fulk, Lillian James Creative, Mission, Kansas
Lillian James Creative is a digital marketing agency that offers videography, photography, blogging, podcasts, design, social media, event promotion, SEO, reputation management, public relations, email, content, jingles, websites, paid online, social advertising and branding.

Kita Gandhi, B.I.C. Design Co., North Kansas City, Missouri
B.I.C. Design Co. is a family-owned and operated fire-protection engineering design firm. The company’s engineers are licensed in fire protection in eight states and have designed sprinkler systems for projects across the U.S. and worldwide. The design team has over 150 years of combined design experience.

William Gibson, Down to Earth Services, Kansas City, Missouri
Down to Earth Services preserves and restores of native plant communities. The company designs, builds and maintains landscapes and works with native plants and sustainable solutions. In 2015, the company partnered with Green Thumb Gardens to create a wholesale/retail nursery supplying native plants.

Christopher Martin, ProcureIT Network, LLC, Grain Valley, Missouri
ProcureIT Network, LLC is a procurement consulting organization that helps companies who unknowingly overspend on software and IT services. ProcureIT Network Software Concierge Service balances the scale by providing critical training and pricing transparency to any organization acquiring technology.

Phillip Martin, cfm Distributors, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri
cfm Distributors Inc. is an employee-owned, full-service wholesale distributor of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment and parts. The company partners with contractors and dealers to enhance business growth and development by providing best-in-class products, marketing, technical support, application assistance, training and the business resources to succeed.

Patricia McCreary, Margaret’s Place, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri
Margaret’s Place provides a clean, safe, fun and secure environment for retired and disabled communities. The company enriches participants’ lives through preventative wellness or exciting adult daycare activities to enhance independence, community fellowship and prevent feelings of depression and isolation. In addition, Margaret’s Place fundraises for nonprofits, provides networking opportunities for the urban core and offers other activities to create an inclusive environment.

Laurie Miller, Ross Miller Cleaners, Kansas City, Missouri
Ross Miller Cleaners, established in 1928, is a four-generation family-owned and operated quality dry-cleaning business. The three current retail locations offer delivery service throughout Kansas City, alterations, preservation, tailoring and quality service.

Lisa Schmitz, Lisa Schmitz Interior Design, Kansas City, Missouri
Lisa Schmitz Interior Design includes a talented team of interior designers who believe in creating spaces that capture the desires of their clients. The firm’s projects cover everything from new builds to remodels that honor the integrity of their original structures.

Amy Slattery, Odimo, Kansas City, Missouri
Odimo is an architecture design and consulting practice. The company focuses on higher education, innovative affordable housing and quality commercial work in the urban core and in rural communities.

Shantelle Tomlin, Tomlin Academy, Kansas City, Missouri
Tomlin Academy, founded in 2008, is a preschool that serves scholars throughout the Kansas City metro and provides scholars an opportunity to receive a diverse, rigorous and engaging education. The academy offers a program committed to growing innovative minds, preparing scholars for kindergarten and building relationships in the community.

Kirby Virden, Maxim Outdoor Signs, Overland Park, Kansas
Maxim Outdoor Signs serves local Kansas City business owners and managers who need new or replacement signage for their business or nonprofit storefront or roadside signage. The company offers design, engineering, project management and permitting services, which give customers a no-hassle, turnkey buying experience.


ScaleUP! KC alums: Where are they now?

ScaleUP! KC has already helped more than 100 businesses. Alumni have expanded their facilities, opened new offices and locations, launched new products and discovered new markets. Here are just a few examples:

Assel Grant Services has increased revenues by 77 percent since graduating in 2017—and it’s doubled its staff from seven to 14 employees.

Crum Cleaning is moving its operations to North Kansas City’s Design Werx this fall.

Excel Lighting and Sign spun off LED Direct, LLC as a separate business and now has a location in Kansas City and Wichita, Kansas.

Fresh Approach Cleaning Professional’s Sharon Auck was elected as secretary for the board of Street Medicine Kansas City, an organization dedicated to helping Kansas City’s homeless population.

Friend that Cooks is expanding to the Washington, D.C., market starting in October. It’s also grown its ranks to 45 employees.

Magnolia’s opened a new venue in a historic property in Shawnee, Kansas.

Maps Coffee Roasters + Maps Chocolate has partnered with CommuniTea to launch its first full complement of caffeinated offerings.

Midwest Comfort Homes is looking at more than a 350 percent increase in sales this year. And look out for the company on the newsstands—more to come on that later.

Novella Brandhouse recently won 5 AMPS awards from the Social Media Club of Kansas City for excellence in social media and content marketing. Additionally, the team earned two Quills awards from the International Association of Business Communicators for website design and events marketing projects.

Nunez Marble and Tile has received financing to build out its offices and expand services.

Onspring has grown 2,200 percent in revenue and 1,300 percent in customers (yes, that’s 22 times more and 13 times more, respectively) since ScaleUP! KC—all by focusing pricing strategies on value. In the past several months, the company added six new employees—and offered three times the benefits.

The Running Well Store opened its third location in Mission, Kansas.

Sage Restorations’ Stephanie Sage was selected as a national finalist for the National Association of Women Business Owners’ 2018 Woman-Owned Business of the Year.

Stratex Solutions was accepted into the fall cohort of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and landed a new contract for further deployment of Stratex software in Kansas City.

SouveNEAR is in the Bay Area with a new kiosk in the Salesforce Transit Center.

The Sundry just hired a top-tier chef to spice up the eatery’s culinary offerings.


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