ScaleUP! KC Announces 10th Cohort of Scaling Kansas City Business Owners

The ScaleUP! Kansas City program is in its fifth year and is ready to debut its 10th cohort of 17 companies who will get the coaching, perspective and connections to scale and create new jobs, open new locations and strengthen the economy in the Kansas City region.

Like the previous nine cohorts of business owners, these newest scaling entrepreneurs lead small businesses across the area and represent diverse industries, such as software, health, transportation, design, tech, food, inspection, sales and more.

ScaleUP! KC, which is able to thrive because of support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the City of Kansas City, Missouri, will officially introduce the newest cohort to the community at a reception on Feb. 20, 2020.

“Looking back after 10 cohorts and five years, it’s amazing to see how ScaleUP! Kansas City transforms these business owners; it changes how they approach their business and equips them to reach that elusive next level,” says Jill Hathaway, program director of ScaleUP! KC. “This program demonstrates over and over that you can not only start a business in Kansas City, but also that you can get all the tools, coaching, perspective and inspiration you need to scale it here. The 10th cohort continues that tradition.”


Including this newest cohort, 160 Kansas City business owners have participated in this selective program offered at no cost to participants. Over 16 weeks, the program helps them create the processes, strategies and long-term plans to not only grow but also to scale their businesses. Winning awards, increasing revenue and growing the company are common headline-grabbing results of the entrepreneurs who complete ScaleUP! KC.

ScaleUP! Kansas City alum Travis Thonen of Midwest Comfort Homes says the program helped him realize that he should shutter the electrical operations side of his business so he could focus on restoration.

“It was the best decision I’ve ever made for my company,” Thonen says. “Over the past three years, we’ve averaged 278% growth, and we’re poised to top that figure going forward.”

Among the list of honors, Thonen’s company ranked No. 4 on Ingram’s latest Corporate 100 and boasted an 800% increase in gross revenue from 2015 to 2018. Hathaway says that’s just one real-world success story of the ScaleUP! KC program.

“Companies we’ve worked with in the past make headlines, create jobs and are key parts of the engine that drives the economy in the Kansas City region,” Hathaway says. “It’s an honor to guide them on their journey and to give this newest select group of elite business leaders what they need to take their operations to new heights.”

Announcing Cohort 10

The 10th ScaleUP! Kansas City cohort includes:

Edna Adelusola – SERVPRO of Platte County, Riverside, Missouri
SERVPRO of Platte County serves residential and commercial customers. It specializes in fire, smoke and soot cleanup; water damage; mold; carpet and upholstery cleaning; and more.

Ifrah Ali – Prime Transportation LLC, Kansas City, Missouri
Prime Transportation LLC is a logistics and transportation company. Founded in 2014, the company operates in 28 states and focuses on the Kansas City region and the Midwest.

Sarah Beshears – Common Design, Kansas City, Missouri
Common Design is a design and marketing firm. Founded in 2009, the company builds and extends brand systems and experiences that encourage connection.

Chris Dennis – GivePet, Overland Park, Kansas
GivePet is a premium dog-treat company. Founded in 2016, the company also provides enough treats for at least 10 shelter dogs with every bag of GivePet treats purchased.

Meghan Dudek – Benson Method, Overland Park, Kansas
Benson Method is a principle-led project management and commercial interior design firm that develops customized solutions to implement each client’s vision.

Mike Foster – Lazser Down, Raytown, Missouri
Lazser Down is a football down-marker system that displays real-time down and distance measurements.

Angie Gaebler – STRATA Architecture Inc., Kansas City, Missouri
STRATA Architecture Inc. is a full-service, woman-owned architecture firm. The company is regionally recognized for historic preservation and offers a range of consulting services.

David Lindell – SETWorks, North Kansas City, Missouri
SETWorks electronically manages every aspect from referral to billing for agencies that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Toyia Mays – The Laya Center, Kansas City, Missouri
The Laya Center is a holistic wellness hub that offers a natural alternative to chronic illness and pain management with a spa environment.

Patrick Montgomery – KC Cattle Co., Weston, Missouri
KC Cattle Co. is a 100% veteran-owned and veteran-operated business that sells high-quality Wagyu beef to all 50 states.

Rani Navarro-Force – The Marie Antoinette Gluten Free Baking Co., Wathena, Kansas
The Marie Antoinette Gluten Free Baking Co. is an artisan gluten-free food manufacturing company that wholesales to over 200 retail stores in eight states.

Anthony Olson – Neighborhood Cafe, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Neighborhood Cafe is a family-owned homestyle restaurant concept in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and the Waldo neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mindy Rocha – CJ Industries LLC, Kansas City, Kansas
CJ Industries LLC is a general, mechanical, millwright and plumbing construction firm. Founded in 2013, the company is a union contractor that is a signatory to thousands of locals.

Steve Rodriguez – Bulldog Professional Inspection Services, Raymore, Missouri
Bulldog Professional Inspection Services is a leading Kansas City home-inspection firm. Founded in 2010, the company has performed over 10,000 home inspections.

Matt Sellers – Rack Performance, Overland Park, Kansas
Rack Performance is an easy-to-use software platform that lets coaches optimize their performance-training programs.

Aaron Thomas – GearBrokers, Kansas City, Missouri
GearBrokers is a reverse logistics asset recovery company that deals and brokers an array of electronic hardware from popular brands.

AnnMarie Willis – Leverage Lab, Kansas City, Missouri
Leverage Lab is a first-party data-centric marketing agency. Founded in 2017, the company helps clients leverage data to create more personalized experiences.

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