KCSourceLink Kansas City Watch List 2022-23: Startups and Scaling BusinessesDavid Cawthon
Are you watching this list of Kansas City startups and scaling companies? These innovative startups are turning ideas, passions and dreams into great businesses … and on top of all that, they’re pivoting and innovating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only did every company on the KCSourceLink Watch List for 2022-23 receive equity funding or grants in 2020 and 2021, or two investments or grants in 2021, but many also pivoted and shifted to fill a much-needed niche.
By the way, we monitor benchmarks that are helping Kansas City support entrepreneurship and new business creation with our annual WeCreate reports. Among these reports, WeCreate Capital tracks and monitors KC’s capital landscape to help improve entrepreneurs’ access to that capital as well as resources to help them find funding and leverage opportunities to pitch their company. And KCInvestED helps educate investors and funders about the opportunities to invest in early-stage Kansas City companies, like those in this Watch List.
Plus, we asked every company on the Watch List for information about their biggest moves in 2022, so you’re getting this information straight from the source. Know that this list isn’t a ranking, but it does highlight some of KC’s stellar new companies and KCSourceLink Watch List veterans and the amazing things they are doing to innovate, adapt and pioneer during the pandemic. This year, four companies are newcomers to the Watch List and are featured alongside five repeat businesses. One company has even appeared for a record eight times on the list.
Many of these companies have used the KCSourceLink network to help give them lift. They might’ve used the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center for help with SBIR grants. Several are alums of Digital Sandbox KC, ScaleUP! KC and Pipeline Entrepreneurs. Others worked with coaches and mentors in LEANLAB Education, UMKC Entrepreneurship Scholars, Kansas Small Business Development Center, T-Mobile Accelerator, LaunchKC, KC Collective, the Missouri Technical Corporation, among many others.
There are even more organizations in the KCSourceLink network that helped these entrepreneurs and many, many others. Explore the Resource Rail and see who can help you along your entrepreneurial journey, no matter if you’re an innovative startup, a Main Street mainstay or a small, single-owner microenterprise. And just give us a call at 816-235-6500 or tell us what your business needs online, and we’ll craft your Personal Action Plan—your personal set of next steps and the organizations that can help.
So make sure you remember these KC startups and scaling businesses who are leveraging opportunities and KCSourceLink Resource Partners to put their name on the map, provide help where it’s most needed and elevate Kansas City.
Approach App by Tile Five
Founders and leadership: Andrew Potter, Luke Lim
Approach is a point-of-sale CRM focused for multi-location health and wellness facilities, such as climbing gyms, fitness and yoga studios.
The company experienced a lack of sales growth during the pandemic, which gave the founders an opportunity to build a better product. When gyms were prospering again, Approach was ready to capture the market. Founder Luke Lim says the company is on track to triple revenue in 2023.
This is the company’s first year on the KCSourceLink Watch List.
Kansas City, Kansas
Founders and leadership: David Roberson; Stephen Bolton; Meredith Sellers
With a team of experts, proven processes and automated technology, AZELLA develops customized marketing and brand solutions that help independent financial advisors grow and optimize their businesses. After a client answers a series of questions, AZELLA creates their logo, colors, imagery, dynamic website, audience analysis and key messaging. By connecting social media and customer relationship management, the startup helps financial advisors create campaigns and publish relevant content on their websites and social platforms with the click of a button.
Founded in 2020, the company has participated in Digital Sandbox KC and received funding from organizations such as the UMKC Innovation Center’s Technology Venture Studio and the KC Collective Fountain Innovation Fund, as well as, venture capitalist/angel investor Vercie Lark.
This is AZELLA’s first year on the KCSourceLink Watch List.
Kansas City, Missouri
Founders and leadership: John Bertrand; Ryan Rosenbaum
Daupler simplifies the way people communicate with local government and utilities. The company’s software and artificial intelligence triages issues in the community, dispatches staff, documents response data and engages citizens throughout the process. Serving populations from 300 to over 1 million, the platform can provide value to cities of all sizes.
Daupler is not only ensuring equitable distribution of city services, but the startup also is bridging operational gaps by integrating with legacy software systems. Daupler continues to expand rapidly and is now deployed in approximately 200 organizations across the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
This is Daupler’s third year on the KCSourceLink Watch List.
Founders and leadership: Harold Hess; Diana Greenberg
Enduralock offers next-generation fastening technologies that enhance assembly and maintenance times for defense, aerospace and other industries. The company’s projects include improving flight line maintenance times on military heavy bombers and transport aircraft, advancing assembly times of missiles and developing an electrical and mechanical connector to robotically assemble satellites in space.
In May 2022, Enduralock won the inaugural Small Business Administration competition for national security and defense. Since February 2021, Enduralock has earned three Air Force Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contracts, four Air Force Phase II SBIR contracts and a Space Force Small Business Technology Transfer contract.
This is Enduralock’s second time on the KCSourceLink Watch List.
PlanIT Impact Inc.
Kansas City, Missouri
Founders and leadership: Brett Krug; Dominique Davison; Brian Corn; Terry Dunn; Phil Bernstein
PlanIT Impact is a powerful building analysis SaaS platform. Its technology delivers faster and easier cost-benefit insights for maximum energy, stormwater and water savings for the architecture, engineering, construction and commercial real estate industries.
Since 2019, the company has hired key team members who are experts in the field, curated an elite advisory board of local and national industry leaders and made key investments in technology, including a public API that allows for integration into existing enterprise solutions. In 2020, PlanIT Impact unveiled new features on its building analytics software program to help architects, engineers, developers and property managers design and build greener structures.
This is PlanIT Impact’s sixth year in a row on the KCSourceLink Watch List since 2017.
PMI Rate Pro
Overland Park, Kansas
Founder: Nomi Smith
PMI Rate Pro helps future homebuyers save money on their mortgage payments.. PMI Rate Pro provides a tool for mortgage loan officers to instantly compare private mortgage insurance from all the national providers. PMI Rate Pro uses the “Kayak” model for mortgage insurance, which saves time for loan officers using the platform and ensures they provide the least expensive insurance option to homebuyers.
The company launched during the pandemic and has successfully grown its customer base. Now, its team of seven employees is working with some of the largest mortgage lenders and wholesalers in the country. PMI Rate Pro has helped homeowners save money by comparing mortgage insurance while interest rates have gone up.
This is PMI Rate Pro’s second year on the KCSourceLink Watch List.
Founders and leadership: Bruce Ianni; Davyeon Ross
ShotTracker is a sensor-based technology that provides comprehensive real-time stats and analytics to players, coaches and fans in practice and live games. ShotTracker consists of a player sensor, a sensor integrated into the ball (Spalding, Wilson, Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Baden and Molten) and court sensors placed in the arena. These sensors work together to provide data of the player and the ball in real time. ShotTracker also provides basketball statistics and analytics, including every stat in a box score in real time.
In 2018, ShotTracker partnered with the NCAA National Associations of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame classic for the first-ever NCAA basketball games with tech on the bench. ShotTracker also has great customers, including the University of Kansas, Baylor University, Kansas State University, University of Kentucky, University of Oklahoma, Marquette University, University of Nebraska and many others.
In 2021, ShotTracker raised $11 million in financing from Evertz Technologies Limited and Verizon Ventures. It says it will use the fund to fuel deploying its tech across the Power 6 NCAA basketball conferences.
ShotTracker has the longest streak on the KCSourceLink Watch List, appearing eight times in a row since 2015.
Kansas City, Missouri
Founders and leadership: Greg Storm; Riddhiman Das
TripleBlind software protects the privacy of data while also making it available for collaborations with others. Since its founding in 2019, the company has grown from a big idea to a well-funded enterprise, thanks to support from Digital Sandbox KC and partnerships with Accenture, Mayo Clinic and General Catalyst.
Now, companies are empowered to access sensitive data in the most private and secure setting ever, thanks to TripleBlind. The venture’s solutions have helped fight the spread of COVID-19, facilitate important medical research and demonstrate advanced monitoring to prevent money laundering, among other things. Now, the team is working to support next-generation AI algorithms.
This is TripleBlind’s first year on the KCSourceLink Watch List.
Kansas City, Missouri
Founders and leadership: Jordan Williams, Julian Taylor, Wasim Irshad
Veeper is a plug-in that auto-applies the smallest discount that gets each online shopper to buy more at retailers.
In the past year, the company has launched its beta Shopify app, raised a pre-seed round and grown the team to 10 people.
This is Veeper’s first year on the KCSourceLink Watch List.
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