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Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

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Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

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Josh Lewis of UpDown Nightlife Cropped

Getting down with UpDown Nightlife

Getting Down with UpDown Nightlife

UpDown Nightlife
Joshua I. Lewis | Kansas City, Mo. | Innovation Led

Like a natural entrepreneur, when Joshua Lewis saw an opportunity to fix a problem, he went for it.

Known by his friends as the go-to person for nightclub guest lists and bottle service, Joshua decided to bypass all of the texting and messaging by creating an app called UpDown Nightlife that streamlines the entire nightclub experience.

It’s Friday night, where is everyone at? Using his app, you can see where all of Kansas City’s hotspots (and which places to avoid).

Read below what Joshua has to say about using Kansas City’s resources (think Digital Sandbox) and his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

How did you overcome your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has yet to come, we want to expand nationally so we have a lot of work on our plate moving forward. The BIG test has yet to come.

Who helped you?
Digital Sandbox KC helped us tremendously with funding and learning lots of information through FastTrac classes. It gave me a great feel going forward about what’s important about a business.

How did you get connected with Digital Sandbox?
I got involved with KCSourceLink over a year ago and with all the resources they provided I came across the Digital Sandbox opportunity.

How has Digital Sandbox helped you?
I had the opportunity to pitch to Digital Sandbox and their feedback was tremendously helpful. 
The Digital Sandbox panel asked several questions about things that were most important to my business model that I had never been asked. It helped me going forward knowing what we need to tweak to be the best mobile nightlife app around.

What has been some of the struggles you and your team has gone through with creating and launching UpDown Nightlife?
The only issue I would say we have encountered is deciding when to launch. I’m a firm believer in timing so we went back and forth on when to make the app available to the market, but with the help of Digital Sandbox I think we have come to an agreement as a team.

How easy or hard has it been for you to find funding?
It’s always hard to create or find funding. We have had lots of issues doing so, but I always say if you have a team that believes in the idea and product then your startup will make it through.

What has been your biggest triumph so far?
The biggest triumph has been keeping the brand intriguing until the launch, it’s a constant battle to keep people excited about something they can’t get their hands on yet.

What's your best advice for a startup?
Build a team who truly believes in the brand and product, because when things get tough those are the people who will continue to push forward.

What makes Kansas City a great place to start and grow a business?
Kansas City is so small, yet so big. It’s a good market to test your product and get real life feedback faster than most major cities.

What are your favorite buzz-worthy Kansas City brands? Who gets it?
I would have to go with KC Crew at this moment. They are making a lot of noise in KC. They seem to know how to market their brand the right way and continue to keep the buzz going.

Get social with UpDown Nightlife
Facebook: UpDownNightlife
Twitter: @updownnightlife
Instagram: @updownnightlife

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