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A collage of Digital Sandbox KC recipients for the 4th quarter

Latest Digital Sandbox KC Companies Reflect Diversity of Entrepreneurs in Kansas City


Digital Sandbox KC has selected four companies for its next round of proof-of-concept support for the quarter, continuing its commitment to fuel innovation in the Kansas City community.

“Even as entrepreneurs are navigating a lot of obstacles right now, we want to continue to provide vital early-stage project funding to help local companies thrive,” says Jill Meyer, senior director of the Technology Ventures Studio at the UMKC Innovation Center.

Since its inception in 2013, Digital Sandbox KC has provided project development funding for 133 area startups, which has spurred more than $90 million in follow-on funding.

Digital Sandbox KC is a proof-of-concept program that significantly and rapidly moves early-stage entrepreneurs from concept to commercialization. It is a unique collaboration among private, public, university/research and philanthropic organizations.

The companies selected for funding support this quarter come from both sides of the state line. Three are based in Kansas City, Missouri, and one is located in Overland Park, Kansas; all exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that’s typical of Sandbox companies.

“These newest selections also reflect the diversity of entrepreneurs in Kansas City and in the Sandbox,” Meyer adds. “We’ve always been keenly aware of the inequities in the tech ecosystem, especially for entrepreneurs of color. Digital Sandbox KC has a strategic role to play, not only in advancing early-stage ideas but also in helping improve access to resources, experts and funding for entrepreneurs who have been traditionally and historically under-represented in the tech space. We have and will continue to work with our entrepreneurship and corporate partners to build a better, more inclusive ecosystem.”

The latest four companies selected for Sandbox support include ...

MatchRite Care, Kansas City, Mo., Christopher Jones

MatchRite Care delivers personal health records to patients in a simple and clean format. Customers can access, store and manage their medical records from multiple providers, all in one software platform. Additionally, MatchRite's patient-facing platform will allow future health care technologies to connect with patients and achieve true interoperability.

“With the Digital Sandbox KC funding, MatchRite Care will be able to finish development on our health care software and move quickly to our pilot phase,” says founder Christopher Jones. “Because we are in the ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 era, it is a necessity for patients to have immediate access to their health records.”

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PANDA Healthcare Technologies, Kansas City, Mo., Jeff Blackwood

PANDA Healthcare Technologies is the world's first tool for an objective, biometric measure of the presence of autism in children as young as 12 to 18 months. With PANDA, universal screening for autism can finally become a reality and ensure that more children get the therapy care they need early in life.

“Digital Sandbox KC is giving PANDA an incredible opportunity to dramatically cut the time it takes for an autism diagnosis,” says Jeff Blackwood, founder and CEO. “With this funding, PANDA will develop a functional proof of concept, acquiring the same biometric measures used in university studies that indicate the presence of autism in a matter of moments, rather than months of observation.

“This project, fueled by the funding from the Sandbox, is likely the first step in drawing significant research funding to the area in support of PANDA, furthering the important work being done in autism research around Kansas City.”

Team Cura, Overland Park, Kansas, Rob Hughey and Karen Hughey

Team Cura’s Skills Beyond Drills℠ online training helps high-achieving high school and college athletes broaden their performance training to include character-driven interpersonal skills.  Student athletes benefit from attaining their competitive advantage on and off the field.

“The Digital Sandbox KC grant will enable us to significantly improve the user experience and results with individual training plans, performance tracking, data analytics and more,” says co-founder Karen Hughey.

The Vendors Assistant, Kansas City, Missouri, Juaquan Herron and Rodney McDuffie II

Started by the founders of 2923 Comics, The Vendors Assistant is a tech application that helps everyday entrepreneurs turn their passion into a strategic business and allows small non-enterprise businesses to locate and book vending opportunities, secure travel accommodations and track expenses so they can strategically sell at events.

"Digital Sandbox KC gave our business an opportunity that will take our company to the next level,” says co-founder Juaquan Herron. “This funding will allow us to create a beacon of light to other entrepreneurs in the future."

Find out more about Digital Sandbox KC here.

Find out about more opportunities for your innovative business (or tech startup idea). Just give us here at KCSourceLink a call at 816-235-6500 or sign up to chat one-on-one with a Network Navigator. We'll chat with you to see what your business needs and connect you with the right resources (there are 240+ in KC) to help start or grow your business.

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