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KCRise Fund Invests in Five Kansas City-area Companies

By Kate Hodel | Jun 20, 2017 |

Kansas City entrepreneurs work hard to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. But they can’t do it alone. They need the support of the community, guidance from business-building organizations and much needed capital from investors to amplify their efforts.  

We track capital available to early-stage entrepreneurs in our We Create Capital report and are excited to share with you the most recent news of Kansas City investors bolstering homegrown talent:

The KCRise Fund, a venture capital sidecar fund, was founded in early 2016 to encourage early stage investment in Kansas City-based companies. Today, their portfolio grew from five to ten area companies.

“The KCRise Fund has been a game changer when it comes to encouraging early stage investment in KC-based start-ups and entrepreneurs,” said Darcy A. Howe, managing director of the KCRise Fund. “With these five companies joining the portfolio, we believe we are really tapping into high quality deal flow that continues to exceed our expectations.”

Meet the five new companies that join existing portfolio companies blooom, Dunami, Innara Health, Pepper IoT, and SpiderOak:

ShotTracker applies motion pattern recognition algorithms, location sensing, and analytics to sports. The team receivedproof-of-concept funding from Digital Sandbox KC and has appeared on our watch list as a part of the We Create KC report for three years running.  

Learn more about ShotTracker.

SMRxT is a medication adherence company. Using its system, Nomi, data is captured from patients in real-time to monitor how they take their medication. “Through the investment from the KCRise Fund, we can empower more patients, help prevent failed therapy, and reduce unnecessary healthcare costs for our customers,” said Michael Huffer, RPh, MS and SMRxT president/CEO.

Learn more about SMRxT.

SquareOffs  is a social opinion platform that promotes meaningful conversation around content, increasing engagement and revenue for online publishers and brands. "We're thrilled to have the KCRise Fund involved as a local investment partner along with Leawood Ventures,” said Jeff Rohr, CEO of SquareOffs. “Darcy and team have been a key catalyst in the Kansas City investment community.”

Learn more about SquareOffs.

BacklotCars is a wholesale automotive marketplace. Through BacklotCars, auto dealers, auto finance, and rental car companies can liquidate and acquire used inventory without going to physical auto auctions.


“We are excited to have the KCRise Fund and Royal Street Ventures a part of BacklotCars’ most recent funding round,” said Justin Davis, CEO of BacklotCars. “As we aim to ignite innovation in an age-old industry, it feels great to have local support to help navigate those waters.”

Learn more about BacklotCars.

Bardavon Health Innovations is a provider of innovative technology, services, and solutions to the health care industry, specifically relating to worker’s compensation programs.


“We are excited to have an even better opportunity to network with the awesome Kansas City companies that make up the KCRise Fund,” said Matt Condon, CEO of Bardavon Health Innovations and longtime champion of Kansas City entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Bardavon Health Innovations.

To qualify s a KCRise Fund portfolio company, the company must have high growth potential, reside or have substantial operations between Manhattan, Kansas and Columbia, Missouri, be seeking at least $1 million in a Series A round and have an approved venture capital firm investor in the funding round.

Find funding to grow your Kansas City Business

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for early-stage funding, no matter the amount, submit your information to our CapitalMatch program and we will be in touch ASAP with the information you need to move your business (or idea) forward.