No Silly Apps Here: Meet the 10 Startups at SparkLabKC’s Demo Day

April 11, 2014

9:00 am

Today, Kansas City’s SparkLabKC is launching ten startups into the world at their second demo day.

Startups have been working out of SparkLabKC’s office since January, with access to mentorship and up to $18,000 in capital ($6,000 per founder). At demo day, they’ll be introduced by Kansas City mayor Sly James and pitching to a group of investors and community members.

SparkLabKC looks for startups in industries that thrive in the Kansas City region, including telecom, energy, health care, agriculture, and engineering. They launched last January and graduated their first class last August.

“We believe in a uniquely authentic Midwestern perspective about business, one that couples a tireless ‘can do’ attitude with uncommon vision,” their website says. “Our companies are focused on solving real, everyday problems,” says managing director Kevin Fryer.

As for the startup scene, Fryer says that Kansas City entrepreneurs benefit from accessible mentorship, strong tech talent, a reasonable cost of living, and more exposure. “There is a lot less noise in the marketplace. Startups can get heard in KC,” he says.

Here are the 10 graduating startups:

  • 1CapApp: An online service that provides real-time text captioning for things like courtroom trials and class lectures.
  • BuzzMeDo (Kansas City): A mobile marketing platform that lets retailers send location-based offers to customers in their vicinity.
  • LuckyOrange (Overland Park): A tool for driving website engagement, including real-time analytics, live chat, and recordings to see when and where visitors leave.
  • Life Equals (Kansas City): A one-for-one company that matches your purchase of vitamins with a donation of multivitamins to malnourished children. Led by CEO Kyle FitzGerald, they have donated over 250,000 vitamins so far.
  • UChic: An online community for young women headed to college, including articles, merchandise, and scholarships. Their mission is to support women in their educational and career goals.
  • Minute Movement (Kansas City): An exercise program for busy people, including short exercises and reminders about when to do them. Led by Aaron Wright, a motivational speaker, coach, and father of two.
  • Creelio (Kansas City): A content marketing platform for your business that offers you customized posts to put on your blog.
  • CouponCloud (Kansas City): A company that manages the whole coupon lifecycle to make it more convenient for retailers and manufacturers.
  • ToastyTote (Kansas City): A warm sports blanket that can also be used as a poncho, seat cushion, or chair carrier. Founded by a mother who was inspired by all the freezing parents at her son’s football games.
  • Hello Fearless: An online education platform and community to help women entrepreneurs succeed.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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