On June 20, 2016, in the National World War I Museum in Downtown Kansas City, BetaBlox and Launch KC held their fifth annual Demo Day event. The event featured the accelerator program’s most successful and promising startups. Ten up-and-coming businesses were each given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to potential investors, community leaders, supporters and peers to approximately 1,000 attendees, which is the maximum number of people the event can host.
The primary objective of Demo Day was to provide guidance and insight to these budding entrepreneurs, many of whom have already seen success but still need mentorship in other areas. The startups pitched their businesses on the stage and presented what they had been working on, revenue generated and progress made so far with their businesses.
Demo Day also holds a panel of successful business owners to give the entrepreneurs insight into how they started their business in the digital age and conveyed some tips on how to avoid some simple mistakes. The panel was hosted by Valerie Jennings, CEO of JSMM+VBM and panelists included Neelima Parasker, founder and CEO of SnapIt Solutions; Hannah Rues, founder and CEO of Concierge Care, Inc.; and Jayme Thomason, founder and Chief Strategist at Brink Insights.
The event was facilitated by BetaBlox and LaunchKC. BetaBlox, an incubator based out of Kansas City, Mo. BetaBlox invests into the person as much as the business as they don’t charge upfront cash, but instead investors ask for five percent equity of the company. Their mission is to make your startup successful and you are only charged when your company reaches a liquidation event.
LaunchKC is similar in some aspects. LaunchKC is designed to attract tech entrepreneurs from locally, regionally and nationally to compete for 10 $50,000 non-dilutive grants. Like BetaBlox, LaunchKC also offers mentorship, work space and access to advisors to answer questions about marketing, legalities, and finances. LaunchKC refers to itself as: “A mashup of new ideas and American creativity — an intersection of arts, culture, innovation and imagination.”