The entrepreneurial spirit in Kansas City continues to thrive. Digital Sandbox KC, launched in 2013, has announced that 75 percent of the companies which they have provided funding to have secured some form of add-on funding, according to the Kansas City Business Journal. While many venture capitalist firms see the 30 percent mark as a desirable level for add-on funding, it’s important to consider that the companies funded by Digital Sandbox KC are very early-stage startups, making this achievement even more remarkable.
Digital Sandbox KC is a proof-of-concept program which aims to fund fast-growing companies by connecting early-stage entrepreneurs and startups to valuable resources such as funding, market validation, prototyping and beta testing. The program has resulted in establishing 34 Kansas City-based businesses, 55 new products and 339 jobs with a payroll of $9 million. The companies launched by Digital Sandbox KC have raised more than $28 million in follow-on funding. In 2015 alone, they netted more than $3 million in sales.
In 2015, Digital Sandbox KC teamed up with the city of Olathe, Kan. to bring its entrepreneurial expertise to the suburbs. The city donated $100,000 contingent that the funding goes to Olathe entrepreneurs and startups willing to stay and manage their business in Olathe, Kan. The goal was to see more success stories like Garmin. This year, Digital Sandbox used a similar tactic to partner with the city of Independence, Mo., according to KC Source Link. This time, Digital Sandbox KC is working alongside the Independence Regional Ennovation Center, a business incubator and accelerator, to help early-stage startups in Independence get up and running.