Digital Sandbox KC selects six companies to fund, mentor

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Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 12:00 am

From 94 submissions for Digital Sandbox KC, six early-stage technology companies have been selected by the proof-of-concept resource partnership to receive funding for consulting, resources and equipment. But all 94 will get a hand in building their castles.

The companies that will receive funding are communications technology startup Trellie; software platforms Planet Reuse and Angling Technologies/Mapper; and life sciences companies Limelight Technologies, Heart to Heart Network and Pearl Leaves. On top of the funding, which has yet to be distributed, support for the six companies includes helping cover software development costs, or, in the case of Trellie, focused connections to key corporate partners, according to a Friday press release.

Though only six were chosen for funding in the near future, the other 88 companies that submitted an application have been given direction based on their current needs to grow, with the intent to move more and more companies into the Digital Sandbox.

"Everyone got a recommended next step to follow," Digital Sandbox director Jeff Shackelford (right) said Monday in a phone interview. The startups not selected have been paired with other resources, such as FastTrac TechVenture and Enterprise Center of Johnson County. He said the six were chosen because they were "at the right place right now to do something meaningful."

The Digital Sandbox partnership brings together more than a dozen private companies, universities, entrepreneurial organizations and government agencies with the goal of spurring high-growth companies. Support is customized based on the needs of the company, which will only remain in the Sandbox for as long as is needed to meet a defined commercialization plan. Shackelford said the goal is to move as many companies through as possible.

"The Sandbox is not a business plan competition; we welcome all ideas and innovators and help them get from idea to commercialization as quickly as possible," he said in the release. The group is in the process of determining how to bring in new submissions going forward.

This summer, Digital Sandbox KC will hold drop-ins and meetups for all Sandbox participants so they can interface with corporate partners. It also will host an open house at its Union Station space during One Week KC, June 18-26.

For more coverage, see our story: "Digital Sandbox reveals director and board of advisors, opens applications".

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