UMKC E-Scholars Partners with Digital Sandbox KC

Proof-of-Concept Funding Support Now Available

Three University of Missouri-Kansas City E-Scholars’ student-led companies recently earned proof-of-concept funding support from Digital Sandbox KC.

The funding for the three companies came through an established partnership between the E-Scholars program and Digital Sandbox. The partnership gives E-Scholars participants a direct route to resources of the Sandbox.

The companies selected for support include:

Bulletyn increases student engagement around campus by digitizing the traditional bulletin boards. Students will be able to know everything that is going on around campus in real time 24/7 while organization leaders will be able to track and use analytics to plan events.

AddVenture’s mission is to create adventure-added advertisements. The mission is accomplished by producing GameAds – Games that are Ads, Ads that are Games. GameAds are short, intuitive, online video games tailored-made to the businesses’ image to generate website traffic, boost brand recognition and leverage sales. Unlike other video games where advertisements annoyingly pop up during the gameplay, GameAds themselves are the advertisements. Everything about a GameAd, from graphic and audio to gameplay and features, are all specifically designed to tell a lively and animated story about a business’ history, reasons for being, value proposition, products and services offered.

gr8box helps customers discover foods free of the Big 8 Allergens. Each month gr8box sends a subscription box with 8 different, healthy snack and meal items. The website collects consumer feedback and helps customers find their new favorites locally and in the company’s ecommerce store. Consumer feedback and demographics are sold to help ensure consumers can access better products in the future.

E-Scholars is an intensive entrepreneurial development program offered through the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The program is designed to provide promising entrepreneurs the support and resources needed to launch scalable and sustainable ventures. E-Scholars has helped to launch more than 160 ventures since its first graduating class in 2011, ranging from enterprise software to health care services to consumer products.

“The partnership between Digital Sandbox and UMKC E-Scholars program has been terrific. These three exciting companies join the three E-Scholar companies selected in June and all six show great promise to grow and create new jobs for Kansas City,” said Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox. “This was a great example of two Kansas City programs collaborating and together producing higher results.”

Digital Sandbox KC is a proof-of-concept program that significantly and rapidly moves early-stage entrepreneurs from concept to commercialization. It is a unique collaboration among private, public, university/research and philanthropic organizations. Launched in February 2013, the Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area.

Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run eight weeks. Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs. Visit for more information. Currently funding is available for Kansas City area companies in Missouri and Olathe, Kan.


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