Kansas City Top Startups, 2023
And . . . we’re back! This list of the top startups in Kansas City is our annual and third foray into the entrepreneurial space here in the heart of the Midwest. As always, we delve into the many startups that flourish in KC, which is continually advancing year over year. Learn more about our 12 picks for top Kansas City companies and startups in 2023.
The Kansas City metropolitan area is an urban area anchored by Kansas City, Missouri, and straddling the border between the US states of Missouri and Kansas. It includes parts of eastern Kansas and western Missouri, with a population of around 2.3 million.
Kansas City, MO is the largest city in Missouri and the Kansas City metropolitan area by land area at 314.7 square miles. It is known for its cultural attractions like the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the Kansas City Symphony, and of course, them Super Bowl Champs – the Chiefs!
As we have shown twice before, Kansas City is also a growing tech hub in the US. As of this writing, there were 191 Kansas City companies founded since 2017, 64 of which are tech startups. Below are 12 Kansas City top startups lighting up the tech space here in flyover country.
Top Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2023
Most people take electronic medical records (EMR) for granted. Still, it is a revolutionary step in improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare. It provides a comprehensive, easily accessible record of a patient’s medical history and treatment.
However, EMR still requires the manual input of data, a time-consuming task typically falling on the clinician. Redpoint Summit offers a way to reduce the time costs of updating and using EMRs.
Redpoint Summit is a software platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to create electronic medical records (EMR) personalization. It also identifies EMR usage patterns and tailors the experience for each user at scale through automation.
Personalization reduces the time healthcare providers spend behind a keyboard so they can spend more time with patients. Clinicians spend about two hours in data entry for every hour they spend with a patient. A study by the Mayo Clinic also shows an association between electronic health record (EHR) usability and clinician burnout.
The Redpoint AI identifies individual clinicians’ used patterns to build a streamlined workflow. The patterns help the EMR system anticipate user needs and reduce keyboard entries and clicks. The AI reduces clinician burnout and also increases satisfaction and improves efficiency in EMR use.
Redpoint Summit’s vision is to simplify healthcare through digital transformation. It aims to do that with the direction of founder and CEO Chuck Schneider and CTO Mike Antonelli.
CEO & Founder, Redpoint Summit
Startup Hustle focuses on bringing insights and opinions into matters closest to the heart of startup founders. Many of our episodes tackle funding and how to go about raising it from the founder’s perspective.
However, we sometimes go to the dark side and look at what keeps investors up at night. One episode discussed establishing investment valuation, and it became apparent very quickly that a lot goes into it. Foresight aims to offer a way to make that entire process easier.
Foresight is a risk-mitigation and strategy platform aiming to be the world’s first due diligence tool using artificial intelligence (AI). It pairs real-time industry data and a proprietary algorithm to evaluate and fund early-stage startups. It also uses deep learning to provide instant investability scores for business ideas and models.
As a result, the platform benefits investors in finding low-risk, high-return ventures that increase fund performance and grow ecosystems. Foresight also helps founders ideate and validate their business, making it more attractive to financiers.
Foresight provides a standardized measure of investability called a “Foresight Score” to founders on the platform. Aside from financial projections, the score also considers the startup stage and personal data on the founder.
The tool is currently in the research and development phase, with plans to launch in 2023. Many founders are already on board to pilot the program and pull together the necessary resources. The founders of Foresight are CEO Jannae Gammage and CTO Charlotte Clark.
CEO and Founder, Foresight
There was a time when augmented reality (AR) was the stuff of science fiction, but that’s certainly not the case now. Projections show that 89.4 million people in the US will be using AR in 2022.
AR is the technology that superimposes computer-generated images, sounds, and other sensations onto a user’s perception of the real world. In consumer products, AR is often used to enhance the user’s experience of a product or service. It can also be used in marketing to create immersive and interactive advertising experiences.
Most (71%) consumers say they would shop more if a store used AR. Online consumers can use AR to “try on” clothes before buying. Epigraph makes it easier to do that for all types of businesses.
Epigraph is a 3D commerce platform that converts product data to augmented reality, interactive configurators, and 3D content. It uses computer-generated imagery (CGI) and automation technologies to help Kansas City companies sell more. As a result, clients can get all the AR benefits without having to send physical products.
A critical component for the success of any business is positive customer interaction. Epigraph also helps e-commerce companies serve customers better with scalable, customizable, and engaging product experiences. Clients can choose web-based or desktop AR, 360 product tours and viewers, or custom 3D experiences.
Epigraph is in the capable hands of co-founders and CEO Jasper Mullarney and CPO Bruno Guerreiro. Consequently, the Kansas City company recently closed a deal with retailer Ace Hardware to provide AR and 3D content exclusively. Epigraph also raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre-Seed round on November 1, 2020.
CEO & Founder, Epigraph
Anyone who has ordered anything online is an indirect client of warehouse companies. It is also well-known that Amazon has honed this down to fine art. However, companies outside the Amazon universe may find fulfillment logistics more challenging. Beyond Warehousing provides Kansas City companies with a solution.
Beyond Warehousing is a full-service third-party logistics (3PL) warehousing company with multiple locations in the Kansas City metro area. It manages warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment of inventory of e-commerce sellers and retailers so they can focus on core tasks. It also provides custom solutions to fit the unique needs of each business.
The tech startup provides short-term and long-term storage, contract warehousing, e-commerce fulfillment, kitting, trans-loading, vendor compliance, and more. Other 3PL companies offer the same services, but Beyond Warehousing strives for customer service at a high level. It also focuses on providing transparency and building trust in every aspect of a business.
CEO and co-founder Jeff Havelka and Director of Operations Cameron Ulmer are at the helm of this 3PL warehousing company. Under their leadership, Beyond Warehousing commits to delivering results to make it the right 3PL partner in any industry.
CEO & Founder, Beyond Warehousing
Project management is critical to any business, including Kansas City companies and tech startups. However, most project management solutions focus on accomplishing individual tasks and reaching milestones rather than the big picture. DevStride allows KC companies and anywhere in the world to accommodate both on one platform.
DevStride offers an interesting SaaS-based project and portfolio management solution. It lets Kansas City companies access strategic planning, project management, and reporting in one place.
The platform differentiates itself from other project management solutions by providing value streams. Instead of creating silos and tracking tasks and projects individually, each member will get insights into their contributions to the project.
Using DevStride, team members will understand how their individual efforts add value to the project, client, and business. The validation of their work also helps empower employees and motivate them to do even better.
As a result, the platform reduces complexity, improves work organization, and aligns goals to accelerate growth. Business leaders can also more easily predict outcomes and make timely decisions through automated analytics.
The KC company looks to co-founders and CEO Phil Reynolds and CPO Aaron Saloff to lead them. DevStride raised $3.2 million in a Pre-Seed round from Flyover Capital on August 31, 2022. As you know, we’re big fans of Flyover Capital. We welcomed Dan Kerr on the show to talk about Midwest Startup Funding.
CEO & Founder, DevStride
One of the most demanding tasks of salespeople is prospecting. It is an ongoing process that involves continuously identifying and cultivating potential customers to generate sales leads and close deals.
The first part includes making cold calls and email blasts, which require a lot of time and effort. Imagine if you could effectively automate that. Well, imagine no more, as Saile offers sales leaders worldwide a way to do that.
Saile is a software platform that provides Sailebots® to deliver actionable revenue opportunities. You can train these Sailebots® to automate the entire prospecting lifecycle with personality-driven AI and Digital Labor™. The company also claims each Sailebot is equivalent to the efforts of three top salespeople.
The product is a personality-driven AI for sales that learns from a company’s cleansed data, research, and goals. It also considers programmable inputs based on ideal companies, decision-makers, value statements, and the salesperson’s personality profile.
The Saile team curates the target account lists, workflows, and content based on the data, but users must approve them. Once approved, the customized Sailebot starts engaging with contacts and responds to prospect inquiries, all without human intervention. When the AI identifies an actionable opportunity and hot leads, it will deliver the prospect’s information to the user’s mailbox.
Sales leaders can also use Sailebots to reduce the resources necessary for the prospecting lifecycle. The platform operates under the leadership of co-founders and CEO Nick Smith and Engineer Clive Cadogan.
CEO & Founder, Saile
The educational sector has increasingly focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs. There is a high demand for STEM-based jobs that pay well. Despite this, only 20% of high school graduates in the US are ready to take on the rigors of STEM majors. Bryght Labs has an app for that.
Bryght Labs is a gaming startup driven by a team of product developers and inventors with 48 years of combined experience. Its main goal is to make STEM-focused games more accessible, cultivating tech skills and mindset.
Players can connect apps to their products. How? The company’s first offering is ChessUp, a smart chessboard with a built-in chess coach. It’s a physical board that lights up possible moves every time a player touches a chess piece. Players can play over the board (OTB) using their favorite chess apps. You can also purchase the Touchsense Checkers Pieces if checkers is more your speed.
ChessUp is the first, but certainly not the last, offering we can expect from Bryght Labs. The tech startup operates under co-founders CEO Jeff Wigh, CDO Adam Roush, and CTO Justin Farrell. It has raised $1.703 million from more than 5,000 backers in a Kickstarter campaign as of December 15, 2022.
CEO & Founder, Bryght Labs
Many people enjoy various sporting activities and events without giving a second thought to what goes behind managing sports facilities. Sports events in the US are a billion-dollar industry, projected to reach $12.18 billion in 2023.
Facility Ally is a customizable management software for all types and sizes of sports facilities. It automates many tasks to reduce costs and increase the revenue of these facilities by taking online reservations and payments. It also shows availability online and sends reminders and notifications.
Among its clients is Chicken N Pickleball, a pickleball entertainment restaurant with eight locations for the benefit of Kansas City companies. Another client is Hyvee Arena, which has numerous courts and sports facilities.
The subscription software is easy to set up and use. Users can also take bookings 24/7. It will even create reports to facilitate business decisions. Full Scale is an early investor who works with Facility Ally to address its software development needs.
Facility Ally is under the leadership of CEO and Co-founder Luke Wade. It raised an undisclosed amount in investor funding on January 31, 2023.
CEO & Founder, Facility Ally
People like promotions and discounts. About 64% of online consumers wait until a sale, and more than half (59%) search for promo codes before buying. The issue for most retailers is getting those promo codes to consumers. Redeem makes it easier for brands to get the word out and consumers to redeem promos.
Redeem is a software platform that uses Web3 and NFT technologies to revolutionize rewards. Instead of generating promo codes and distributing them to different channels, brands get omnichannel attribution using “dots.” Dots are personalized and dynamic rewards, NFTs that use programmable smart contracts customized for a brand. These dots reside in a subscriber’s Redeem wallet, a Web3 wallet created using their telephone number.
Creating a Redeem account is simple and free. Subscribers can collect these dots and keep them in their wallets for later. Customers only need to type in their phone numbers to redeem a dot instead of a promo code upon checkout. The system automatically applies the relevant promos of participating brands.
The advantage to retailers is likewise enormous. By partnering with Redeem, brands can create and drop their dots in one place, and the platform distributes them at a mass scale. Consequently, acquiring new customers and increasing engagement with current ones becomes a breeze.
The tech startup is under the leadership of CEO Toby Rush. Redeem has been making rewards simpler since 2022.
Imagine you want to buy property for your business, but your company doesn’t qualify for traditional bank financing. Realto has you covered!
Realto is an online real estate investment marketplace that helps people invest in real estate properties. The platform works similarly to other web-based trading platforms for common stocks, except it facilitates trading non-listed REITs or real estate investment trusts.
A REIT is an investment vehicle for owning and operating income-generating real estate, such as office buildings, shopping malls, apartments, and hotels. REITs allow individual investors to invest in large-scale, professionally managed real estate portfolios. This gives them access to diversified and high-yielding income streams. Privately held REITs are known as non-listed REITs.
Realto also facilitates secondary trading of alternative securities and traditionally illiquid real estate. Illiquid real estate is challenging to sell because they often require a large amount of capital and may have a limited number of potential buyers. Realto helps investors transform and democratize real estate assets through liquidity and transparency.
The Realto Marketplace helps non-listed REITs, business development companies (BDCs), and other private investments in real estate unlock liquidity. The platform is under the leadership of co-founders and CEO Brian King and Engineer Rodrigo Neri.
It has acquired $8 million in funding from four investors since 2020. The latest funding was a Series A round raised on May 5, 2022.
It’s no secret that cyber security is of significant concern for many businesses, particularly for any using Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Organizations using cloud-based iPaaS typically integrate systems, applications, and data in one place. Such integration increases the risks of a security breach through unauthorized access, malware, and denial of service attacks.
MFA is a security control where users must provide multiple forms of authentication to verify their identity, which can significantly enhance security. However, it is vulnerable to threats such as phishing, baiting, and pretexting that trick users into handing over their credentials.
Hackers often exploit gaps in the communication infrastructure to gain access to confidential data. SOFTwarfare makes it that much more difficult.
SOFTwarfare is a SaaS cyber security solution provider for iPaaS and MFA. It helps boost security for communications among enterprise applications so clients can modernize their approach to secure authentication and integration. The platform also allows clients to create automation and save hundreds of work hours monthly by simplifying and standardizing cybersecurity integrations.
Among its products are BioThenticate and PangaeAPI, which create a Zero Trust architecture. SOFTwarfare subscribes to the mantra of “Never Trust, Always Verify.”
BioThenticate is a patented biometric MFA solution for securing dynamic access to any network and increasing regulatory compliance standards. SOFTwarfare’s mission is to provide a secure, password-less solution from any endpoint.
SOFTwarfare is a Department of Defense accredited network access security and infrastructure solutions provider. The tech startup is in the experienced hands of CEO Wyatt Cobb and Director of Product Management Mark Werner.
Have you ever wondered how B2B companies deal with pricing? As you can imagine, wholesalers get lower price points for products because they purchase in bulk. However, negotiating prices for every contingency can take time and effort. Celerity Enterprises puts an end to all that.
Celerity is a SaaS financial platform that provides solutions to Kansas City companies utilizing Special Pricing Agreements (SPA). The platform manages special pricing, ship and debit, and rebate agreements between distributors and suppliers.
SPAs refer to arrangements between a seller and a buyer that allow a different price for a product or service than the regular or standard price. Users can create agreements for various reasons, such as accommodating the buyer’s unique circumstances or providing incentives for the buyer to make a purchase. Special pricing agreements are standard in multiple industries, including retail, wholesale, and manufacturing.
The best thing about Celerity is it transforms manual processes into automated, data-driven, profitable opportunities for manufacturers and distributors. The primary purpose of Celerity is to make it easy for B2B companies to use technology to boost financial performance.
For example, Celerity lets you connect to ERP systems or import financial data quickly to create accurate financial performance reports. That way, you can invest more time and capital in your business. You can also automate accounting rules, saving you time and effort.
The tech startup is under the leadership of co-founders and CEO Megan O’Rear and CTO Grant Gordon. As a result of their efforts, Celerity raised $1.1 million in a Debt Financing round on August 23, 2021.
Third Time’s the Charm with Kansas City Companies
Kansas City is a significant player in the cultural and sports arena, with technological innovation catching up. These 12 Kansas City companies are only some of the best tech startups scaling up here in the Heart of America.
As tech startup founders ourselves, we at Startup Hustle always find it fascinating to get to know other movers and shakers in the entrepreneurial space. And if you need help building a top-notch software development team quickly and cost-effectively, Full Scale can assist. Reach out if you’d like to connect!