In the final installment of this series, I'd like to introduce the final four companies who are participating in our Class of 2015. They round out our ambitious and talented group of 10 innovative new companies.
All of our teams have been hard at work preparing for the conclusion of the SparkLabKC accelerator program on April 10th, 2015. After brief speeches from our featured guest speakers, each team will present their pitch and introduce themselves and their company to the crowd of potential investors and partners. It's always an exciting day, and we hope to see you there!
COPR Security Innovations, LLC
Geoff Miles, the Founder of COPR Security Innovations, discovered a problem during his time in the real estate investment industry. Rehabbers or "house flippers" buy investment properties and put a lot of money into turning them around, but the vacant homes are easy targets for burglars, who steal appliances, copper wiring, and cause considerable damage in the process. As a result, investors and insurers lose a lot of money. Geoff teamed up with Kevin Harlow, a Security Specialist, to create a platform that protects vacant and non-owner occupied residential real estate properties.
"COPR Security Innovations, LLC provides security and loss prevention solutions for residential real estate investors. We’re developing innovative solutions to make it easier and more cost effective for investors to protect their assets, allowing them to focus more time on growing their business." - Geoff Miles, COPR Security Innovations, LLC
Geoff has previous experience with a high-growth startup technology company that raised $10.7 million in outside funding and grew to $1.9 million in revenue, and Kevin is the owner of a company that provides integrated gate design and installation and access systems, as well as security and surveillance systems. Their combined experience makes them the perfect team to address this pressing issue for real estate rehabbers. They have already partnered with an insurance provider for residential real estate investors, who add their expertise in real estate investing risks. COPR Security Innovations has been working on product development and their sales and distribution model, ensuring a strong launch when they leave the accelerator.
The Swapping Company
Founder Jennifer Taylor has been in the consignment clothing industry for 10 years as a shopper and store owner. She knows first-hand how lucrative the fashion industry is and realized that consignment retail shops are starving for a technology solution to bring them into the digital age. The Swapping Company's e-commerce platform allows resale vendors to upload their inventory to numerous online sellers and social media sites through a streamlined process. Their innovative solution addresses several major pain points for resale stores, including seasonal inventory changes, inventory management, and an abundance of unique items to list and manage.
“Our app and website create an online marketplace for the fashion resale community. Customers can buy or sell across all resale sites with The Swapping Company.” - Jennifer Taylor, The Swapping Company
Jen paired her skill sets in marketing and sales and passion for resale fashion with co-founder Angela Mermis, who brings wide-ranging experience in business organization, management, and development. The team has already signed up 26 stores in under 2 hours at the National Association of Resale Professionals convention and know they have a market solution that is vital to the continued success of this industry. With a team of developers at work on their seller's app, The Swapping Company has been hard at work preparing for launch. By providing resale stores an easy tool to gain more exposure and more inventory, they plan to revolutionize the industry.
Lazser Down, LLC
“It is attractive to sit at home with HDTVs, that makes for a great experience. But it’s terrific to be in our stadiums. And we have to bring technology to our stadiums and make that experience better.” – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
The traditional football down marker and chain system was first used here in Kansas City decades ago and has yet to be brought into the 21st Century. Lazser Down is replacing that original system with a new technology solution, bringing technology previously only available to fans watching on TV to the in-stadium experience for the more than 700,000 football games played each year in the United States. What's more, Jim Egender, the inventor of the current method, the Dial-A-Down, is an advisor and proponent of Lazser Down's new technology.
“Every football play begins with the official spotting the ball with a down marker and chain. Lazser Down provides a real-time objective down and distance yardage display at the stadium that is synchronized with the stadium scoreboard.” - James Foster, Lazser Down
During the time in the accelerator, Lazser Down has been focusing on finishing their final patent-pending prototype, which will then be presented to their advisory team, whose contacts in the NFL will take this technology straight to the top of the market. With numerous contacts in the football profession on all three levels – NFL, college, and high school — as well as sporting goods industry and shipping industry, Lazser Down is poised to enter the market from the top down and introduce their product on every level of the industry.
Kookiedoodle Crafts, LLC
Katie Weiford's childhood passion for crafting and the arts left a lasting impression. She fondly remembers the basement craft room that sparked her creativity, encouraged her imagination, and taught her many basic skills. As an adult, Katie noticed friends with young children struggling to give them that experience that she valued so much because of lack of time, ideas, materials, and space. So she founded Kookiedoodle Crafts to be a place where families can enjoy all the benefits of creative play with one another without the stress involved in the planning, execution, and clean-up.
“Our walk-in art studio is a magical place for kids and their families to unwind, reconnect and gain confidence in themselves and in their own original ideas with our unique project choices.” - Katie Weiford, Kookiedoodle
Kookiedoodle is taking advantage of the accelerator experience by exploring new revenue streams for the existing store and making connections with business professionals who can help them put their business in a box for future franchise opportunities. Kookiedoodle represents a growing trend of "Edutainment" for customers by providing an encouraging and entertaining creative experience for kids and their families. With expansion on the horizon, Kookiedoodle is sure to give many, many families the imaginative boost that has inspired Katie.
Come see us on Demo Day, April 10th, 2015, to learn more about all ten of these innovative companies! In the meantime, tweet us @SparkLabKC!