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Two Dozen Entrepreneurs from Four Midwestern States Will Pitch their Businesses at Startup@Kauffman Demo Day


November 12 event kicks off Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kansas City; video of presentations will be streamed live at

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kansas City officially kicks off Monday, Nov. 12 when the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation hosts 24 entrepreneurs and an audience of prospective mentors, partners and others at Startup@Kauffman Demo Day. The event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Immediately following opening remarks from U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (KS 3rd District), the two dozen entrepreneurs selected from the Kansas City metro area and other Midwestern locales will take the stage at the Kauffman Foundation’s Conference Center to make their most compelling pitches in support of the businesses they’ve launched.

Midway through the presentations, guest speaker and successful entrepreneur/investor Christopher Schroeder will deliver a luncheon keynote and share words of wisdom gained from his extensive experience in startup communities in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

The entrepreneurial companies that will present at the Startup@Kauffman Demo Day were selected in a competitive process organized by the Foundation’s entrepreneurship team. They represent a cross-section of business categories, from mobile apps to medical technologies to consumer goods.

Register to attend Startup@Kauffman Demo Day.

The selected startups and the entrepreneurs presenting them (in alphabetical order) on Nov. 12 are:

Artifact Bag Co.
Chris Hughes, Omaha, Neb.
Offering totes, briefcases and aprons handmade with the finest waxed canvas and leather, Artifact Bag recently launched a new product line with emphasis on the mobile experience, including a zippered briefcase, smaller carry tote and artisan aprons. Founded in an Omaha basement in February 2010 with a commercial sewing machine acquired on Craigslist, Artifact Bag has grown to more than 30 machines, a 2,600-square-foot production space and triple-digit revenue without financing.

Cognovant, Inc.
W. Joseph Ketcherside, Kansas City, Mo.
Cognovant is the creator of PocketHealth, a mobile personal health tool that helps people manage their health information and supports their decisions. The easy-to-use PocketHealth has the power to support data exchange and care management.

Hunter Browning, Stilwell, Kan.
A mobile competitive social network of sports fans, Fannect enables users to earn points for their team to prove who has the best fan base and to earn points individually to quantify their passion as fans. The application launches Nov. 14.

Fine Vines™ Artisanal Ketchup
Bruce Steinberg, Leawood, Kan.
Launching in stores in early November, this high-quality, all-natural product line offers 12 ketchup flavor variations formulated to enhance the dining experience of consumers by making everyday foods more gourmet. Fine Vines is a returning presenter, having first shared its business at the inaugural Startup@Kauffman demo day in June.

Dusty Davidson, Omaha, Neb.
A premium WordPress hosting and management solution for Web designers, freelancers and creative agencies, Flywheel provides a scalable, secure and reliable platform for hosting WordPress sites and provides software tools to help ease the workflow of launching and managing multiple websites for clients.

Evan Kirsch, Kansas City, Mo.
Folioboy equips individuals to design online portfolios in three easy steps—upload, create, publish—to share with colleges and employers. Founded in Pittsburgh, Folioboy has relocated to the urban-ecosphere of Kansas City.
Andrew Kallenbach, Kansas City, Mo. is a personalized form management system that allows users to design, share, review and approve customized forms, as well as store them online.

Hello Holiday
Megan Hunt, Omaha, Neb.
An e-commerce site that offers funding and distribution for emerging fashion designers, Hello Holiday aims to open access between designers and mainstream consumers and disrupt e-commerce by simplifying the manufacturing and distribution process.

Integrated Roadways
Tim Sylvester, Kansas City, Mo.
Integrated Roadway’s road paving system lasts two to four times longer than traditional concrete and asphalt pavements, installs three times faster, reduces life-cycle roadway management expenses by 40 percent, and allows access to underlying utilities for easier repair. The company has completed its first production and installation project on an interstate highway. Integrated Roadways is a returning presenter, having first shared its business at the inaugural Startup@Kauffman demo day in June.

Lantern Software, Inc.
Aaron Sloup, Olathe, Kan.
Lantern connects users to small, local, authentic businesses by engaging them with high-value, real-time, location-based deals and rewards delivered via mobile apps and the Web. Consumers choose and redeem deals instantly, eliminating the need to buy vouchers or receive daily emails.

Leap2, LLC
Mike Farmer, Kansas City, Kan.
This mobile application development company is seeking to revolutionize mobile search. The Leap2 Search Browser for iOS and Android provides search and browsing of the Web in real-time. The company has completed its first release of “Living Search,” which combines mobile search with instant Web and real-time social results. Leap2 is a returning presenter, having first shared its business at the inaugural Startup@Kauffman demo day in June.

Local Ruckus
Adam Arredondo, Kansas City, Mo.
This nationally viable, local events platform makes it easy to discover and share local events without hunting through newspapers or complicated event sites.

Instin, LLC (myHomework)
Keith Entzeroth, Leawood, Kan.
Instin builds mobile apps and websites for the education industry. The company’s first product, myHomework, is a top student planner in iOS and Android markets. Its follow-up product,, recently launched. The product that allows teachers to easily share their profiles and assign homework to students has received positive response. Instin is a returning presenter, having first shared its business at the inaugural Startup@Kauffman demo day in June.

John P. Matthews, Columbia, Mo.
The Soul Seat patented chair is designed to promote and preserve wellness at work and at home. Its unique design offers multiple active sitting solutions for the knowledge worker, crafts person, student or anyone concerned about the health effects of sedentary work styles and prolonged sitting.
Jase Wilson, Kansas City, Mo.
The civic funding platform helps cities, neighborhoods and civic-minded organizations raise cash for civic projects. Individuals, companies and institutions can choose to invest in the places and projects they care about.

Matthew Medlock, Omaha, Neb.
PaySAFE is an online closing table providing private buyers and sellers a convenient one-stop location to create, negotiate and close transactions with financial protection. It works as a trusted third party that collects, holds and disburses funds according to buyer and seller instructions. The online project management software allows both parties to communicate and agree when work is complete, so funds can be paid out.

PlanetReuse Marketplace
Nathan Benjamin, Kansas City, Mo.
The PlanetReuse Marketplace technology platform allows customers to locate, view, share and buy inventory from the 1,200 U.S. for-profit and non-profit reuse centers that sell used and surplus materials. Reuse centers populate the site with their inventories via InvenQuery, a proprietary technology that uses a mobile app to instantly post new inventory online upon intake and remove it at point of sale.

RareWire LLC
Kirk Hasenzahl, Kansas City, Mo.
RareWire provides an easy-to-use software platform for building rich-media, native mobile apps for smart phones and tablets for those who are not experienced Web developers. Market proliferation of smart phones, tablets, apps and app stores necessitates a cost-effective way to take existing content and create a meaningful, interactive end-user experience. RareWire completed its Beta phase and fully launched its platform on Oct. 8. RareWire is a returning presenter, having first shared its business at the inaugural Startup@Kauffman demo day in June.

John Schnipkoweit, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
A Facebook app that manages adult sports teams, RecBob sends game reminders, tracks who’s in and who’s out on game day, and automatically finds subs as needed. Recreational sports are inherently social but, until now, that social circle stopped at the team. With RecBob, “friend fans” can participate in the fun, too.

David Hulsen, Kansas City, Mo.
This Web-based platform facilitates the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, providing both issuers and responders time-saving features, configurable workflow and insightful analytics. RFP365 provides procurement and business development teams real-time reporting and knowledge management features in a collaborative environment.

Sernomics LLC
John McGovern, Warsaw, Mo.
The Sernomics social media analytics tool provides retail and professional investors with powerful insights about global financial markets. Financially focused social messages are collected, and data is extrapolated using natural language processing. Analytic findings are available for subscribers via custom, easy-to-interpret data visualizations.

Snacks on Racks, Inc.
Jennifer Juarez, Parkville, Mo.
The newest venture for this rebagger and distributor of bulk and retail packaged snack foods to the food service industry is the addition of a line called “One For You,” single-serve, healthier snacks that include sugar-free, gluten-free, low-carb and heart-healthy items.

Stackify, LLC
Matt Watson, Kansas City, Mo.
The Stackify product allows companies to provide software developers remote access to their production servers without giving full administrative access. Developers can remotely troubleshoot their applications faster, with exact information needed, in a user-friendly format. Stackify finished version one of its product and released it to market Oct. 17 with highly positive initial response. Stackify is a returning presenter, having first shared its business at the inaugural Startup@Kauffman demo day in June.

Michael Demarais, Walpole, Mass.
An API for manufacturing, Threedee allows software developers to enable their programs to interact with 3-D printers, CNC machines and laser cutting systems. The system allows for extensive automation and possibilities for product customization in the manufacturing industry. The company’s founder recently relocated to Kansas City to advance the development of his business.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week
Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Now in its fifth year, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 129 countries—empowering nearly 20 million people through 125,000 activities over that time. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a growing network of 24,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.

For Kansas City’s complete list of 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Week events, visit and follow the conversation at #GEWKC.


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