These are the Kansas City startups and scaling companies to watch. They’re turning ideas, passions and dreams into great businesses … and on top of all that, they’re pivoting and innovating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only did every company on the KCSourceLink Watch List for 2021 receive equity funding or grants in 2019 and 2020, or two investments or grants in 2020, but many also pivoted and shifted to fill a much-needed niche. Despite the pandemic, companies have devoted more time to research and development, expanded their U.S. footprint, changed the way they support customers, fought COVID-19 by monitoring wastewater, found solutions for remote interactions and even launched new platforms.
By the way, we monitor benchmarks that are helping Kansas City support entrepreneurship and new business creation with our annual WeCreate reports. Among these reports, WeCreate Capital tracks and monitors KC’s capital landscape to help improve entrepreneurs’ access to that capital as well as resources to help them find funding and leverage opportunities to pitch their company. And KCInvestED helps educate investors and funders about the opportunities to invest in early-stage Kansas City companies, like those in this Watch List.
Plus, we asked every company on the Watch List for information about their biggest moves in 2021, so you’re getting this information straight from the source. Know that this list isn’t a ranking, but it does highlight some of KC’s stellar new companies and KCSourceLink Watch List veterans and the amazing things they are doing to innovate, adapt and pioneer during the pandemic. This year, 15 companies are newcomers to the Watch List and are featured alongside 13 repeat businesses. One company has even appeared for a record seven times on the list.
Many of these companies have used the KCSourceLink network to help give them lift. They might’ve used the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center for help with SBIR grants. Several are alums of Digital Sandbox KC, ScaleUP! KC and Pipeline Entrepreneurs. Others worked with coaches and mentors in LEANLAB Education, UMKC Entrepreneurship Scholars, Kansas Small Business Development Center, T-Mobile Accelerator, LaunchKC, KC Collective, the Missouri Technical Corporation, among many others.
There are even more organizations in the KCSourceLink network that helped these entrepreneurs and many, many others. Explore the Resource Rail and see who can help you along your entrepreneurial journey, no matter if you’re an innovative startup, a Main Street mainstay or a small, single-owner microenterprise. And just give us a call at 816-235-6500 or tell us what your business needs online, and we’ll craft your Personal Action Plan—your next steps and the organizations that can help.
So see how these KC startups and scaling businesses, despite the challenges, leveraged opportunities and the nonprofit business-building organizations to help them put their name on the map, provide help where it’s most needed and elevate Kansas City.
Kansas City, Missouri
Founders and leadership: Maria Kunstadter; Michael Sigler; Howard Reis; Leah Sigler
The TeleDentists is a 24/7/365 cloud-based dental consultation and referral system to treat and advise patients with urgent dental or oral care needs. The TeleDentists places virtual dentists in emergency rooms, health care clinics and at home or work by connecting them via any internet-connected computer or mobile device. This allows patients to access a dentist and get immediate help for their dental care needs. The TeleDentists also adds virtual dentists in urgent-care centers, walk-in retail clinics, assisted living facilities, senior living centers, and as an additional benefit for insurance companies and employee health care centers.
The TeleDentists was listed in Online Doctor as one of The 10 Best Teledentistry Companies of 2021.
This is the TeleDentists second year on the Watch List.