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University's Launch a Business program to help 10 startup ventures in Kansas

Monday, June 23, 2014


MANHATTAN — The Kansas State University College of Business Administration has selected 10 high-potential startup ventures for participation in the inaugural class of the K-State Launch a Business program, or LAB program, powered by KS State Bank.

The selected businesses will take part in a five-session summer program, receiving much-needed resources, including faculty-led courses, hands-on student research teams and access to the university's world-class alumni mentor network. The program is specifically intended for early-stage companies and will provide the building blocks for turning a concept into a successful venture.

The Launch a Business program will take place from July 10 to Aug. 8. Program organizers invite all alumni and supporters of the university and the regional startup ecosystem to mark their calendars for a closing celebration Aug. 12 at the K-State Alumni Center. The event will feature presentations from all program participants and one will be selected to receive a cash and in-kind prize package, valued at more than $50,000, to help move his or her venture forward.

"K-State LAB is designed to support promising entrepreneurs with the university's unique resources to help advance their business concept and ultimately create jobs in Kansas,” said Chad Jackson, director of the college's Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. "I am thrilled with the overwhelming support and interest we've received in this new program, and I look forward to working with our inaugural class."

Criteria for selection included identifying a real problem and an innovative solution, demonstrating the drive to succeed and ability to incorporate feedback, and showing commitment to the idea and the Launch a Business program.

The 10 startup ventures chosen for the 2014 class include:

• MeltPoint Environmental, Caldwell, for the MeltPoint Surgical Bluewrap Recovery Machine, an innovative proprietary device that allows health care facilities to reduce the large amount of surgical blue wrap that ends up in landfills.

• NMotion UAS, Hesston, provides advanced unmanned aircraft systems and solutions for public safety professionals during emergencies. NMotion's systems are engineered for rapid deployment when seconds count, allowing officials to see more while risking personnel less by utilizing immediate aerial support on scene.

• Ligosphere, Kansas City, makes a free mobile app designed to fit college students' busy lives. Students can post, find and share things like events, jobs and internships, items to buy and sell, and more. Ligosphere also connects local businesses with students to post deals, discounts and promotions on the app.

• Impact Engineering, based in Manhattan, aims to create simple, reliable, inexpensive solutions to large societal problems, making everyday life more efficient and safe for everybody. A sample of projects being pursued include a text blocking and vehicle analytical tool connected to a phone app, traffic light synchronization software to improve traffic flow with minimal red light stops, and a proprietary safety whistle.

• Jonah Ventures, Manhattan, reconstructs the diets of animals using the latest sequencing technologies. Its services provide a quantitative reconstruction of herbivore diets by sequencing short segments of plant DNA that have made it through the digestive system.

• Radiation Detection Technologies Inc., Manhattan, leverages advanced radiation detection products to meet its customers' needs with these advanced technologies.

• Aphrodite Apparel, Overland Park, creates custom fit intimate apparel by using the latest 3-D body imaging technology to gather hundreds of unique measurements to fashion bras to each woman's exact physical specifications for superb comfort, style and fit.

• Tikitum Sensory Learning Lab, Overland Park, makes science come alive for children by letting them use their senses to learn, explore and experiment.

• VeriQuik Consulting and Services, Shawnee, is a screening company that performs voluntary background checks. The company's permission-based model allows the end user to be the gatekeeper of his or her own information.

• Sidesinger Custom Cabinets, Topeka, is a custom cabinet and woodworking shop that designs, builds and installs quality custom woodworking projects for homeowners and building contractors in the Topeka area.


Chad Jackson


Launch a Business program

News tip

Caldwell, Hesston, Kansas City, Manhattan, Overland Park, Shawnee and Topeka

Written by

Brent Fritzemeier

At a glance

Ten high-potential startup ventures in Kansas have been selected for the inaugural class of Kansas State University's Launch a Business program.