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ScaleUP! Kansas City Reveals Second Cohort

cohort 2 scaleup kc

Meet the next big things in KC small business: ScaleUP! Kansas City ​has revealed its second cohort of 17 businesses who are ready to scale their businesses to new heights. This diverse group includes entrepreneurs in such fields as fitness, food, software, transportation and more.

The second ScaleUP! Kansas City cohort includes:

Sharon Auck, Fresh Approach Cleaning Professionals
Fresh Approach Cleaning Professionals is a seasoned professional cleaning services company whose mission is to increase productivity of its client’s workplace by personally and quietly working behind the scenes.

Chris Bird, Project Blackbird
Project BlackBird is a high-end motion graphics company, servicing major corporate and network brands on a national level. Creative capabilities include product presentation videos, brand identity and logo animations, style development for promos, motion graphics for interactive installations and high-end special effects.

Lori Bryan, Lynch Bryan Consulting
Lynch Bryan Consulting is a talent management and development firm that integrates sound advice, proven tools and quality services for executive and leadership development. Their specialty is designing and delivering unique, systematic approaches to learning for organizations of all sizes.

Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge
Vulcan’s Forge is a fine jewelry retailer specializing in custom designs of platinum, gold and sterling silver jewelry and accessories often set with diamond and colored gemstones. Established in Westport in 1986, Vulcan’s Forge is one of the largest silver jewelry retailers in the nation.

Steve Crockett, Gray Swan Software
Gray Swan Software designs, sells and supports practice management software and services for home health agencies and physician practices. Their products specialize in eligibility verification, medical claims processing, life cycle receivable management and feature integration with telephony, payroll and EMR/EHR vendor partners.

Karl Dunivent, Choice Cabinet KC
Choice Cabinet KC supplies elegant, durable cabinets and countertops for kitchens and baths. With more than 20 years’ experience, their client-centered company prides itself on using the finest materials for cabinetry built to specifications.

Steve Redmond, FEWDM Fitness
FEWDM Fitness develops and manufactures fitness related products based off of their proprietary ball-bearing technology. Their first product, ROCK 360, is an abdominal training device that uses ball-bearing technology to move in 360 degrees of motion.

Kris Fredrickson, TeeQuest Solutions
TeeQuest Solutions provides software and hardware solutions in an integrated ecosystem designed to simplify the tasks needed for golf course facility managers to maximize their business.

Sheldon Gray, Peak Roofing
Started in 2005, Peak Roofing specializes in roofing, lead abatement, building of new homes, home remodeling and other various kinds of construction services. Peak has built its reputation on integrity, a unique and responsive approach to project management, and the ability to add value to all of its projects.

Ben Kittrell, DoodleKit
Doodlekit is a free website builder that allows small businesses and everyday people to make websites online without knowing how to code.

Sharon Kwon, Korean Restaurant Sobahn
Opened by Paul and Susana Kwon in 2009, Sobahn shares its owners’ native Korean culture and cuisine with Kansas City. Sobahn’s vision is to provide customers with authentic Korean food that would be shared among family and friends.

Patrice Manuel, P/Strada
P/Strada is a management consulting company that helps businesses improve their performance by finding better ways of doing business. They work with commercial and government agencies, with a focus on program/project management, staff augmentation, training, executive coaching and enhancement of skill sets.

Vincent Rodriguez, Velo + Maps Coffee Roasters
Velo + and Maps Coffee Roasters is a unique retail bicycle shop and coffee roaster in Old Town Lenexa. The bike shop is a retail, full-service and handmade steel frame fabrication shop, while the coffee roaster focuses on roasting single-origin and custom blends for wholesale and retail customers.

Chris Rosburg, CR Promotions
CR Promotions puts meaning and purpose behind every promotional project, while turning sales teams into superstars by delivering more than just a box of swag. They coach teams on how to use any branded promotional item to increase response rates and build loyalty.

Natasha Shirey, Freedom Transportation
Begun in 2012, Freedom Transportation pulls freight for various companies, including FedEx and Hogan. They are focused on providing businesses with upstanding customer service combined with a commitment to safety and to proper drive recruitment.

Joseph Thomas, Joeycuts & 180V Barber|Salon
Begun in 2008, JoeyCuts now operates solely under 180V Barber|Salon, which was opened in June 2013. Positioning themselves as a leader and trailblazer in the hair care industry, JoeyCuts quickly became the go-to expert for all things haircare-related in the country.

Summor White, Sitting Comfortably Pet Care
Sitting Comfortably Pet Care, a full-service house and pet sitting boutique, is Kansas City’s premiere pet sitting company. They are committed to raising the standards of the pet sitting industry by promoting optimal welfare of animals and providing the highest standard of professional pet care through personalized in-home and private boarding services.

About ScaleUP!KC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center (UMKC IC) was awarded one of the first ScaleUP! America program contracts nationwide by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program provides direct support for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and firms to include underserved and underrepresented communities/populations while strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The result is expected to be measurable economic impact and job growth in local communities.

To be selected for ScaleUP! Kansas City, applicants had to meet the following criteria:

  • Lead a company that has been in business for at least two years
  • Generate annual sales between $150K and $750K
  • Have a strong market than can generate more than $1 million in sales

ScaleUP! fills a gap in the Kansas City entrepreneurial ecosystem to support businesses that have significant revenues but require support and expertise to rise to the next level.  The UMKC IC is poised to boost these businesses to the higher sales and revenue that will yield job creation.

For more information and to read about the adventures and exploits of the first cohort of ScaleUP!K, go to

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