This year's AltCap Your Biz competition was the most competitive ever. We received more pitch videos from Kansas City entrepreneurs than ever before. Entries were judged by representatives from our sponsors EDC KC, EDC Loan Corp., Mutual of Omaha Bank, and UMB, who had the difficult task of identifying the top ten finalists to give a final live pitch at Global Entrepreneurship Week. Presenting in front judges and an audience of their peers at Plexpod @ Westport Commons, the top three businesses were selected. The decision was tough, but we are proud to announce the winners of the 2017 AltCap Your Biz competition:
First Prize: Maker Village
Award: $10,000 and a WIBO scholarship
Pitch: Maker Village is a community woodworking and metalworking shop located in midtown Kansas City. They offer introductory classes, open shops, B2B prototyping, small batch production as well as wholesale products. People throughout Kansas City do not have space or budget to personally acquire commercial shop equipment themselves, yet, many people want to learn to work with their hands, utilize digital fabrication equipment, and/or get access to wood and metalworking equipment for their hobby or to prototype their next big idea. Maker Village will be scaling up with the purchase of new equipment intended to be a catalyst for offering memberships to artists, architects, engineers, small businesses, non-profits, entrepreneurs, hobbyist, designers, DIY’ers, and makers of every variety.
Second Prize: Whitney Manney
Award: $5,000 and a WIBO scholarship
Pitch: Translating the aesthetics of street art and the effects of cultural movements on the current urban landscape into ready-to-wear, wearable art and textile design is the main focus of the WHITNEYMANNEY (WM) label. From sample to finished product: WM conceptualizes, drapes, drafts, grades and constructs all of their silhouettes. With the spirit of fearlessness, WM is poised to level up, allowing them to break the fourth wall as a cohesive brand and functioning business while speaking at a louder and more authentic volume. Check out Whitney's vlog on her experience in the AltCap Your Biz competition.
Third Prize: Makefully
Award: $2,500 and a WIBO scholarship
Pitch: Makefully is a studio dedicated to research and development of innovative educational technologies and media that also offers workshops and mentorship to youth to develop creative ideas through creative arts production and making. Providing a space where youth can work on personally meaningful projects with the support and mentorship they need to learn how to use the tools well and make great projects can inspire youth to pursue careers in related fields, while developing 21st Century skills. The studio will open in Spring 2018, with classes available to youth in Summer 2018.