31 Entrepreneurs To Watch In Kansas City

Editor's note: Do you want to get inspired by the future of tech? Join the world's most influential innovators from NASA, Hyperloop, Microsoft Hololens & more at Compute Midwest conference - happening November 2nd in Kansas City.

With our future focused Compute Midwest tech conference coming up on Nov 2nd, we're taking time to recognize a few of the many innovative entrepreneurs in Kansas City.

Whether it's design, food, venture capital, or watchmaking...here are some entrepreneurs you should be inspired by.



Ramsey Mohsen

Over the years, Mohsen, a University of Kansas graduate, founded entertainment blog Across the Board, has been featured in Mashable and TechCrunch and spoken at events across the country.

Being one of the most connected individuals in Kansas City, it makes sense that Mohsen serves as CEO of Everhance, a social news and "edutainment" company on the cutting edge of digital marketing.

Follow Ramsey on Twitter: @rm


Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson is the founder of Niall, a luxury watch company which prides itself on making their timepieces right here in America.

Bill Self, Paul Rudd, John Elway and many more notables wear their watches.

The Shawnee Mission South graduate manufactures most of the parts here in Kansas City, and Niall was recently named the best watch brand in the country.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @wilsonspeaking



Prentiss Earl

Prentiss is director of the Blue Hills Incubator. The incubator provides office space, training opportunities and business guidance to small and medium contracting firms in the KC region.

Previously, Prentiss worked at the Kauffman Foundation, where he executed and led many of the Foundation's programs addressing entrepreneurial education, mentoring, diversity and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Prentiss has been quoted and published in: Huffington Post, Opportunist Magazine, Entrepreneurship.org.

Follow Prentiss on Twitter: @PrentissEarl03

Maria Stecklein Flynn

Maria is the CEO of Orbis Biosciences, which develops microparticle controlled release delivery systems. Under her direction, Orbis partners with companies to utilize the technology.

She draws upon business development experience at Cerner Corporation and technical experience as an engineer.

Maria earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University, MS in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Connect with Maria on Linkedin

Davyeon Ross

Davyeon Ross is the co-founder and COO of ShotTracker — the first piece of affordable, wearable technology for basketball players who want to improve shooting performance by automating the tracking of shot attempts, makes and misses.

Prior to founding ShotTracker, he founded Digital Sports Ventures and had a successful exit in October 2011.

Follow Davyeon on Twitter: @davyeonross


Jeff Rohr

Jeff is the CEO of SquareOffs, a social opinion platform that is changing the way that we interact online. SquareOffs® brings more engagement, readers, revenue and insight to publishers, bloggers and brands anywhere on the web. Whether it’s sports, politics, or entertainment, there’s no better way to compare two points of view. Opinions matter.

With over 10 years experience in product development, Jeff has been a proven leader at Panasonic's National Service Center, iModules, and now SquareOffs.

Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffreyrohr


Aaron Sloup

Aaron is the CEO and Founder of Gameday , which helps fans create social game plans for sporting events in a snap.

The company has set their sights on reinventing the fan experience for 193M sports fans in the U.S., then across the globe. In the process, partnered with multiple Fortune 500 companies, innovative startups and professional sports teams from the NFL and MLS.

Follow Aaron on Twitter: @aaronsloup



Matt Watson

As the founder of Stackify, Matt's company builds developer tools so that developers can build better applications faster.

Prior to Stackify, Watson founded VinSolutions in 2003, an auto dealership management software. In 2012 the company sold for $135 million.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @mattwatson81

Gary Fish

Gary Fish is a serial entrepreneur and investor with many business interests. Mr. Fish currently serves as CEO of Fishtech Labs, a company he founded in 2015.

Since 1996, he has founded, acquired, and sold more than a dozen technology companies. Throughout his career, he has been recognized many times for his achievements; he was named a technology entrepreneur of the year by Ernst and Young, a Security Super Star by CRN magazine, a Kansas City Top 100 Business Leader, a Distinguished Alumni by DeVry University, and was inducted into the Kansas City Business Hall of Fame.

Follow Gary on Twitter: @gary_fish



Callie England

Loved by foodies and vegans across the country, England has helped bring natural and healthy snacks to consumers with her wildly successful company Rawxies.

Based out of Kansas City, Rawxies raised half a million dollars last year to kick off a mass production that has landed the snacks in stores like Whole Foods, Dean and Deluca and Natural Grocers.

Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliengland



Tim Sylvester

Tim is the President, Founder, & CEO of Integrated Roadways

Tim has won numerous awards for his groundbreaking "Smart Pavement" work. He's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kansas City Star, Kansas City Business Journal, and numerous local, regional, and online publications.

Tim has more than a decade of experience in construction, including residential, commercial, and infrastructure, spanning labor, design, engineering, and management, and has performed multiple research projects for the National Science Foundation.

Follow Integrated Roadways on Twitter: @Integratedroads


John Hall

John is currently the Co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co., that helps companies position key individuals as industry influencers and thought leaders.

Their clients range from startups to fast-growing companies on the Inc. 5000, as well as Fortune 500 brands.

Follow John on Twitter: @johnhall



Blake Miller

Blake Miller is partner at Homebase.ai, a smart apartment and property management platform for connected residential communities.

He is also a managing director at The Collective, a Venture Capital Fund in Kansas City.

Blake is also a Partner at Think Big Partners and Director of the Think Big Accelerator. He was named by KC Business Journal as a Next Gen Leader.

Follow Blake on Twitter: @imbmills


Celina Tio

As an award winning chef, Celina has been a top competitor on shows like Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” and Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

She's also the owner at Julian and The Belfry, two great neighborhood mainstays in Brookside and The Crossroads, respectively.

As a chef, she's won both local and national accolades, including 2005 Chef Of The Year by Chef magazine and the James Beard Foundation’s 2007 Best Chef: Midwest.

Follow Celina on Twitter: @celinatio



Tad Carpenter

Tad Carpenter is a designer, illustrator, author and teacher based in Kansas City, Missouri.

His work has appeared in numerous publications and he has written/illustrated over a dozen children’s books in the market today.

Tad and his wife Jessica (also a designer) run Carpenter Collective’s overall approach to branding, strategy, and design have gained wonderful clients ranging from Target, Macy’s, Coca-Cola, Rayban, Nick Jr, MTV and Adobe.

Follow Tad on Twitter: @TadCarpenter



Chase McAnulty

If you’ve seen the ubiquitous KC Heart t-shirts around Kansas City, you’ve seen Chase McNulty. He’s the founder of Charlie Hustle, the vintage t-shirt maker that’s blown up in the past few years.

What started as an obsession with vintage shirts has turned into a massive Kansas City brand, worn by the likes of Paul Rudd and Robb Riggle while crafting apparel for the Chiefs, Royals and universities around the country.

Follow Charlie Hustle on Twitter: @CharlieHustleCo

Ben Kittrell

Ben is the Co-Founder and CEO of Doodlekit, a website builder that’s been used by millions of people all over the world.

For almost two decades he has worked in software engineering and architecture for startups, universities, museums, large corporations and government agencies. Ben also serves as an advisor to a number of Kansas City startups and small businesses.

Follow Ben on Twitter: @bgkittrell



Toby Rush

As founder and CEO of two mobile ventures, Toby's deep expertise in imaging, sensors and mobility gives him early insight into the trends and technologies impacting consumers and the enterprise.

Prior to his two startups, EyeVerify and Rush Tracking Systems, Toby led the product development & QA for SAT Corp, a venture funded mobile software company. Toby also started and led the MobilEdge practice group for BSI consulting. He started his career with Accenture deploying SAP enterprise systems.

Follow Toby on Twitter: @tobiasrush

Eze Redwood

Eze is currently a partner at a gourmet wings restaurant called Wings Café, a Google NTEN Digital Inclusion Fellow, a Gabr 2015 Fellow, and a strategic development adviser for a tech platform connecting basketball players to professional opportunities called U-Hoops.

Eze enjoys doing youth leadership consulting when not working on community development projects or writing for an upcoming book on high school and college leadership.

Follow Eze on Twitter: @EzeRedwood

Jennifer Bertrand

Jennifer won HGTV's popular reality series "Design Star" in 2008, which drew over 5 million viewers.

She went on to host her own show on the network, "Paint Over! with Jennifer Bertrand" in which she helps families in need remodel their homes. Recently, she's appeared on "Military Makeover" on the Lifetime Channel, continuing to grow her brand in the field of design.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jblovesdesign



Thad Langford

After establishing his business chops in both Fortune 500 and early-stage environments, Thad is one of the founding partners at Flyover Capital.

Before Flyover, Thad was President and CEO of Zave Networks (acquired by Google), a venture-backed digital advertising tech company.

Follow Thad on Twitter: @thadlangford

Darcy Howe

Darcy Howe is leading an effort to ratchet up the financial support to help promising startups succeed in Kansas City.

The angel investor and retired investment adviser is managing director of the new KCRise Fund. The offshoot of the KC Rising initiative aims to have $20 million to invest, alongside venture capital firms, in promising area businesses.

Follow Darcy on Twitter: @darcyhowe

David Hulsen

David is a co-founder and business director of RFP365.

He is responsible for sales and marketing, client services, and financial operations. David has a history of issuing and responding to RFPs as a technology consultant.

David is passionate about using technology to bridge the digital divide, both across poverty lines and through corporate inefficiencies.

Follow David on Twitter: @DHulsen

Bo Fishback

Bo Fishback is the Founder and CEO of Zaarly.

Previously, he was VP of Entrepreneurship for the Kauffman Foundation and the president of Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation. He is a founder of Orbis Biosciences, a drug delivery and particle fabrication company.

Fishback also was a co-founder of Lightspeed Genomics, a next-generation genome sequencing company acquired by Macrogen.

Follow Bo on Twitter: @bowman



Katie Boody

Katie is the founder of The Lean Lab, working in public education in KCMO since 2008.

Katie is interested in exploring the unique intersections of urban education, creativity, community building, entrepreneurship, and the hospitality of Kansas City BBQ

Seemingly always involved in the "startup" phase of organizations, she was a charter corps member of Teach For America Kansas City, a founding member of C.A. Franklin's middle school team in Kansas City Public Schools, and a founding teacher at Alta Vista Charter Middle School School.

Follow Katie on Twitter: @KatieBoody



Jeff Chambers

Jeff Chambers is the founder and CEO of Big Machine Parts, an eCommerce provider of parts for on-road and off-road heavy duty trucks.

Prior to that, Jeff was the Chief Strategy Officer and shareholder at Alterra Bank.

Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffchamberskc



E. Spencer Schubert

Spencer is the founder of E.S. Schubert Sculpture Studios, a premiere bronze sculpture studio in the Midwest.

One of the preeminenet artists in Kansas City, Schubert is responsible for not just sharing his own beautiful artwork with the masses, but sculuptors around the world, too.

Schubert is known for his famous bronze sculptures throughout the region, including Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder's statue and civil right's icon Dred Scott's bust in the Missouri Capitol Building.

Follow Spencer on Twitter: @es_schubert



Robb Heineman

Heineman, CEO of Sporting Kansas City, is considered one of the most innovative minds in sports.

As CEO, he helped bring a state of the art soccer stadium to Kansas City equipped with technology from Cisco and Sprint to help connect fans to their team like never before. Heineman was listed in Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list in 2012.

Follow Robb on Twitter: @RobbHeineman



Lesa Mitchell

Lesa Mitchell is the founder of Network for Scale and a former VP at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she designed and implemented programs to accelerate economic growth in a variety of sectors.

Mitchell is now an active coach (TED Fellows, SXSW), a Sr. Fellow with the Milken Institute and a board member at Modern Meadow, Humin, Neighborly, Copia, CapLinked, Enstitute and the Althea Foundation. She also works for CEOs of early-stage companies focused on scale in new markets.

Follow Lesa on Twitter: @lesamitchell



Matt Baldwin

Baldwin is a name almost synonymous with Kansas City now. With a focus on bringing American-made denim back, the Kansas City-based fashion designer started Baldwin Denim & Collection in 2009.

Since then, he’s become a finalist for the highly regarded Vogue Fashion Fund and his products are worn by Jay-Z, Jason Sudekis and modeled by Kendall Jenner.

Follow Baldwin Denim on Twitter: @baldwindenim



Angela Hurt

Angela is the Founder & CEO of Veracity Consulting, Inc.

A driving force at Veracity since its inception in 2006, Angela has led the company to where it is today. During this time, Angela has transformed the company into a national firm, with expanded infrastructure managed services, data intelligence, and big 5 consulting capabilities.

Angela leads by example by volunteering in the communities where Veracity operates and contributing to a wide range of pro bono projects.

Follow Angela on Twitter: @angela_hurt


Stay Inspired

Congrats to these 31 entrepreneurs in Kansas City!

Do you love world changing ideas?

Keep the inspiration going: Watch the video below and don't don't miss our world class Compute Midwest conference on Nov 2nd at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts.



Join Us For Compute Midwest

Watch the video

Listed by Inc. as "8 Top Tech Conferences You Can't Miss" amongst some of the world's most prestigious, Compute Midwest (presented by The Disruption Institute) is one of the world's leading future focused tech conferences.

Compute Midwest has also appeared in Forbes, Fast Company, The Next Web and Huffington Post. This fall, remarkable people from across the globe will converge in Kansas City.

Join us on November 2nd at the world class Kauffman Center for Performing Arts to explore the technologies transforming tomorrow. Get an inspiring, one of a kind vision of the future, straight from 8+ world class speakers.

Do you want to learn about Elon Musk's Hyperloop? Microsoft Hololens? NASA's Mars 2020 Mission? It's all happening here.

Learn how these innovators overcame enormous challenges to create breakthrough innovations...giving you the push you need to go create your own.

When remarkable ideas and remarkable people collide, the possibilities are endless.

Will you be there? Join us November 2nd in Kansas City.

Get Your Tickets

Don't miss out - register today!

Get tickets

Interested in sponsoring? Contact us

alt


Join Us At Compute Midwest 2016

Sign up to get the latest news & updates on the world class Compute Midwest tech conference.