LaunchKC’s Social Venture Studio Announces Second Annual Selected Cohort Companies


The Social Venture Studio, powered by LaunchKC, which supports promising social ventures working to solve social, racial or environmental challenges, has selected seven companies to participate in the program.

The Social Venture Studio is ‘doing well by doing good’, continuing the program for the second year with the announcement of a new cohort. LaunchKC, an initiative of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC) and the Downtown Council (DTC), launched the Social Venture Studio at the beginning of 2022. The program that aims to support entrepreneurs seeking to provide both social impact and return on investment, received many qualified applications for its second year from companies located in Kansas City and beyond.

Programming is led by the Keystone Innovation District, with consulting from Jacqueline Erickson Russell, Founder and CEO of Social Impact Advisory Group. In 2022, the program received the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Award for work in promoting economic equity and inclusion. The Social Venture Studio is made possible due to the generosity of The Sunderland Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to be helping connect the dots between innovative ideas and social impact,” said Kevin McGinnis, President & CEO of the Keystone Community Corporation. “Coming off of some great momentum last year, we’ll be building on that success with this year’s dynamic new cohort.”

These seven selected companies will participate in a four-month program receiving professional support, grant awards ranging from $20,000-$40,000, temporary office space, mentoring, and network connections to strengthen their social venture business concepts. A culmination event in the fall will be a chance for the companies to reveal their pitches to potential funders and supporters.

“Social Venture Studio is a prime example of how we as a city can tackle many societal issues with creative and sustainable business models that also drive job creation and local investment. We’re thrilled to be supporting each of these founders” said Jim Erickson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for EDCKC.

  • AskSAMIE, Dr. Brandy Archie – AskSAMIE is a curated marketplace to make aging in place possible for anyone. The company offers a one-stop-shop for all things accessibility with solutions not just for limited mobility, but for issues with incontinence, memory, and low vision.
  • DreamsKC, Catina Taylor – DreamsKC is an educational non-profit social enterprise dedicated to eradicating illiteracy.
  • FaceKC, Khalid Abdulqaadir & Corey McCartney – FaceKC uses film and art to address social issues in Kansas City and beyond.
  • New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics, Jeff Blackwood – New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics is a company founded to improve access to care and health equity for people in healthcare deserts through diagnostic imaging. New Frontier’s sonographers bring portable imaging equipment to doctors’ offices and clinics, providing patients quality, affordable diagnostic answers for conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and complications during pregnancy.
  • Raise Health Innovations, Craig Mason – Raise Health Innovations takes leading technologies and applies them in new proactive models to reimagine pathways to better health outcomes.
  • SenseGrass Inc., Lalit Gautam – SenseGrass offers 360 farming solutions based on cutting-edge technology like Nano-Satellite Mapping, Rover Bots, and AI-based mobile and web application to make farming more efficient.
  • Thrive Homes LLC, Christian Hill & Logan Forbis – Thrive Homes is a home modification company that provides ADA-related modifications to those in need, such as the homeless, disabled individuals, and elderly, with funding from Medicaid payers in Kansas and Missouri.

About LaunchKC
LaunchKC has evolved from solely a grants competition into a tech accelerator, grants and studio platform that leverages grants, as well as creates new opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs, and the tech ecosystem of Kansas City. Its bottom line is to attract scalable companies to create more jobs and opportunities while growing the local economy. LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council (DTC) and the Economic Development Corporation (EDCKC) both of Kansas City, Missouri. For information about LaunchKC, visit the

About LaunchKC’s Social Venture Studio

The Social Venture Studio, powered by LaunchKC, connects business solutions rooted in solving social, environmental or racial issues, with the firepower necessary to thrive. Cohorts of promising social entrepreneurs can apply for the four-month program where they receive guidance, mentorship, funding, and network connections to strengthen their concepts and plans. Ultimately, the program aims to create exponential societal impact by supporting scalable ideas and talent. See more at:

About Keystone Innovation District

The Keystone Innovation District is the front door to innovation in Kansas City. At the intersection of design, infrastructure and innovation, Keystone brings together regional universities, philanthropic leaders, corporations and entrepreneurs with the goal of planning, developing and operating a diverse and thriving innovation community in downtown Kansas City. See more at


Media Contact: Kathryn Jones, Highline Partners,