St. Joseph’s entrepreneurial resources continue to grow. In June, the St. Joseph Innovation Stockyard, along with the Missouri Western’s Center for Entrepreneurship, St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce and Buchanan County, announced plans to team up with Digital Sandbox KC and the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) to provide entrepreneurs in northwest Missouri funding to pursue their startup business plan.

Ronan Molloy and Jeff Shackelford


In partnership with MTC, Digital Sandbox KC has been very successful helping develop early-stage, high-potential startups in Kansas City. Its growth into St. Joseph, partially funded by a $50,000 matching grant from MTC, will utilize Digital Sandbox’s proof-of-concept program to target early-stage entrepreneurs in St. Joseph.

“This is an opportunity to start to stretch the program further across Missouri to help drive even more Missouri-based early-stage entrepreneurs towards success,” said Jeff Shackelford, Digital Sandbox KC’s executive director.

Innovation Stockyard, located in the Bond Incubator on campus and directed by Ronan Molloy, will offer proof-of-concept grant recipients co-working space in its new co-working center, as well as cash grants to help startups in northwest Missouri.

Sandbox funding may cover up to $15,000 in project expenses for contracting, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs.

In September, the first St. Joseph company began receiving Digital Sandbox KC support. Toss it Curbside, founded by Aaron Brennan and Pedro Fernandez, provides an app-based  professional removal service for unwanted items.