Proof-of-Concept Labs

Allow Entrepreneurs Space to Work on and Play with Gig-sized Ideas

Proof-of-concept Projects Funded for Area Startups

New KC-area Companies Created

In Follow-on Funding

Jobs Created


Develop rapid prototype demonstration and manufacturing facilities that allow vendors and entrepreneurs to test new designs and concepts without major capital expenditures.

Proof-of-concept labs provide vendors, businesses, organizations and residents with the ability to quickly develop, test and demonstrate creative products and concepts from a wide variety of manufacturers at a single location. Fabrication labs, with equipment and space available on a short- or long-term rental basis, allow small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop

prototypes and test products without large capital investments.


  • Develop a business plan for a Proof-of-Concept lab in the Kansas City area.
  • Work with the vendor community to develop a member subscription model to generate revenue to support the lab.
  • Develop a panel of beta testers.
  • Research existing entrepreneurial workspaces in the regionand develop plans to fill any gaps.

Benefits & Outcomes

  • Quicker solutions to market
  • Ability to share best practices
  • Accelerated innovation
  • Lower costs for all participants.


  • Digital Sandbox won i6 Challenge Grant; opened in early 2013; selected 15 companies for proof-of-concept funding; and provided support to nearly 100 additional startups
  • Kansas City hosts the fourth-largest Maker Faire in the US (behind San Francisco, New York, and Detroit)
  • Hammerspace and Cowtown Computer Congress have gained greater visibility and attracted more members
  • MakerSpace established in Johnson County Central Library

Projects in action

Digital Sandbox

Digital Sandbox is a proof-of-concept lab for technology startups seeking funding and that plan to stay in the Kansas City area.

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