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Blooom Named “One in a Million” in Kauffman Foundation Startup Competition


Just over a month after securing $4 million in an investment round led by QED Investors, 401(k) innovator Blooom has been named “One in a Million” in the startup competition sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.

“All of the finalists were incredibly talented,” said Chris Costello, Blooom CEO. “I was humbled to be considered among the best from across the nation. And we are very proud to have won in our hometown.”

Blooom beat out more than 350 startups to win the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s “One in a Million” competition this week. The company will take home a grand prize of $10,000.


Blooom co-founders (left) Chris Costello and Randy AufDerHeide demonstrated the Blooom platform at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.

Wendy Guillies, Kauffman Foundation president and CEO, said that the competition was designed to highlight companies that participated in the Foundation’s “1 Million Cups” events, which showcase entrepreneurs from a variety of fields.

“We created the 1 Million Cups program to help educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs within their own communities,” Guillies explained. The program holds events weekly in more than 70 communities in the United States, culminating with the “One in a Million” contest held as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Learn more about the Kauffman Foundation.

Earning a second place prize of $5,000 was David Naumann, founding partner of wet phone rescue kiosk maker, DryBox. Third place and $1,000 went to Matthew Rooda, founder of SwineTech, which uses technology to help keep “piglets from being crushed by their mothers.”

Blooom calls itself a “new way to 401(k).” Taking advantage of the fact that 401(k) owners can be among the least engaged in their own investment finances, blooom has created a platform that essentially provides roboadvisory services specifically for 401(k) and other employer-provided retirement accounts. Signing up for the service is easy, and accounts stay at their current institutions. Blooom provides free 401(k) analysis and charges $1 per month on accounts less than $20,000 and $15 per month for larger accounts.

Founded in February 2013 and headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, blooom demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2014.