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Blooom Wins Grant from LaunchKC


In fintech, some blossoms make their biggest blooms in the fall.

401(k) retirement-planning platform, Blooom announced this week it is one of 10 companies to earn a grant from LaunchKC. In addition to a cash award of $50,000, Blooom will get 12 months of free office space downtown in Kansas City, and the opportunity to work with both a specific mentor-team as well as local industry leaders and entrepreneurs from the area.


From left: Blooom co-founder and CEO Chris Costello and CTO Randy AufDerHeide demonstrated their technology at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.

The grant recipients were announced during Techweek Kansas City, and were chosen from a pool of 500 applicants from 17 states and eight countries. The group was winnowed down to 20 startups that were invited to make their pitch as part of the Techweek event. Judges awarded grants to nine startups, and a tenth startup was chosen as a “People’s Choice” winner by event attendees.

The rest of the inaugural LaunchKC 2015 grant recipients are below:

  • HealthID
  • Integrated Roadways
  • KC Drone Company
  • Nodal Security
  • Pycno
  • PopBookings
  • SquareOffs
  • Vertisense
  • Video Fizz

An initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, LaunchKC was launched in January 2015 to help build and support entrepreneurs and technologists in the local area. Bill Dietrich, chief administrative officer of LaunchKC and president and CEO of the Downtown Council, called the initiative “a nonprofit civic engine and accelerator in the Kansas City tech scene.”

Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, says the investment “will assist in attracting talent and ideas to the state as well as add to the abundant resources and supportive infrastructure that fosters growth in the entrepreneurial community.”

Blooom also reported that its co-founder and CEO, Chris Costello, was named to Wealth Management’s “Ten to Watch 2016” roster last month. Costello, like the other two members of his executive team, CTO Randy AufDerHeide and COO Kevin Conard, is from the local area and is a graduate of the University of Kansas.

Founded in February 2013 and headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, Blooom made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014 in New York City. With more than 1,000 clients in 48 states and more than $100 million under management, the company was recognized by InvestorJunkie as one of its top 15 robo-advisers in September.