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Spring 2021 Pitch Competition

SMW Viking Designs Pitch Competition

Congratulations to our Spring 2021 Voters' Choice winner! Click play to see the final results...

Please congratulate each of our teams- They did a wonderful job! Now that the spring 2021 competition has ended, we hope they will develop their skills even further by enrolling in more business classes as they progress through high school. 

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Guest Shark #1
Kimberly Hinkle | Executive Director
Shawnee Mission Education Foundation
Guest Shark #2
Bob Featherston | Partner
Ageless Distribution
Guest Shark #3
Jennifer Wampler | Chief Development Officer 
Kansas City Ballet
Crazy Cows

The Crazy Cows: Creating a new option for safety during fitness activities.

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Meet Elli & Sean

Only One Vote Per Email


Coach- Nina Ladd, Physical Therapy Group @Advent Health

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission has provided faith-based, whole-person care to the Kansas City community since 1962. Our mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ is achieved each day through the dedication of our team members, physicians, and volunteers. By following the example of Christ’s healing ministry, we strive to be a regional beacon of wellness and healing to attract those seeking unsurpassed clinical quality and compassionate care for the whole person.

Our team members enjoy superior health benefits, an onsite child care center, Magnet Recognition, tuition reimbursement, a generous Paid Days Off-plan, and support in achieving personal health goals through our Associate Wellness Department.

As the largest health care provider in Johnson County, our network includes the main campus AdventHealth Shawnee Mission in Merriam, AdventHealth Lenexa, AdventHealth South Overland Park, and our newest campus: AdventHealth College Boulevard. Our main campus is comprised of the main hospital, a cancer center, six physician office buildings, and an associate child care center. Our emergency department is the busiest in Johnson County, and we deliver more babies each year at the AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Birth Center than any other hospital in the metropolitan area. We are also proud to have more than 30 specialized physicians serving at 15 primary and urgent care locations.

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Energuity: Fueling the world with nature's energy.


Meet Vincent, Jake, Brandon, and Ramsey

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Only One Vote Per Email

Coach- Nija Threat, Project Engineer @McCown Gordon

Nija Threat, a Field Engineer with McCownGordon Construction, graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s in Concrete Industry Management and a double minor in Africana Studies and Non-Profit Management. Nija joined McCownGordon in 2020 and is finishing up her first project in Manhattan, KS where she serves as the Field and Project Engineer. Miss Threat is passionate about supporting youth, social justice and philanthropy and carries those passions into her everyday life, serving the MGC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, MGC Cares Committee and the Kansas Big Brother Big Sister Community Leadership Council.

McCownGordon Construction is recognized as one of the region’s largest construction managers with offices in both Missouri and Kansas. Focused on core values of integrity, relationships and performance, McCownGordon is committed to building collaborative partnerships and specializing in construction management, design-build, sustainable construction and general contracting. With strong experience and expertise in a variety of market sectors, the company is 100 percent employee-owned and has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Kansas City by the Kansas City Business Journal for the past 16 years. It ranks as a Fortune 2020 top 100 Great Place to Work® among mid-size companies and 2019 Best Workplaces for Millennials. More information about McCownGordon is available at

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T.F.G. Entrepreneurs: A Gym for The Next Generation of Athletes

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Meet Sean, Thomas, Malik, Andy, & Kevin

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Only One Vote Per Email

Coach- Dan Smith, MBA, Co-Founder @ The Porter House KC

Daniel provides organizational leadership and direction to The Porter House KC. He is a native of Kansas City, Mo and graduated from The Bishop Hogan High School. He has worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors in the past 14 years, and has started/owned/operated 5 businesses, including The Porter House KC. Dan's affinity for the not-for-profit sector, and specifically helping in the underserved populations started roughly 20+ years ago when his mother exposed him to the importance of helping others. This experience gave him a deep appreciation for the not-for-profit work being done in the underserved communities of color, and fueled his drive to help those in need.

​The Porter House KC resolves to assist in the representation of entrepreneurs of color by providing an affordable business space that can be used to grow an idea to a full-fledged business. The plight of the minority entrepreneur is one with many struggles and hardships, and very few victories. We aim to reverse that trend and help the entrepreneurs grow in victory, and reduce the losses. 


Apollo: Apparel That Moves With You.


Meet Christian & Kevin


Only One Vote Per Email

Coach- Sheila Forester, Economic Development Specialist/PIO @ Small Business Administration


Team Zeroe: Adding Diversity To The Music Industry.


Meet Lyron, Zach, & Ashton.

Only One Vote Per Email

Coaches- Peter Levy (Founder) & Jillian Thaden (Operational Experience Manager) @WMVision

Founded in 1996, Weather Metrics first developed weather monitoring systems for golf course management. Weather sensors were established throughout the country and it was not long until a few local broadcast stations requested access to this new weather network. Seeing the potential in broadcast, Weather Metrics began to develop products specifically to help local television stations. 

Now we have expanded our reach by working with the Tourism and Ski industries by helping them turn website viewers into visitors, with live video streaming, while growing their brand loyalty. We are increasing efficiencies and growing viewer/listener bases in the Cable and Radio Industry and helping Construction companies have better oversight and marketing materials with large, community impacting projects. In 2021, Weather Metrics changed its name to WMVision to better reflect what we are doing today!


Sita Gamers: Cross Generational Gaming.


Meet Jack, Julius, Sergio, Malikye, and Eshan.

Only One Vote Per Email


Coaches- Time Truesdale (Global Sales Manager) & Ray Gant (Digital Graphics) @OmniLife VR


As a provider of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, OmniLife VR works with companies to provide their facility the latest VR equipment. With our experience combined with the latest VR technology, we help you transform people’s lives into Magical Immersive Experiences.

With thousands of VR experiences to choose from, we can help you select the perfect experience for your facility with Interactive entertainment, learning and therapy. Our hope is to impact your business with VR solutions, so that your customers, guest or patients may engage in a new world of wonder through visuals, sound and interactions.

On top of providing the latest VR technology, we provide a turn key solution that includes system hardware, installation, technical support, maintenance and delivery program all taken care of by our professional and friendly team.


PickUp: A Way To Meet And Play Pick Up Games.

Meet Blaine, Ben, Charlie, and Kristen

Only One Vote Per Email

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Coach- Libby Garrison, Event Operations Director @KC Premiere

Teams- KC Premiere sponsor boys and girls teams that participate in our year-round league and tourneys, as well as other local and regional tournaments. Over 200 student-athletes from our program have received college scholarships.  

Leagues- We offer year-round leagues (choice of 5 sessions) for boys and girls teams of all levels, grades 3rd-12th.  Over 750 teams involved annually - the largest spring, summer and fall league in Kansas City. 


Tournaments- We operate 25+ MAYB tournaments annually. Boys and girls teams of all levels, grades 3rd-12th. Over 1,500 teams around the mid-west participate.


Benefit Tournaments- We operate five or more benefit tournaments each year including Assist for Autism and the PCSC Turkey Trot. Proceeds from these events are donated to booster clubs and the Platte County Sports Commission. We donate an average of $35K annually to our community!

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Indigo Initiative: A Youth Based Art Program for Creative Power.


Meet Karlee, Scarlett, Hazen, and Angel

Only One Vote Per Email

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Coaches- Chelan David (Director of Development), AnnMarie Thomas (Director of Marketing and Communications), & Mia Richardson @Youth Volunteer Corp (YVC)

As Director of Development, Chelan is responsible for ensuring sustained funding of the national organization by developing and implementing the YVC Headquarters fundraising strategy. Chelan volunteers frequently and is passionate about inspiring youth to undertake a lifetime commitment to service. Prior to joining YVC, Chelan worked at Unvision, the global Spanish-language television network. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Journalism. A huge sports fan, Chelan is an avid supporter of the Jayhawks and Royals. He enjoys jogging, traveling, reading, attending concerts, and spending time with his two daughters. 

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As Director of Development, Chelan is responsible for ensuring sustained funding of the national organization by developing and implementing the YVC Headquarters fundraising strategy. Chelan volunteers frequently and is passionate about inspiring youth to undertake a lifetime commitment to service. Prior to joining YVC, Chelan worked at Unvision, the global Spanish-language television network. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Journalism. A huge sports fan, Chelan is an avid supporter of the Jayhawks and Royals. He enjoys jogging, traveling, reading, attending concerts, and spending time with his two daughters. 

As Director of Marketing and Communications, AnnMarie provides marketing support to YVCHQ and affiliates across North America. AnnMarie has a varied nonprofit career in Kansas City, crossing many missions and industries, and has a deep commitment to improving communities. She believes in empowering and engaging people to reach their full potential. When not at YVC, she enjoys spending time with her dogs and friends. As a lover of art, animals, and coffee, she spends a lot of time exploring the city. 

As a VISTA Community Outreach Coordinator, Mia is focused on building the capacity of YVC to develop & implement sustainable programming and service learning opportunities at YVC sites that are hosted by Headquarters. Prior to joining the YVC team, she taught English and coordinated youth leadership clubs across North Macedonia as a Peace Corps volunteer. A Kansas City native, she graduated from William Jewell College with a B.A. in Institutions and Policy. Mia found her own passion for community service early on, through her experiences in competitive debate. In her free time, she enjoys reading about current events, thrifting, and binge watching shows with her husband and their dog. 


SPA: A Sports Preparation App.


Meet Joao, De'Shawn, Micah, & Ben

Only One Vote Per Email


Coaches- Waymond King (Senior Director of Programs) & Jamel Malone (Programs) @Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City

Waymond King’s journey to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City started when he was just a kid and a member of the Thornberry Unit, where a lifelong passion and commitment to giving back was instilled in him. While working successfully in corporate America, he realized his true passion was working with youth – and doing whatever was necessary to provide more positive options for them, especially those in the urban core. Which led him back to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City as Director of Athletics and Healthy Lifestyles.

Since returning to the Club full time in 2014, this Alum has progressed to positions of increasing responsibility, resulting in his current position – Senior Director, Operations and Programs. Today he is responsible for the operations and activities of all Club locations.

Waymond’s experience, energy, and enthusiasm are a perfect fit as he strives every day to make a difference in the lives of the youth and families in our community.


Juvenile Money Makers: A Short Film For All Ages And Times.


Meet Preston & Zach

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Only One Vote Per Email

Coach- Sonie Thompson-Ruffin, Founding Member @African American Artists Collective (AAAC) 

Founded in Kansas City in 2014, members of the Collective identify and catalyze their practice as a means to support the African American and Black Arts Movement in Kansas City, throughout the country, and across the globe. The Collective advocates for other artists, advances professional development, builds networks, and provides mentorship. Ongoing initiatives include generating exhibitions and performances, developing an endowment, and securing digital resources. The Collective’s efforts also span Social Justice movements in the arts and their proximity to Kansas City. 

Sonié Joi Thompson - Ruffin is a fabric artist, fabric designer, curator, and author.

She uses her artist’s platform to share the African American narrative. Her artwork is a celebratory testimony of courage, struggle, and strength that is intertwined through the life of African Americans.

She has conducted workshops and lectures about African American fabric art at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, and the Nerman Museum. She has been invited to exhibit her artwork at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, David C. Driskell Art Center, Mulvane Museum, Spencer Museum, the Holter Museum, and the Leedy Volkous Art Center.

Sonié is a co-founder of the African American Artists Collective. She serves on the Kansas City Museum Foundation Board and Curatorial committee, she served ten years as curator in resident for the American Jazz Museum’s Changing Gallery in Kansas City's historic jazz district. Sonié is a Charlotte Street Visual Arts Fellow, an Art Omi Fellow, Delta Sigma Theta Woman of Courage recipient and a Kansas Masters.

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Cyber Vision: A Security Solution for Gamers


Meet Lorenzo, Hunter, & Jalen


Only One Vote Per Email


Coach- Wyatt Cobb (CEO/Founder) and Rachel Bloodgood (Director of Marketing) @SOFTwarfare 

Securing Your Business | Data, Systems And Devices

SOFTwarfare's mission is to defend your assets against cyberattack by delivering innovative solutions and leveraging partnerships with industry-leading technology providers. 


SOFTwarfare® was founded by cybersecurity experts with the introduction of a simple software tool that solves one of the most common use cases found in every cybersecurity department - integration. Our founder, Wyatt Cobb, experienced firsthand the chaos that integrations can cause when they are not given the attention and resources they require.  


We believe that organizations should never have to compromise when it comes to cybersecurity. PangaeAPI™, our integration platform as a service (IPaaS), was created to help cybersecurity teams standardize their integration methodology, empowering them to build the integration environment that best suits their needs without disrupting the business or compromising security. 


Our talented development team at SOFTwarfare® continues to deliver innovative technologies with the launch of our next generation, biometric multi-factor authentication solution, BioThenticate®. The addition of this proprietary biometric technology allows us to better serve our customers by enabling a zero trust security methodology and embracing a passwordless future.



Rogues Alike: Repping Consumer Voice In Gaming


Meet Parker, Marcos, & Tony

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Only One Vote Per Email


Coaches- Meghan Duane (Creative Strategist), Abby Beck (Communications Specialist), & Alli Bertz (Communications Specialist) @Lynchpin Ideas

Lynchpin Ideas, LLC is a branding and communications firm located on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. Lynchpin Ideas was founded in 2010 by Laura Lynch, Owner and Chief Creative Strategist. The firm is WBE/SLBE-certified by the City of Kansas City, Missouri, WBE-certified by the State of Kansas, and SLBE/DBE-certified by the Missouri Regional Certification Committee. 


We believe that every organization, city, destination and company has a story to be told. But amid the noise, chatter and misperceptions, it’s easy for you and your audience to lose sight of your vision. Lynchpin Ideas will help you find and define your story so that it reflects where you are today … and where you need to be tomorrow. Our thing? Thinking, creating and executing. From shaping your brand and its voice to creating and executing creative strategies and tactics that deliver, we’ll help you find, connect and make a lasting impression with your audience. Every time.


Our offerings include brand strategy and messaging, brand identity development, creative direction and strategy, corporate communications, newsletter design and writing, community outreach and campaigns (digital, social, print, direct mail).

Meghan Duane serves as a strategist, writer and designer at Lynchpin Ideas. 

Meghan graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with a Bachelor of

Journalism degree, including an emphasis in Strategic Communication.

Abby Beck brings her driven nature and passion for storytelling to the

Lynchpin Ideas team. Abby graduated from the University of Kansas in 2018 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. Her studies included an emphasis in Strategic

Communication and a minor in Business.

Alli serves as a communications specialist on the Lynchpin Ideas team. 

Prior to joining the Lynchpin Ideas team, Alli served as a Strategic

Communication Coordinator at the Northeast Johnson County Chamber

of Commerce. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2018

with a degree in Communication, with a specialization in Organizational


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Team Health: Promoting Accessible Healthcare 


Meet Alicia, Sara, & Layziah


Only One Vote Per Email

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Coaches- Robin Wheeler Sanders (Chief People Officer) & Naiomi Jamal, MD, MPH, CMQ (Chief Quality Officer) @Swope Health 


Swope Health, the leading provider of healthcare for underserved individuals and communities in greater Kansas City, has provided comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services for more than 50 years. 

Recognized as a patient-centered medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Swope Health’s commitment to an integrated model of healthcare aligns with its mission of improving community health and wellness by delivering accessible, quality, comprehensive patient care. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and The Joint Commission, Swope Health is also recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center. 

Annually, Swope Health serves more than 43,000 patients at 14 centers located throughout the area including Kansas City, Belton, Independence, Kansas City North, Hickman Mills and Wyandotte County, Kansas. 

To support our mission, you can make a tax-deductible gift directly from the Swope Health website( or by mail. We gratefully accept in-kind donations and our Amazon Smile page includes wish lists of items needed for our homeless outreach and community psychiatric rehabilitation programs. Volunteers are always welcome, too – please see our Volunteer Application. Learn more at

Robin Wheeler Sanders manages Human Resources, Learning and Development as well as Community Outreach, Communications and Marketing for Swope Health. Prior to joining Swope she worked for Providence Medical Center, HCA and The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Missouri Kansas City and an MBA from Rockhurst University.

As Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Naiomi Jamal heads the Department of Quality and Population Health at Swope Health. She also practices as a primary care physician through the Independence clinic and sees a variety of complex medical diagnoses. Dr. Jamal is on faculty at University of Missouri/Kansas City, where she is responsible for developing and delivering a preventive medicine and public health curriculum for family medicine residents. She is also responsible for the didactic lecture series Social and Structural Determinants of Health at the UMKC School of Medicine for Medical Students.

Dr. Jamal completed her Medical Degree from The Aga Khan University, in Pakistan. This was where she first developed an interest in serving vulnerable populations. She later finished a family medicine residency from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2015. She went on to complete a General Preventive Medicine and Public Health Residency and obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health from UTMB in 2017. She is also Board Certified in Medical Quality.


Iconic: Be Bold. Be Remembered. Be Historic. Be Iconic.


Meet Ethan, Brian, & Tilo


Only One Vote Per Email

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Coaches- Stephanie Willis (Certified Growth Advisor) & John Addessi (Business Advisor) @Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College

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Kansas SBDC Description:  The mission of the Kansas SBDC is to increase prosperity of and jobs generated by small businesses through advising, specialized analytical tools, research, and training of entrepreneurs and existing small businesses throughout the various stages of business.  The Kansas SBDC team at Johnson County Community College provides comprehensive, in-depth, long-term assistance to the businesses and residents of Johnson, Wyandotte and Miami counties. Kansas SBDC is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  To learn more about the Kansas SBDC visit:  


Stephanie Willis’ Bio:  As a consultant for the Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC, Stephanie Willis uses her expertise as a seasoned sales, marketing and management leader to assist business owners. She has the unique ability to merge her corporate career as VP Sales and Marketing with her experience of purchasing, running and selling two of her own businesses. She brings broad industry experience as well as insight into hiring, compensating and motivating employees. Having spent time on corporate boards and executive committees, she also fully understands the budgeting and financial influences within an organization. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Rockhurst University. She is also a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional.


John Addessi’s Bio:  John Addessi is a Business Advisor, adjunct instructor and Certified Global Business Professional with the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College. John teaches seminars and consults on topics such as financing, business plans, marketing, international trade, e-commerce and more. John spent 15 years in management in the public and private sectors. He supervised the Language Learning Center at the University of Rhode Island and was sales manager for central Kansas with CellularONE. He received his bachelor’s degree in Russian and his MBA in general management from the University of Rhode Island. John has owned his own e-commerce sites and is familiar with the challenges facing small businesses in a competitive market.

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