Thursday, October 25, 2012

Think Big Accelerator Spotlight: Dwayne Brock of Kansas City Startup Kahootz

How many calendars do you have? If it takes you more than five seconds to answer that question, you’re not alone. Dwayne Brock, CEO and co-founder of Kahootz, along with his wife Annie, had the very same problem.  

With too many calendars to keep track of, the idea of Kahootz, a unifying calendar among many platforms, was born.  The Kansas City-based startup is a consumer-focused online calendar platform that provides users with easier ways to combine, share and manage all obligations and profiles on one easy-to-maintain social-based platform. Kahootz also enables user-controlled, privacy-enabled, permission-based business-to-consumer markets through event promotion syndication.

“It was [Annie’s] idea,” says Dwayne Brock. “She put together the idea for Kahootz, but there wasn’t any business model or revenue producing stream.  That’s where I came in.”

Ever since the realization of their great idea and natural collaboration, Dwayne, a veteran manager of the medical supply and pharmaceutical sales industry, found himself in his first entrepreneurial endeavor to build and create Kahootz.  As he puts it, “I became an entrepreneur by default”.

Through networking and connections, Kahootz came in contact with Think Big Partners and, more specifically, the Think Big Partners Accelerator.

The Think Big Accelerator started its 22-week journey on Tuesday September 25th, 2012 in order to help six startups launch their businesses faster, better and smarter. The six startups that make up the first accelerator class united from all regions of the U.S.—from Kansas City to New York to Los Angeles.

Each startup in the accelerator has had its own unique experience so far.  In Kahootz’s case, the accelerator process has involved developing and building the web and mobile based platforms for the calendar-centric app. 

In addition to guiding developers and the vision for Kahootz, Dwayne has also continued to work and manage a 16-state medical supply sales and distribution territory.  Dwayne reiterates, “Ultimately, I’d love to make Kahootz my full-time job, and we’re growing at rate where it needs to be. But we’re funding this 100% ourselves so far. Basically, I’m working one to fund the other.”

Though he has been pulling double duty, Dwayne feels that it is all worth it in the end.  “Kahootz brings something to the table that no other calendar platform does.”

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