Testery won $50,000 in investment at Wednesday night's Missouri Tech Challenge. | Shelly Hagan/Missouri Business Alert

Three startups snag $125,000 at Columbia pitch event

Three Columbia startups received a total of $125,000 in funding Wednesday night through the Missouri Tech Challenge, a pitch event modeled after “Shark Tank.”

The Missouri Tech Accelerator Fund, which provides early investment to tech companies, hosted the challenge, which featured four local startups pitching to a panel of investors before an audience at the Blue Note, a Columbia concert venue.

The companies included Ukatsu, a youth development program for young gamers; AdSwapper, an app designed to pay users for opting into online ads; Testery, an online service helping companies test their software; and STOR, an “airbnb” model for short-term storage.

AdSwapper and Testery received a $50,000 investment each. STOR received $25,000. Ukatsu didn’t receive funding, but the panelists said they are interested in reviewing the company’s financials more thoroughly and taking another look at the company in the near future.

The panelists included Bill Turpin, CEO of the Missouri Innovation Center, Jack Miller, founder of true Media, and Brant Bukowsky, co-founder of Veterans United Home Loans.

The challenge was part of Bringing Up Business: Mid-Missouri’s Innovation Week, a series of events celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation in Columbia.

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