One in a Million

Congratulations Chris Costello, CEO and co-founder of blooom, of Leawood, Kansas, who was awarded $10,000 as the winner of the Kauffman Foundation’s One in a Million contest!

blooom is an online registered investment advisor designed to help underserved investors manage their employer-provided investment accounts.

blooom one in a million

Armed with an impressive business model and a powerful presentation, Chris rose to the top of a field of 377 contest entries to be named the first-ever One in a Million entrepreneur.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James presented the first-, second-and third-place awards.

The second-place award of $5,000 went to David Naumann, founding partner of DryBox wet phone rescue. Matthew Rooda, founder of SwineTech, a firm dedicated to saving the lives of piglets, took home the $1,000 third-place prize.

View the live-streamed event.


The initial field of entries was narrowed to 15 semifinalists who earned a trip to the Kauffman Foundation and the chance to spend the day honing the skills that are essential to the success of their startups.

They came here with passion, courage and a solid sense of who they are and what they have to offer. After intense coaching and competing, they left stronger than ever, with the tools and insights to take their startups to the next level.

Take a look behind the scenes on training day.

During the search for One in a Million, we asked entrepreneurs to tell us a story. They submitted video segments using the power of visual language to capture the essence of what they do.

Following the advice offered by Nathan Gold in the Powerful Presentations module of the Kauffman Founders School, they crafted inspired “Wow Statements,” using similes, analogies and metaphors to break through the noise and create concise and compelling messages.

Here are some highlights.