BacklotCars co-founder set to be honored as UMKC’s Entrepreneur of the Year

A Founder, who fueled one of the metro’s biggest startup exits, is expected to be named UMKC’s Kansas City Entrepreneur of the Year in October.

Justin Davis, co-founder and CEO of BacklotCars, will take the stage on October 12 alongside five other honorees – business leaders who shaped entrepreneurship, according to officials at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management .

In the fall of 2020, BacklotCars made a then-record sale of $425 million and sold the Kansas City-based car platform to KAR Global.

“What we showed in Kansas City is that we can build something really, really great,” Davis said in December 2020 while reflecting on closing the sale and its projected ripple effect. “It’s our duty now as professionals, as companies, as venture capitalists in the community to help make these companies great because that creates a lot of wealth and brings experience to this region.”

BacklotCars co-founders: Josh Parsons, Fabricio Solanes, Justin Davis and Ryan Davis

BacklotCars co-founders: Josh Parsons, Fabricio Solanes, Justin Davis and Ryan Davis

Davis and co-founders Josh Parsons, Fabricio Solanes and Ryan Davis had grown the BacklotCars team from its inception in 2014 to more than 150 employees by the end of 2020 – many of whom had shares in the company.

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“Now they can take that capital and invest back into our region,” Davis said of the BacklotCars employees, who earned a payout on the massive deal.

click here to read how Anders Ericson, former vice president of sales at BacklotCars, recently launched digital car dealership startup Whipz.

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“I would challenge people to get off the sidelines and get into the game. Help each other,” Davis said. “There isn’t this mysterious nature of why Silicon Valley works well: people are buying in and supporting us. I think there is a huge opportunity here. We were just part of history and this region has tremendous potential and the fundamentals to do something very amazing.”

BacklotCars historic exit was surpassed just this week when Rx Savings Solutions – led by the founder Michael Rea, UMKC’s 2019 Kansas City Entrepreneur of the Yearannounced the expected $875 million acquisition of its startup by The McKesson Corporation.

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click here to see more past winners.

The full list of Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 award winners includes:

  • David Steward, Founder and Chairman of World Wide Technology (Henry W. Bloch International Entrepreneur of the Year)
  • Justin Davis, Co-Founder and CEO of BacklotCars (Kansas City Entrepreneur of the Year)
  • Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy and Bart Houlahan, Founders of B Lab Global (Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship)
  • Student Entrepreneur of the Year — Not yet announced

The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards program will take place on October 12 at 7pm at the Plexpod Westport Commons.

click here register for the event.

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