A 2010 graduate of Newton High School, as well as entrepreneur and CEO of KingFit Preventative Health and Performance, Miguel Johns said he and his company have been working hard to develop and fund the KingFit smartphone application.

During an earlier interview with The Kansan, Johns said the KingFit application is a health and wellness platform, powered by artificial intelligence, that focuses on the prevention of chronic disease – especially Type 2 diabetes.

The application would also allow his company to partner with health care organizations and provide their pre-diabetic and Type 2 diabetic patients with the resources they need at an affordable price – to create a lifestyle change app users are looking for.

Having just entered 2017, Johns said the last four months have been eventful for both he and his company.

After he and his team recently traveled to Silicon Valley, Johns said they made some new connections, both with business partners and with potential investors.

Coming back, Johns said KingFit attended the e2e Accelerator program's Accelerate the Heartland conference, graduated from that program and made some new connections, landing some investments from e2e, as well as other investments from the Wichita area.

Johns said he and his company are now up to $300,000 raised – all from the Wichita area. It has also hired a new development team and is looking to get its smartphone application in people's hands in the next 60 days.

"When we were in the Silicon Valley, it was a really big learning experience for us to see what that world is like and how people raise money there," Johns said. "We were a little bit early in regards to where we were with development, where we were with fundraising and as a business, but I got great feedback."

While Johns said he networked and built many investment relationships during the Manos Tech Venture Summit in Silicon Valley, many of the large investors he pitched to there told him that he could have raised millions of dollars if his team had already been further into the development process.

For that reason, Johns said he and his team are excited to head back to Silicon Valley in September of 2017.

Johns also said that trip to Silicon Valley was a bit early in the process to pitch to companies like Google, Samsung and IBM – which he said are often more likely to invest in finished projects that can demonstrate more user data or already have active users.

Nonetheless, Johns said it was an amazing experience and he was happy to have gone.

At the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting in Wichita, Johns was able to pitch his company to Daymond John, a star on the ABC television show "Shark Tank."

Regarding the "Shark Tank" event, Johns said John was great and gave he and his team lot of feedback.

While John was under contract and could only invest in companies on the show, Johns said some of the other sharks on the stage, from Wichita, were also very interested. That led to Johns' team landing an investment from a big name Wichita entrepreneur that same day.

Johns did not want to disclose the name of that well known entrepreneur/investor, as paperwork for that investment is still ongoing.

KingFit Preventative Health and Performance had a previous development team working on the smartphone app, and have had a couple of development teams since then, but Johns said those developers did not work out.

Now that they have a promising development team working on the app, Johns said it should be available for both iOS and Android smartphones soon.

The application is still currently under development said Johns, so a beta of the application will be released to a group of 100 to 500 users in March. That way, KingFit can get user feedback and work out the app's bugs.

With feedback from that beta testing experience, Johns said KingFit hopes to unveil the finished app during the annual American Diabetes Association event in June.

Johns noted that KingFit has already partnered (and signed contracts with) a few clinical partners in Wichita, as well as smaller brand ambassadors, such as chiropractic practices, small gyms and small yoga studios.

They also have partnerships with the new Wichita Public Library, which Johns said is soon coming to Wichita, and they are going to be partnering with Via Christi and Hunter Health Clinic.

KingFit is beginning partnership work with the Greater Wichita YMCA, but Johns said he and his team are attempting to make sure they can provide the technology that the YMCA needs.

Wichita has been very receptive, but Johns said physicians in Newton are also becoming interested in KingFit.

Via Christi will be an incredibly useful partner, as Johns said it will help KingFit to perform clinical testing. There are also a number of smaller individual physicians, dietitians, chiropractors and health coaches that will be pushing the application to their patient populations as soon as it is ready.

Johns said they have pulled back on growing that network of brand champions, and after the application is finished, they will be focusing on expanding it further.

A large focus for KingFit, outside of the app, will be the delivery of a lot of educational content – in the form of video. Johns said that content will be delivered on Facebook and Youtube.

More information about KingFit or its upcoming smart phone application can be found at kingfit.org or at facebook.com/KingFitUSA/