Bloch Student Stars in Startup Reality Show

Jonaie Johnson is one of 20 contestants on ‘The Blox’
Jonaie Johnson on camera

UMKC MBA student Jonaie Johnson is competing in a 17-part online reality TV series featuring startup entrepreneurs from around the country.

Johnson is the founder of Interplay, a company marketing an interactive dog crate that allows owners to interact with their pets while they are away from home. The show is called “The Blox,” and is available online by downloading an app from BetaBlox, a Kansas City company providing multiple forms of support for entrepreneurs.

The show follows a game format with daily winners of competitions on entrepreneurial themes such as inbound marketing, growth hacking and fundraising.

This is just the latest accolade for Johnson and Interplay. She was recognized as the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020 as an undergrad. She is currently enrolled in an MBA program at the Bloch School.

Johnson also was a starter on the UMKC Women’s Basketball team that won a Western Athletic Conference championship in 2020.

Interplay is a dog crate designed to provide remote interaction – including video and audio access, locking and unlocking features and the ability to provide food and water – for a dog and its owner through a mobile app.

“I developed the idea for Interplay for a project when I was in high school,” Johnson said. “My aunt was always leaving our family events to go home to feed her dog. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to do that remotely?’ I want Interplay to be the Apple of dog crates.”

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