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Who Crushed It At CodeLaunch MN 2024?

By Jason W. Taylor May 10, 2024

CodeLaunch MN 2024 produced by Improving made a tremendous mark on the Twin Cities startup community at the inaugural Minnesota event at the Fillmore. An audience of over 300 experienced the next generation of “venturetainment” like only CodeLaunch can provide.

The pitches began when VSOD.io won their finalist round pitch battle versus Welcome Home, then went on to the 30 second head-to-head Championship Round pitch-off versus fellow local favorites Story Forge and Say Kid. That’s when founder Caleb VanDeman from Minneapolis shined, and won over our live audience AND the judges in a clean sweep! That’s right VSOD took away all the hardware, as the Judges Choice and Overall Champion! They worked with their PCL Hackathon Team PS-AI throughout the week to claim the title of CodeLaunch MN 2024 Startup Champion! 

Caleb VanDeman, Founder of VSOD, proudly hoists the CodeLaunch MN 2024 Championship Belt and Judge's Choice trophy.
Caleb VanDeman, Founder of VSOD, proudly hoists the CodeLaunch MN 2024 Championship Belt and Judge’s Choice trophy.

VanDeman says “Codelaunch was an amazing journey that is going to help us save pets all around the country. Good Boy Lives”.

By helping VSOD to win, PCL Hackathon Team PS-AI took home their 1st Hackathon Team Championship in 2 tries, since first aligning with CodeLaunch at CodeLaunch MX 2023. PS-AI President Vanny Maltez said “You need to align closely with your startup, ensuring your actions are well-structured. Scope out precisely what you’re going to do, choose the right technology, and ensure that your scope aligns with market needs. Additionally, practice with your startup to ensure all the pieces come together effectively.”

Featured sponsor PSPro.AI gives the MVP Golden Ticket to MN Cohort member Evan St. Lifer with Innovate K12.
Comedian Josh Stramiello, opening CodeLaunch for the 12th time, entertained the audience before the competition began.

PSPro.AI MVP Golden Ticket

Our featured sponsor PSPro.ai also gave away their “MVP Golden Ticket” to Innovate K12 founder Evan St. Lifer. PSPro.ai builds cutting edge applications on an AI driven no-code platform. They are the Featured Sponsor of the PS MVP Golden Ticket at every CodeLaunch event in 2024. They will choose one semifinalist from every cohort that doesn’t make our stage, and build them an MVP on their platform. This spirit further emphasizes that at Codelaunch, everyone is a winner as we watch startups soar to the next level.


CodeLaunch attendees were also able to enjoy the event’s various exhibitors before and after the competition. This brought an extensive amount of networking to the lobby of the gorgeous Fillmore.

Local startups and vendors kept the conversation going and the excitement was obvious from the first tip of the event.

We had an incredible cast of judges for CodeLaunch MN 2024:

Shane Erickson, Traction Capital Founder and Managing Partner
Demi Radeva, Akros Advisory CEO and Chief Strategist
Kate Agnew, Edina City Council and
John Doucette, General Manager Near Form

Also, thank you to our Professional Hackathon Sponsors who worked tirelessly with our finalists to ensure their technical products were accelerated and that they can close a seed round of funding. 

Shoutout to all of the CodeLaunch MN 2024 finalists who will now go on to launch viable startup companies! 


View the CodeLaunch MN 2024 photo gallery here.


All About CodeLaunch

Celebrating the WINNER of CodeLaunch MN 2024 with Founder of VSOD Caleb VanDeman in the middle

CodeLaunch is a traveling seed accelerator and startup expo that connects early-stage startups with invaluable seed services critical to stimulating their business. Unlike many startup accelerators, CodeLaunch is completely free to apply, and no equity is surrendered. 

The professional hackathon is one way that CodeLaunch is truly unique. Each finalist is paired with a professional development team that accelerates product development and builds out as much of their MVP as possible in a 2-day time frame. During the pitch competition, the product is demoed live and for the first time in front of a live audience, who then votes for the overall winner. 

CodeLaunch MN 2024 went above and beyond our expectations! We are thankful for everyone who came out to support the event and the Twin Cities startup community. 




The Inaugural CodeLaunch Canada is Around the Corner!

CodeLaunch is going international again and you can apply to be a part of the competition NOW!

We are headed to Toronto Canada on August 28th. The event is open to Canadian startups who want to succeed and evolve through our unique spin on the seed accelerator model.

Our application portal is open now until June 2nd for startup founders and teams to apply at no cost. This event is open to Canadian-based founders only. Learn more about what you need to apply and about this First Canadian CodeLaunch Competition by reading this blog post.


CodeLaunch MN 2024 Hackathon Teams

Global Community Partners