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CodeLaunch, The Greatest Startup Show on Earth, is back in Houston on February 28th!

By Shelby Sansone November 30, 2023

Houston, are you ready for the most electrifying startup event of the year? CodeLaunch, produced by Improving, will be back in Houston for its third annual competition on February 28th, 2024. Startup applications are being accepted through December 10th only.

CodeLaunch drives early-stage startups to succeed using our unique spin on the seed accelerator model. It’s a combination of a seed accelerator competition, a tech tradeshow, a startup conference, and a rowdy networking event. The touring competition has given more than $1.6M of in-kind services to its finalists and overall winners since it started a decade ago.  

CodeLaunch is an impactful and uplifting venturetainment event like nothing else in the world. We inject rocket fuel into innovation ecosystems and we launch great startups that are Seed round and Series A ready. CodeLaunch and Improving are guided by Conscious Capitalism.”

– CodeLaunch President and Founder Jason W. Taylor

Since its inception in North Texas in 2013, CodeLaunch has played a pivotal role in launching game-changing startups. Companies like Sanalife E360, CharaChorderProsRentStyleRowKidStrongAutix, and more were launched and accelerated through the competition.

CodeLaunch HOU 2024 will be held at the Bayou Music Center. The six professional hackathon teams that are generously providing software consulting to our startups are Improving, Honeycomb Software, Blue People, Contollo, BJSS, and Softeq.

Sanalife E360 founder Matt Bonasera tells us CodeLaunch was a game changer for his startup. Sanalife E360 not only won CodeLaunch HOU 2023, but also was the winner of the year long Cyrannus CodeLaunch challenge that resulted in a $100K investment offer from Cyrannus VC fund.

“CodeLaunch gave us a huge platform to jump off from. The publicity was amazing and we developed many great relationships both during and after the competition. We made so many wonderful friends and such incredible contacts, so it will be nice to visit with them again at CodeLaunch this year and feel the energy of the event!”

– Matt Bonasera, Sanalife E360 Founder, Winner of CodeLaunch HOU 2023 and Cyrannus CodeLaunch Challenge
Matt Bonasera (left) poses with the Houston 2023 Startup Champion belt and Judges’ Choice chain alongside Oleksandr Semeniuk (center) and Oleg Lysiak (right) from Honeycomb Software.

Honeycomb Software was the winning professional hackathon sponsor last year. The team is making their way back to the competition to try and take the winning title again.

Re-engaging with CodeLaunch next year brings with it an anticipatory thrill. This event is more than just a gathering; it’s the epicenter where the entire ecosystem collides and connects in a unique way… and as I like to say, “that’s where the magic happens”.

– Oleg Lysiak, Honeycomb VP of Partnerships and Business Development

CodeLaunch presents a weekly podcast titled “We Code, You Launch.” Listen to our episode showcasing the victorious journey of Matt Bonasera and Oleg Lysiak at CodeLaunch Houston 2023.

H-Town Roundup + CodeLaunch Partnership

CodeLaunch is partnering with Houston Exponential once again to headline the H-Town Roundup as the featured event. We’re thrilled to collaborate with this event series, aiming to unite like-minded individuals within the startup and technology fields. H-Town Roundup serves as the intersection where tech, innovation, and impact meet. Feel free to sign up for more information on the upcoming events hosted here.

Houston Exponential is elated to collaborate for another year of innovation alongside CodeLaunch for the Greater Houston startup community. In our second year of partnership, it is an amazing opportunity and contest for entrepreneurs, where CodeLaunch becomes the catalyst for dreams taking flight.  It was tremendous, but not at all surprising to find out that last year’s local Houston winner, not only conquered our vibrant city and region but also claimed victory on the national stage. Together, Houston Exponential and CodeLaunch are not just fostering ideas; we’re igniting success stories that resonate far beyond our thriving community.

– Natara Branch, H-Town Round Up CEO

Important Applicant Information

CodeLaunch is a free amenity for startup founders. It costs nothing to apply, and CodeLaunch does not take equity. All Startup founders need is a pitch deck, code-ready mockups, and passion. It’s important to note that CodeLaunch competitions are open to founders from any geography or market, not just the host market. 

CodeLaunch requires code-ready mockups because they are required to maximize the benefit the 2-day PCL hackathon finalists receive. Mockups should be what founders hope to build if they are “drafted”. This is one way that our competition stands out from the crowd. Each finalist is drafted by a professional development team that accelerates product development and accelerates digital product progress as much as possible. During the pitch competition and showcase event on the 28th, each startup product is demonstrated live for the CodeLaunch audience of judges, investors, and supporters, who then interactively vote to determine winners.

This isn’t just a competition; it’s a launching pad for tech startups across the world! Visit our application portal through December 10th to apply to be included in the CodeLaunch HOU 2024 cohort.

Brands who want to support and align with our Conscious Capitalism-inspired mission at CodeLaunch can find out more by contacting CodeLaunch here.

Gear Up For 2024 and the First World Tour! 

All application portals to our 2024 events are open now! Check out CodeLaunch.com to apply and learn more about our events in Minneapolis, Toronto, and Guadalajara.

Houston: February 28, 2024 – Grab your tickets HERE.

Minneapolis: May 9, 2024

Toronto, Canada: August 28, 2024 (Canadian Startups Only)

Guadalajara, Mexico: October 23, 2024 (Mexican Startups Only)

Stay tuned for more big announcements in 2024 about CodeLaunch! All of our 2024 competition applications are open and ready for your entries. We are also looking for a new presenting sponsor, as well as new sponsorships and exhibitors for next year’s events. Elevate your brand by partnering with Codelaunch and contact us here.  

Who Crushed It At CodeLaunch Mexico 2023

By CA Staff Blogger September 1, 2023

CodeLaunch, produced by Improving and presented by Cyrannus, had an incredible impact on the Mexican startup community after the first-ever international CodeLaunch competition in Guadalajara at the Tec de Monterrey campus!

Audience members enjoying the show!

Congratulations to Norman Cognitive Agriculture for winning the event! They worked with their professional hackathon sponsor, Contollo, throughout the week to claim the title of “Best Startup in Mexico”. 

“I do not have words to express how thankful we are for all your support. CodeLaunch was not only a launching platform but also a huge learning experience for me and all Norman Team. I never thought that after the event we would not only improve our entrepreneurship but also we grow a lot as a human beings!”

Norman Cognitive Agriculture Founder Ramon Diaz

Contollo’s Founder and Chief Technologist Isaac Carter says his company has found an ideal partner in CodeLaunch after being a part of every competition within the past year.

“As a nearshore software development company with a mission to elevate technology professionals in Central America, we found an ideal partner in CodeLaunch, a platform that shares our values of innovation and conscientious capitalism. From Dallas and Houston to Atlanta, and finally to Mexico, every event we’ve attended has been an enriching experience for our team, both professionally and personally. These gatherings haven’t just met our expectations; they’ve exceeded them, enriching us economically, expanding our network, and most importantly, developing our team members into leaders and technical virtuosos.”

– Contollo Founder and Chief Technologist Isaac Carter
The BizBat team receiving Judge’s Choice Award

BizBat also went home as a winner after receiving the Judges Choice award.

The judges for CodeLaunch Mexico 2023 were Cyrannus Founder Lee Mosbacker, Science and Technology Minister of Innovation Alfonso Pompa Padilla, Buscabot CEO Melissa Mendivil, and Bosch Mexico Innovation Manager Maria Fernanda Reyes Flores.

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 Tec De Monterrey Campus.

We want to give a major thank you to our presenting sponsor, Cyrannus for their support during CodeLaunch Mexico 2023. The show would not have been such a spectacular success without you! 

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

And a shoutout to all of the CodeLaunch Mexico 2023 finalists whose digital product platforms have been accelerated by our PCL hackathon sponsors and now have a much greater chance to raise and close investments.

Lastly, we want to thank the Guadalajara community for embracing CodeLaunch! We could not have put together this event without our community sponsors, partners, and supporters.

About CodeLaunch

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 Mexico 2023 went above and beyond our expectations! We are thankful for everyone who came out to support the event and the Mexico startup community. 

CodeLaunch DFW 2023 Is Right Around the Corner!

CodeLaunch heads home to Dallas on November 15th! Our application portal is open now until September 24th for startup founders and teams to apply at no cost. Apply now!

The Rising Stars of Innovation: Meet the Finalists of CodeLaunch Mexico 2023!

By Shelby Sansone August 3, 2023

CodeLaunch, the famously energetic startup conference from the U.S. produced by Improving and presented by Cyrannus, is coming to Guadalajara, Mexico on August 30th for its first international event! We are thrilled to be amplifying the voices of six Mexico-based startups through the competition who will compete on stage LIVE at the Tec De Monterey Campus Guadalajara. You can get your tickets NOW!

CodeLaunch is a combination of a seed accelerator competition, a tech tradeshow, a startup conference, and a raucous networking event. The touring competition has given more than $1.4 Million USD in services to its finalists and overall winners since it started over a decade ago. CodeLaunch has helped launch noteworthy startups like CharaChorderProsRentStyleRowKidStrongAutix, Evva Health, and more since its inception in North Texas in 2013.

“We are very excited to be the first international host for CodeLaunch. All the Improvers, the tech ecosystem in the city, and even people in other cities are very excited to be part of this amazing event! We are looking forward to showing the amazing talent that Mexico has to the world.”

Guillermo Ortega Simon, Improving Guadalajara President & Mexico Operations

CodeLaunch Mexico 2023 Finalists

Ready to meet your finalists who will compete for the CodeLaunch trophies? The following six startups have advanced as Finalists to CodeLaunch Mexico 2023!

Let’s dive in and learn how each finalist describes their startup’s mission.

Norman Cognitive Agriculture: “To feed the world population by 2050 food production must grow 70%. The only way to increase productivity will be with new technologies in the crop fields. In difference to the competition who only focuses on providing measuring stations, we at Norman offer a Decision Support System analyzing correlations between variables that allow us to show the farmer an action to reaction relationship pointing information to the main cost centers in the farm.”

Romio: “Romio is pushing to do something no one has been able to accomplish in Mexico: Create a scalable car-sharing marketplace. Learning from the hardships of founders and companies such as Turo who’ve attempted in the past, Romio brings a solution completely custom to the Mexican market.”

VEX: “VEX is the marketplace of in-person courses, workshops and experiences made for and by the locals. The name is short for Value Experiences and it’s exactly what we provide both to B2C and B2B markets, generating a total revenue of over $25K this past year. We aim to revolutionize the education and entertainment industries in Mexico and Latam while spreading the philosophy behind the brand: generate a positive impact in our communities and having fun in the process.”

Gabu: “For parents that want their kids to have a safe and fun online gaming/social experience, but don’t know how, we provide a platform where they have all the information and tools to keep their kids safe and to help them become good digital citizens.”

Hoko! SalesMatch: “Our mission is to shake things up and make companies more efficient and cost-effective in how they approach sales prospecting. Picture this – tapping into the power of good old-fashioned word-of-mouth, supercharged by the technology of a dedicated social network. That’s exactly what HOKO! aims to do – tackling the everyday challenges faced by millions of salespeople worldwide!”

BizBat: “Musicians spend about 30% of their time and income in developing their career with little results, mainly due to the lack of connectivity: access to the right people and visibility to job opportunities. 9/10 musicians and industry professionals quit their careers. BizBat is a digital community that enhances professional interactions between every occupation within the music spectrum (B2B2C), providing tools for an organized and self-manageable career. Our end game is to become the much-needed LinkedIn for the music industry for millions of unattended professionals and businesses!”

CodeLaunch Mexico 2023 PCL Hackathon Teams

The six professional hackathon teams will be provided by these leading software consulting brands:

Contollo + Norman Cognitive Agriculture
Softeq + Romio
Dalton Labs + VEX Experience
Blue People + Gabu
DW Software + Hoko! Salesmatch
Improving + Bizbat

These six startups will be provided 24 hours of professional software development work on their product by their hackathon team, then they’ll go on stage to present their product to a live audience who will vote for who they believe should be named “Best Startup in Mexico”!

Cyrannus 150K Investment Challenge

All startup founders who advance to the semifinal round of CodeLaunch will be in the running for the Cyrannus $100K investment challenge, as well as the $50K challenge for Impact Startups! 

Cyrannus Founder Lee Mosbacker wants to reward CodeLaunch participants with the opportunity to get real cash into their business. A Cyrannus spokesperson says there could be two separate winners, but if one winner scored the highest for both challenges, they can receive $150K in investments in total.   

“Not only will they get the cash, but also be introduced to a network that will help them refine their idea and get ready for their first big fundraiser.”Lee Mosbacker, Cyrannus Founder

You can learn more about the 150K challenge here.

Local Support

The unwavering support of these incredible groups has played a pivotal role in spreading the word about CodeLaunch. Each will be supporting our efforts through Conscious Capitalism to foster the growth of Mexico’s startup community during CodeLaunch on August 30th. They have helped amplify our message far and wide, helping us reach a broader audience and empowering aspiring entrepreneurs across Mexico.

“CodeLaunch is exactly what our startup had been missing, it represents combining our vision with the technical ability necessary to build something rock solid. We’ve been leading this movement for 2 years now and it’s time to take the next step, and CodeLaunch gives us the chance to do so.”

Laura G. Furber, Co-Founder, VEX Experience 

Join Us at CodeLaunch Mexico 2023! 

CodeLaunch Mexico 2023 will be held at Tec De Monterey Campus Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico on August 30th! Get your tickets now!

Media, Exhibit, and Sponsorship Inquiries 

You and your brand are invited to CodeLaunch. There is still time for your brand to align with CodeLaunch and Conscious Capitalism. Parties interested in exhibit space, media, and sponsorship may contact Jason W. Taylor. 

CodeLaunch is on Tour!

Who Crushed It At CodeLaunch ATL 2023

By Shelby Sansone May 16, 2023

CodeLaunch, produced by Improving and presented by Cyrannus, made a tremendous mark on the Atlanta startup community during the second event in the Peach State.

Congratulations to CASTU for winning the event! They worked with their hackathon sponsor, Improving Atlanta, throughout the week to claim the title of “Best Startup in Atlanta”. 

CASTU Founder Taylor Ri’chard receiving the CodeLaunch ATL 2023 Championship Belt

CASTU Founder Taylor Ri’chard says he could not have won CodeLaunch without the help of his team’s professional hackathon sponsor, Improving.

“It felt so good. Not only were they excited about working on our project, but they believed in it.”

Taylor Ri’chard, CASTU Founder

Improving’s John Ruznick says the feeling is mutual. The team had a blast working with CASTU and saw their vision for the future.

“They are a great bunch of folks that we had a pleasure working with. It was a whirlwind 24 hours developing for them.”

John Ruzick, Professional Hackathon Team Member for Improving
Comedian Josh Stramiello, opening CodeLaunch for the fourth time, entertained the audience before the competition began.

FundHub also went home a winner! The startup won over the judges and was given the Judge’s Choice award.

Tim Butler, FundHub’s founder, tells us he did not make it to the finals for the previous CodeLaunch. He was determined to make the stage this time around and is honored to take home the award given by CodeLaunch judges.

“I’m so excited. It has been a 4 1/2-year journey for us, and I would not take anything from our journey now.

Tim Butler, FundHub Founder

Our judges for CodeLaunch ATL 2023 were Cyrannus Founder, Lee Mosbacker, Technology Association of Georgia Director, Dr. Loretta Daniels, Contract Sprint Chief Visionary, Jonathan Page, and THRIVE Coworking Chief Revenue Officer, Chris Smith.

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 Buckhead Theatre.

We want to give a major thank you to our presenting sponsor, Cyrannus for their support during CodeLaunch ATL 2023. The show would not have been such a spectacular success without you! 

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 ATL 2023 finalists who will now go on to launch viable startup companies! 

View the CodeLaunch ATL 2023 photo gallery here.

All About CodeLaunch

Celebrating CASTU Founder Taylor Ri’chard’s CodeLaunch ATL 2023 win with Jason W. Taylor (left) and Raheel Malik (right)

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 ATL 2023 went above and beyond our expectations! We are thankful for everyone who came out to support the event and the Atlanta startup community. 

CodeLaunch Mexico is Around the Corner!

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

We are headed to Guadalajara, Mexico on August 30th. The event is open to Mexico-Based startups who want to succeed and evolve through our unique spin on the seed accelerator model.

Our application portal is open now until June 16th for startup founders and teams to apply at no cost. This event is open to Mexico-based startups only. Learn more about what you need to apply and about this First International CodeLaunch Competition by reading this blog post.

CodeLaunch ATL 2023 Hackathon Teams

Meet the CodeLaunch ATL 2023 presented by Cyrannus Finalists!

By CA Staff Blogger April 28, 2023

Learn about each final startup before the final competition on May 10th!

Professional Hackathon Team: Contollo 

Tell us about Wise Assistant.

Wise Assistant is disrupting local marketing and public relations with a multichannel marketing platform used by franchisors, agencies, and local businesses. For far too long, PR agencies have hijacked the local marketing game, charging increasingly costly retainers, nickel-and-diming local businesses out of their last dollars, while delivering less and less value. Wise Assistant is the only turn-key hyperlocal marketing platform cost-effectively connecting local businesses with social media influencers and media outlets for local marketing campaigns that drive awareness and sales for their business. Wise Assistant helps businesses to rapidly source local media talent to plan, launch and measure marketing campaigns at the neighborhood level. 

What are you looking forward to when it comes to CodeLaunch?

CodeLaunch provides a local platform for Wise Assistant to reach a diverse audience and discuss the exciting new features we’re launching. Through the CodeLaunch family, we’ve been connected to incredible engineers, entrepreneurs, founders, and business owners. We’re excited about developing these connections into mutually advantageous relationships for years to come. 

Professional Hackathon Team: Build Technology Group

Tell us about Fund Hub.

FundHub is the premier AI-powered fundraising platform and an educational social network marketplace. It connects grant seekers with grants and professionally vetted grant writers all in one place.  As a social enterprise, FundHub helps businesses and nonprofits challenged in accessing capital get high-ROI funding by focusing on Founder education.  This will shrink the wealth gap and provide access to funding for founders from historically underrepresented communities.  After nearly 20 years as a Certified Grant Writer, I’ve raised millions with as high as a 93.75% success rate.  My clients have received as much as $35 for every $1 they spent on my services.  Combining my grant writing experience with tech, FundHub is the vehicle for transitioning from a direct services lifestyle business to a scalable company.  

What are you looking forward to when it comes to CodeLaunch? 

At CodeLaunch Atlanta, we look forward to competing for cash and in-kind services; creating awareness of FundHub on a larger scale; building critical tech for our platform; connecting with VCs, ecosystems, founders, and networks needing our services; and recruiting beta testers for our platform.   

Professional Hackathon Team: Abel Solutions

Tell us about Agrippon.

Are you tired of the constant struggle to manage claims and ensure effective communication between clinical staff and billing departments in your dental practice? It’s time to embrace change and revolutionize the way your office operates. Introducing our groundbreaking, HIPAA-compliant app—an innovative solution designed to modernize communication, streamline the billing process, and significantly enhance both efficiency and profitability in dental practices. Get ready to experience a new era of dental billing and leave the outdated methods behind. 

Our innovative app provides a centralized, HIPAA-compliant platform that allows billing departments and clinical staff to effortlessly communicate and collaborate on claim statuses. With real-time updates, notifications, and an intuitive interface, our app eliminates the need for outdated tracking methods and cumbersome communication, empowering office staff to focus on enhancing the patient experience and improving collections for dental offices. 

The future of dental billing is here. Our groundbreaking app is set to revolutionize the way dental practices communicate and manage their billing process. By offering a centralized, secure, and user-friendly platform, our app not only streamlines communication but also boosts efficiency, profitability, and overall practice performance. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to transform your dental practice with our innovative app.

What are you looking forward to when it comes to CodeLaunch? 

We have come a long way and this is a chance to celebrate our progress and success.  At CodeLaunch, we can celebrate that win and invite attendees to join us as we grow.  There is more to do and an industry to disrupt.  We can do it.  Together. 

Professional Hackathon Team: PS-AI 

Tell us about Practice-Quest.

The PracticeQuest founders are experienced college STEM educators who are working to solve major problems in higher education. Every year hundreds of thousands of college students are derailed from career goals in science and medicine by poor performance in foundational introductory STEM programs. Many of these students have the potential to be successful but are unprepared for the demands of college-level chemistry and biology.

With the perfect storm of ever-increasing costs of higher education, the rise of online instruction accelerated by the COVID pandemic, and the pressure to succeed in highly competitive fields, many students resort to using online “study” sites that sell homework and test answers and AI chatbots that can solve problems for them. Educators have struggled to adjust to the resulting massive increase in academic dishonesty and express growing alarm at the future of assessment in education.

PracticeQuest addresses these issues by leveraging the skills of experienced assessment creators and algorithmic design to generate an unlimited supply of questions for learning and assessment in chemistry and biology. With unique questions created on demand, we limit the incentives and opportunities for student cheating and provide educators with a valuable time-saving tool that ensures fair and equitable assessment. 

What are you looking forward to when it comes to CodeLaunch? 

We look forward to the opportunity to present our vision to the CodeLaunch audience and connect with other entrepreneurs and developers interested in unlocking the potential in millions of young people who might otherwise never become the health and STEM professionals we need. 

Professional Hackathon Team: Improving Nearshore

Tell us about UnicornForms.

UnicornForms is the next-generation electronic signature and document management system focused on exponential efficiency gains. Bad data due to documents is a trillion-dollar problem and document data is doubling every six months. The industry can’t keep up. This problem is both manifestly mundane as it is important to solve. Our product makes the cost of regulatory compliance, security questionnaires, documentation, or contracts negligible by eliminating redundancy and making documents, forms, and PDFs interoperable. What is unique about our product is that it gracefully solves both complex industry problems as well as simple contract signatures that anyone can use. We’re super mobile-friendly and exceptionally well-designed. One of our early adopters is using our product to automate education benefits, so that when low-income children enroll they automatically enter into food or other programs that can both improve educational outcomes and alter the course of that child’s life. What previously would take days, weeks, or months to complete can now take minutes or hours. It’s remarkable to see it in action. 

What are you looking forward to when it comes to CodeLaunch? 

I can’t wait to build with the Improving Nearshore team and show the world our work. They are pumped. I am pumped. We’re going to blow away the field! We’re excited to kick off our summer marketing push with CodeLaunch and raise our seed round. 

Professional Hackathon Team: Improving Atlanta

Tell us about Cast-U.

CASTU is a mobile platform designed to connect talented professionals in the film and television industry with productions that need their skills. The platform aims to streamline the hiring and collaboration process for both employers and employees, ultimately making it easier for everyone involved to achieve their goals. The problem that CASTU solves in the film industry is the difficulty that professionals face in finding work and connecting with potential employers. The industry is highly competitive, and it can be challenging to stand out and find opportunities without a strong network. CASTU aims to bridge this gap by providing a platform that allows professionals to showcase their skills and connect with a broader range of potential employers. As filmmakers ourselves, we understand how hard this process is and continues to be. We hope that by creating CASTU we are opening the opportunity for all those people with no access to Hollywood a more direct route to getting their careers off the ground. We affectionately consider CASTU a dream-maker.

What are you looking forward to when it comes to CodeLaunch? 

With CodeLaunch we are looking forward to getting our message out there.  We believe that CASTU is a great opportunity for so many who need access. CodeLaunch is a great place for us to finally showcase all the exciting possibilities that await anyone who is looking for a chance to have their moment.

CodeLaunch ATL will be on May 10th at the Buckhead Theatre. Get your tickets here!

CodeLaunch is Coming to MEXICO! What You Need to Know About the First International CodeLaunch Competition 

By CA Staff Blogger April 13, 2023

You read that right, CodeLaunch, produced by Improving and presented by Cyrannus, is going global! We are headed to Guadalajara, Mexico on August 30th for our first international CodeLaunch competition. The event is open to Mexico-Based startups who want to succeed and evolve through our unique spin on the seed accelerator model. Our application portal will be open from May 10th until June 16th for startup founders and teams to apply at no cost. 

CodeLaunch is a combination of a seed accelerator competition, a tech tradeshow, a startup conference, and a raucous networking event. The touring competition has given more than $1.4M in services to its finalists and overall winners since it started over a decade ago.   

We are excited to have Contollo and Improving Nearshore already on board as Professional Hackathon Sponsors, and Cyrannus as our Presenting Sponsor.

“We are very excited to be the first international host for CodeLaunch. All the Improvers, the tech ecosystem in the city, and even people in other cities are very excited to be part of this amazing event! We are looking forward to showing the amazing talent that Mexico has to the world.”

Guillermo Ortega Simon, Improving Guadalajara President & Mexico Operations

Important Applicant Information: 

Winners of CL HOU 2023 e-360 ( startup ) and Honeycomb Software ( dev team sponsor ) Celebrate with their trophy 

CodeLaunch is a free amenity for tech startups. It costs nothing to apply, and it does not take equity. All you need is a pitch deck, code-ready mockups, and passion. It’s important to note that this CodeLaunch competition is open to Mexico-based startups only. The competition process will be in English only, which means pitch decks and presentations need to be written in English and everyone will be speaking the English language during all meetings, and for a lucky few, on stage at our venue host Tecnologico de Monterrey GDL campus

If you are selected as a finalist, your mockups should be what you hope to build in your 2-day professional hackathon. This is one way that our competition stands out from the crowd. Each finalist is drafted by a professional software development team that accelerates product development and builds out as much of the product as possible. During the pitch competition and showcase event on August 30th, each startup product is demonstrated live in front of an audience of innovators, STEM students, VCs, and Angels, who then interactively vote to determine winners. 

“I was fortunate to find out about CodeLaunch way back in 2015 when CodeLaunch was a new social experiment and attended CodeLaunch in Dallas, TX. I am thrilled this innovative take on accelerating tech startups is making its way to Mexico, especially in Guadalajara Jalisco. I will bring my VC and Angel Investor networks to see the early-stage deal flow that CodeLaunch produces in person.”

Guillermo Fernandez Chavez, Co-Founder DayStore.mx

Cyrannus is aligned with CodeLaunch because we are both changing the landscape of early stage tech startup ventures. I have seen how CodeLaunch positively impacts startup ecosystems and founders now in Ohio, Dallas, Houston and soon to be Atlanta. Mexico based startup founders and investors should take a serious look at aligning with and supporting CodeLaunch GDL.MX.”

Lee Mosbacker IV, PHD, Co-Founder Cyrannus.

Our application portal will be open from May 10th through June 16th! You can also learn more about CodeLaunch GDL.MX here

Align with CodeLaunch  

We are seeking companies and organizations who want to help accelerate Mexico’s startup ecosystem. Are you a Guadalajara technology mover and shaker? Or are you an American company with Mexico interest or presence? Then, email jason@codelaunch.com to start a conversation about aligning with CodeLaunch with the President and Founder of CodeLaunch, Jason W. Taylor.

CodeLaunch Sponsor Spotlight: Dell for Startups 

By CA Staff Blogger November 10, 2022

We’re thrilled that Dell for Startups is sponsoring CodeLaunch DFW 2022! Dell for startups was created to guide startups in their technology journey. The program provides expertise from Dell advisors, giving founders scalable solutions to grow their startups. 

Lucas Chaya del Pino, Dell for Startups Lead

“Dell for Startups provides startup expertise from dedicated technology advisors and scalable solutions to ensure your business is always ready to grow.” – Dell for Startups Website 

The CodeLaunch team talked with Dell for Startups Lead Lucas Chaya del Pino, who you will hear from during the CodeLaunch DFW event on November 16th. He told us he is delighted to experience CodeLaunch for the first time.

“We are constantly incorporating new partners that get us in front of entrepreneurs and create relationships,” Lucas said. “CodeLaunch is exactly the type of partner we want, and I am very excited to participate in the event.” 

What makes Dell for Startups unique?

Dell for Startups focuses mostly on the technology side of the business. As experts in the tech world, they give startup founders free resources (IT consultation, seed units, etc) to help them scale up with their technology.

Dell for Startups has a robust mentor database, which means founders can get advice from people who have been in their shoes. Plus, members get perks like special pricing, exclusive discounts, and client installation services for free

The program has a year-long pitch competition championship of its own. Dell for Startups travels across the US as their members compete for over $500k worth of prizes. However, Lucas said the competition is not only about the prizes. It’s about being able to find out how to create and give a great pitch while getting exposure to the investor ecosystem.

To learn more about Dell for Startups, click here

Remember to grab your ticket to CodeLaunch DFW 2022 presented by Cyrannus and Confluent! Get your tickets now

Global Community Partner Spotlight: Founders Live 

By Shelby Sansone October 7, 2022

All you need is 99 seconds, and you could change your startup’s path through Founders Live! This weekly pitch competition is one of CodeLaunch’s global community partners. We caught up with Founder and CEO Nick Hughes to get more details on their quickly growing community. 

What Is Founders Live? 

During the competition, startup founders get 99 seconds to pitch their idea to a live audience. Then, they get 4 minutes of questioning by the people in attendance. Anyone from family members to VCs are usually at the live event. 

Founder and CEO Nick Hughes at one of the Founders Live events

“The confidence boost that happens at our competitions can put someone on a different path,” Nick said. “Even if they do not win, Founders Live polishes their message and gets them in front of an audience sometimes for the first time, causing them to become more successful.” 

Founders Live is held in almost 100 cities in 35 countries. The competition started in Seattle in 2014 to celebrate entrepreneurship throughout the local community. It did so well that it became a staple in the Seattle startup community until the word got out to other major metropolitan areas across the country and even the world. 

Without hesitation, Nick decided to take his competition on tour and that’s how it became the global competition we know today. 

“Our vision is to be the world’s largest ecosystem and brand that drives early-stage entrepreneur activities,” Nick said. 

CodeLaunch x Founders Live Partnership 

CodeLaunch and Founders live have similar missions: to help seed startups grow and become successful! However, Nick told us there are a lot of things that CodeLaunch can provide to his audience that they do not. He said this is what makes the partnership so special. 

“We’re clearly pointing in the same direction,” Nick said. “But it’s cool that CodeLaunch and Founders Live have different specific things we can provide. We continue to point our startups toward CodeLaunch and we will for a long time.” 

The Future of Founders Live 

As Nick and his team learned how to continue Founders Live throughout the pandemic, a new idea emerged called Center Stage. This is a digital show that happens exactly an hour before the weekly live event. They also now stream the pitch competition to let their global audience stay engaged. They are hoping to grow this virtual community while also keeping Founders Live a locally-centered event. 

“While these events are about community and in-person fun, we also want to make it a global experience through online venues,” Nick told us. 

You can go to the Founders Live website to learn more about the event series and to find out if one is happening near you! 

Remember, CodeLaunch is making its way back to Dallas on November 16th. Find out more about this event here

Cyrannus Pledges $150K to a Future CodeLaunch Startup! Could You Be a Winner?

By CA Staff Blogger September 7, 2022

Cyrannus Founder Lee Mosbacker has announced two investment challenges for CodeLaunch participants! He has planned a $100,000 investment challenge, as well as a $50K challenge for Impact Startups.

All startup founders who advance to the semifinal round of CodeLaunch will be in the running. Cyrannus Founder Lee Mosbacker wants to reward CodeLaunch participants with the opportunity to get real cash into their business. A Cyrannus spokesperson says there could be two separate winners, but if one winner scored the highest for both challenges, they can receive $150K in investments in total.  

Here are the terms: 

In order to be in the running, startups will have to make it to the semi-final round of any one of the next five CodeLaunch competitions (though CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 semi-finalists will also be eligible). On January 1st, 2023, Cyrannus will start taking fresh applications from these startup founders.  

Founder of Cyrannus.io and Judge at CodeLaunch Ohio 2022, Lee Mosbacker announcing the CodeLaunch & Cyrannus $100k Challenge.

Once Lee declares the winner of the monetary rewards, the founders (or founder) will be introduced to the Cyrannus network. These are companies that help startups build and market their product.  

“Not only will they get the cash, but also be introduced to a network that will help them refine their idea and get ready for their first big fundraiser,” Lee says. 

The money will be invested either through an SPV or SAFE agreement. Lee says he wants Cyrannus to lead the winning startup to another leading investor and is not looking for equity or to set any terms. 

Wait… there’s more news! 

Along with this major announcement, Lee revealed that Cyrannus will be a CodeLaunch presenting sponsor for the next five shows! He also gave us insight into the growth of Cyrannus this year. 

Cyrannus will keep creating high-level strategy blogs investigating technical due diligence. In January 2023, they will open the Cyrannus network. This will be a portal where people can submit their business plans, and experts will score them. 

The third part of Cyrannus will be a curation of companies that will be validated by the Cyrannus network. These companies will help various startups level up like they plan to do for the CodeLaunch startup that wins the $100,000. 

Want to try and win $100,000 AND get all the benefits of CodeLaunch? Apply for our DFW 2022 competition now!  

Learn more about our most recent competition here

In Case You Missed CodeLaunch Ohio Presented By Cyrannus

By Shelby Sansone August 26, 2022

CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 presented by Cyrannus was a spectacular success! This was the first CodeLaunch to happen in Ohio and we can certainly say it made a mark on the MidWest startup hub.

CodeLaunch Ohio presented by Cyrannus Winner:

Congratulations to Columbus’ own Mastery Portfolio for winning the entire competition! Not only did they win the popular vote from the audience, but they also received the Judges’ Choice award. Mastery Portfolio worked with their hackathon sponsor Enzee throughout the week to claim the title of “Best Startup in Ohio”!

Congratulations to our finalists, who will compete in our main event on August 25th at the Davidson Theatre at the Riffe Center in Columbus.

Shoutout to all of our other finalists who will now go on to launch viable startup companies!

A major thank you to our 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.

Enzee + Mastery Portfolio
Improving Ohio + AlignAI
QStartLabs + servUS
Tech Elevator + Metatopia Network

Another Thank You to Our Presenting Sponsor Cyrannus!

We are THRILLED to announce that Cyrannus will be our presenting sponsor throughout the rest of 2022 and all of 2023!
Cyrannus is a network of experts trying to add rational insight into a growing venture capital market. We are developing tools to connect founders with experts and create bullet-proof strategies. Founders can confidentially submit areas of their business plan, pitch deck, technology, or product. Experts anonymously interact with founders in an iterative process to generate answers to questions and get quantitative scoring.

“You can have the best idea in the world, but the biggest challenge would be finding the right technical team to build the product or just MVP,” Founder Lee Mosbacker said. “What I love about CodeLaunch is that it kind of decouples that challenge. You’re seeing ideas and possibly connecting those ideas to capital. And if you make it to the finals, you get access to a professional team of coders who care about the outcome.” 

Lee served as one of our judges and we are truly grateful for his support! You can learn more about Cyrannus here.

All About CodeLaunch

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 there is no equity 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 Ohio went above and beyond our expectations! We are thankful for everyone who came out to support the event and Columbus’s startup community.

CodeLaunch DFW 2022 is Around the Corner

CodeLaunch heads back home in November! We will be in Dallas on November 16th. Click this link to learn more and apply here if you are a founder who wants to change the trajectory of your startup!

Meet Our CodeLaunch Ohio Presented by Cyrannus Hackathon Sponsors Pt 2: Enzee and Centric Consulting

By CA Staff Blogger July 20, 2022

CodeLaunch Ohio presented by Cyrannus is coming up quickly! This means our Hackathon sponsors are gearing up for the competition, and we want to highlight two of them in this post. 

CodeLaunch would not work without our hackathon sponsors. Each one puts together a team, volunteering to work free of charge during an intense 24-hour hackathon. They team up with one of our finalists to ensure their technical products are accelerated and that they can close a seed round of funding. We are so thankful for the time and effort that hackathon sponsors put into each competition. They truly change the trajectory of each startup that they work with! 


Enzee (formerly ZapIt) is revolutionizing healthcare by providing a quantitative measurement of the quality of care given by equipment and personnel in hospitals. According to Founder Bryon Murray, Enzee is a company that developed a web application for managing all of the quality control records for all radiology and oncology. Now, they are working to expand into the entire hospital system!  

“We’re allowing hospitals to have a real-time look at how compliant they are with the standards for quality of care for equipment,” Bryon said. 

The Enzee team is currently building their app from the ground up as they rebrand and expand. But, that is not stopping them from helping a startup do the same thing. Bryon said they are doing CodeLaunch for the spirit of the whole startup and technology community. 

“We want to do something fun, get some exposure, and participate in the community,” he said. “That’s really important to us.” 

The team is excited to help their finalist startup grow, while also getting a chance to work on something that is different from what they do every day. Learn more about Enzee by heading over to their website.

Centric Consulting  

Centric Consulting is an international management consulting firm with high-caliber expertise in business agility and transformation, technology implementation, and technology adoption. They partner with medium and large enterprises to help them realize their business and technology goals. 

Columbus Business Unit VP Doug Hood told us he found out about CodeLaunch by reading an article about its arrival in Ohio. The team had been talking about putting on an internal hackathon for about a month, so they were immediately excited about diving head first into CodeLaunch. 

What is Centric Consulting most excited about when it comes to the competition?  

“We’re excited about getting together with people that we don’t always work with,” Senior Architect Matt Miller said. “Also, getting to ‘nerd out’, while helping a startup.” 

Centric’s core values include innovation and igniting a passion for the greater good. So, they believe their partnership with CodeLaunch is a no-brainer. 

Learn more about Centric here

Meet Our CodeLaunch Ohio Presented by Cyrannus Hackathon Sponsors Pt 1: QStart Labs and Tech Elevator

By CA Staff Blogger July 5, 2022

CodeLaunch could not happen without our amazing hackathon sponsors. Each company puts together a team and works absolutely free of charge during our hackathon. They work tirelessly with our finalists to ensure their technical products are accelerated and that they can close a seed round of funding. 

Our next hackathon will take place the weekend before CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 Presented by Cyrannus. The Ohio hackathon sponsors will spend 24 hours with a partnered CodeLaunch startup finalist to provide key consulting services to make their product or service thrive. 

So, who are the Ohio hackathon sponsors? We are highlighting two of them in this post. 

QStart Labs 

QStart Labs is a firm dedicated to launching new tech ventures that provides startups with experienced technology development and a startup advisory team made up of entrepreneurs, designers, nerds, and investors. Their goal is simple: change the way entrepreneurs and investors launch new businesses on the web. 

A QStart Labs client company partners with Improving, and that is how Jeff was connected to CodeLaunch Founder Jason W. Taylor. After only one meeting, he knew CodeLaunch was something he and his team wanted to be a part of.  

“It sounded like a great idea,” Jeff said. “CodeLaunch is going to be great for the local startup community and will continue to make Columbus a hotspot for startups.”  

One of their core values is to be pragmatic. Being able to create a good balance between the textbook way of building something and the reality of how the building actually goes when you do not know how customers will react to it yet. I think the CodeLaunch model takes that pragmatic approach as well.  

Jeff said his team is thrilled to work together during the Hackathon. 

“Most of the time they’re working right next to each other, but working on separate projects,” Jeff told us. “So, a chance to really work together on the same project is really exciting. This will be high pressure and a lot of fun. We like each other a lot and tend to enjoy our time together so it will be interesting to see what happens.” 

Since they work with startups on a normal basis, the QStart Labs team knows how it feels to bring a startup’s project to life. Jeff says there’s nothing like seeing something be built from scratch. He’s excited to provide that experience to their CodeLaunch finalist team and make an entrepreneur’s dream a reality. 

Tech Elevator 

Tech Elevator is a coding and career prep boot camp based in Ohio. They offer intensive in-person and online education to help individuals and companies acquire in-demand technology skills for the modern workforce. 

Tech Elevator was created in 2015 when the founders saw the continual shortage of software developers. They took this as an opportunity for ambitious adults to move from unsatisfying jobs to well-paying, fulfilling careers in the tech industry. Today, Tech Elevator has helped thousands of graduates build new careers with over 700 hiring partners nationwide.  

Sandie Young, Marketing Director at Tech Elevator, told us their Columbus Campus Director, Vinny Sanfillipo, found out about CodeLaunch and brought the idea to her. She recognized how involved CodeLaunch is within local communities, and knew it would be a great opportunity. 

“We love getting involved and elevating the communities in which we have campuses,” Sandie said. “So, we are really excited to collaborate with a startup and do some coding!” 

Their team is excited to meet other like-minded professionals as they start their CodeLaunch journey. They recently added their fourth hackathon team member, and everyone is counting down the days until CodeLaunch arrives in Ohio. 

They have an open house happening in Columbus on July 18th. Learn more about that event here.  

Cyrannus Brings High-Tech Due Diligence to the Tech World Through Exceptional Investigative Efforts

By CA Staff Blogger June 16, 2022

Cyrannus is digging into the deception that unfortunately takes place in the startup and tech worlds. The newly launched blog is working to help investors and venture capitalists learn about and avoid fraud and deception. 

Cyrannus Founder Lee Mosbacker

“Cyrannus is a technical due diligence blog for investors and venture capitalists to assess high-tech feasibility in their investments and technologies,” Founder Lee Mosbacker said. 

Lee has had unique experiences that have provided him with rich knowledge of the inventor mindset. His background is in physics, but he has spent time as a software engineer, device physicist, and optical physicist. He got into artificial intelligence and even understands a baseline of quantum physics that goes into more of the advanced technologies that people are investing in. 

However, his biggest asset may be his keen skeptical eye for the ways that technologies are promoted, and the way that inventors can fool others and even themselves. Lee told us that a lot of times, investors see the hype that certain startups or venture capital have around them. Without fully understanding the technology that goes into creating the product or service, investors buy into the hype. This can result in significant consequences. 

For people who may not understand the need for this kind of blog, Lee told us he has personally been burned before. Fraud was taking place at a company he was working for, and it took him and his colleagues a couple of months to uncover it.  

“A university professor was manipulating data, lying to investors, fraudulently creating prototypes that did not work though they said that it worked,” Lee said. “Instead of justice happening, they left the company and received a prestigious award for the work that they did.” 

Lee’s parents were activists throughout his childhood, taking on big banks and Washington to make changes as poor Ohio farmers. From an early age, they instilled those values into him. That’s why he feels so passionate about the blog. 

CodeLaunch Connection

Lee recently moved back to Columbus, Ohio after living in the Bay Area for a decade. Many of his friends are tech leaders and capitalists in the community, but they also really care about the things they are building and putting into society. They introduced Lee to the Conscious Capitalism community (a major part of CodeLaunch’s identity) and met the CodeLaunch team there.  

Lee jumped at the opportunity for Cyrannus to become not only a CodeLaunch sponsor, but the presenting sponsor of CodeLaunch Ohio 2022! He sees that it’s difficult to find technical partners in Ohio compared to somewhere like the Bay Area, and believes CodeLaunch does a great job in bridging that gap. 

“You can have the best idea in the world, but the biggest challenge would be finding the right technical team to build the product or just MVP,” Lee said. “What I love about CodeLaunch is that it kind of decouples that challenge. You’re seeing ideas and possibly connecting those ideas to capital. And if you make it to the finals, you get access to a professional team of coders who care about the outcome.” 

The Future of Cyrannus

The first Cyrannus blog post has been published! It’s about whistleblower rights and protections. The next article will look into the feasibility of a local unicorn’s claims. The blog will publish a new article every week. 

Learn more about Cyrannus here. 

For details on CodeLaunch Ohio, click here

CodeLaunch Community Partner Spotlight: COhatch Creates New Ways to Work While Supporting Startups Around the Country

By Shelby Sansone June 1, 2022
One of the many COhatch co-working environments

Our CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 community partner COhatch is a coworking, meeting, and event space provider, but they also put an immense amount of effort into giving back to their communities.  

COhatch currently has locations across Ohio and Indianapolis, with many more spaces popping up over the next year. While their growth is something to be celebrated, COhatch Head of Impact Jessica Gesue told us they’re most excited about helping people through their Impact Collective Program. 

Boost Scholarship  

The Impact Collective Program provides three different kinds of scholarships in the communities COhatch serves. The Boost Scholarship focuses on local start-ups with an emphasis on minority and women entrepreneurs. 

The people who receive the scholarships get to use the COhatch spaces absolutely free of charge as they work to build their startup and bring their ideas to life.  

“Throughout our years, we’ve seen just how important local businesses and ideas matter. We’ve always known that supporting local businesses is imperative to our community, but as we created a community of local entrepreneurs, we’ve seen the impact supporting local startups and businesses makes near and far.” – COhatch  

71 startup founders have gotten a Boost Scholarship, and COhatch has awarded $209,300 to local startups thus far. They also provide members and other community members a chance to “adopt a startup”. This means they will pair a startup with a mentor or supporter that can help their company grow and succeed. 

CodeLaunch Partnership 

COhatch will give the winner of CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 their own Boost Scholarship! This generous award will help them work on their startup while also getting numerous chances to network throughout the building. 

CodeLaunch Ohio Tour held at COhatch locations in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati

We asked Jessica why COhatch wanted to partner with CodeLaunch. She said it was a no-brainer for their company, especially since they are seeing a major increase in startups popping up throughout Ohio. 

“We love the idea of partnering with experts and want to help connect people,” Jessica said. “This includes connecting our Boost Scholars with CodeLaunch.” 

We’ve decided that the CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 semi-finalists and finalists’ announcements will be made from the COhatch Gateway location in Columbus! This space is only minutes from where the final competition will be held and we are thrilled to provide this great news to startups from such a fun space. 

COhatch also hosted our Ohio Tour at the beginning of May, which gave our Founder Jason W. Taylor the opportunity to meet startup founders throughout Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati while everyone enjoyed happy hour at the workspaces.  

Jessica said COhatch likes that people do not have to pay in order to compete in CodeLaunch and that we do not take any equity. This made us perfect partners for their mission to help Ohio startups thrive. 

More About COhatch 

COhatch is a coworking, meeting, and event space all in one! “Work. Meet. Live.” is the phrase they center everything around and believe the “live” component is their differentiating power. COhatch locations have game rooms, birthday party spaces, theater rooms, sports simulators, and more. 

“We want to treat everyone like a family and have shared resources,” Jessica said. 

The other two scholarships COhatch regularly gives are for non-profits and community members. So far, they have given $1M worth of scholarships to non-profits since July 2021. 

They also recently launched COhatch+ on May 17th! This digital platform helps members make connections with people in the COhatch community, even if they do not need a physical place to work. They have digital portals for neighborhood groups and nonprofit needs. Jessica said COhatch+ will have a startups and investors group in the future too. 

To learn more about COhatch, click here. You can find out more about their Boost Scholarship by using this link

Watch our CodeLaunch Houston 2022 wrap up video and get ready for an awesome experience in Ohio!

Phix Health Sets Record for Largest and Fastest Seed Round After CodeLaunch Appearance with a $3.5M Seed Round Deal in 5 Months.

By Shelby Sansone May 20, 2022
Mark Schultz finalist pitch at CodeLaunch DFW 2021

Phix Health was a finalist for CodeLaunch DFW 2021 in October. Now they’re breaking a CodeLaunch record after they secured a round of seed funding which included $3.5 million in intellectual property and cash only five months after the competition. This is the fastest that any CodeLaunch finalist has closed a round of this size.

In March, they partnered with Bill Koehler and Mike Colson, two individual entrepreneurs who invest and operate in multiple companies. Both Koehler and Colson have been in the healthcare space for a long time and saw incredible value in Phix Health’s mission. 

Because of this significant deal, Founder Mark Schultz told us they have been actively developing their app throughout the Spring. Phix Health will roll out its application’s beta version in October which will be ready for use, and the alpha version is set to be completed by July.

Mark said he started Phix Health because he noticed that wearables and every other device on the market gives historical data, but it ends there. That’s why Phix Health takes historical data, pairs it with AI, and gives the user an actionable plan to transform their health. 

They do this by bringing together multiple data sets into their single platform by integrating with wearables like Apple Watches and Fitbits. It also connects with glucose monitors, EKGs, scales, blood pressure cuffs, and any other health or wellness device. 

Mark said CodeLaunch allowed them to demonstrate how the app can take multiple devices and put the data into a singular platform to allow the user to have actionable recommendations to provide outcomes. Improving was their hackathon partner and made all of this happen. The developers helped build their website with a live demo to show people in the market how to use the app. 

“CodeLaunch is unique,” Mark said. “I’ve seen a bunch of accelerators, and we’ve been invited to a bunch since then. We’ve turned them all down because they want equity. It’s been refreshing to see that basically, CodeLaunch empowers you to be a better person and a better company.” 

Mark exhibiting during CodeLaunch DFW 2021

He also told us CodeLaunch gave the Phix Health founder confidence that his idea could succeed. The competition helped him and his team elevate their sales pitch and helped them get in touch with investors.  

“It was market validation for us,” he said. “CodeLaunch gave us a platform that allowed us to simplify our message.” 

Phix Health’s target audience is anyone in the health space. They want to work with concierge physicians and other people in the wellness and fitness industry, as well as those in the life insurance and health insurance world. 

Mark will join CodeLaunch Founder Jason W. Taylor on Discord on Monday, May 23rd. You can hear him speak about his journey in founding and creating Phix Health by joining the conversation. If you would like to receive similar results for your startup, do not miss out on applying to CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 which is set for August 25th. You can apply for it here. 

To learn more about why you should apply for CodeLaunch, check out this blog post

Now’s Your Chance to Apply for CodeLaunch Ohio 2022

By CA Staff Blogger May 4, 2022

The CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 application portal is now OPEN! This means your startup could be accelerated in as little as three months. But, that will only happen if you apply! We will stop taking applications on June 16th at 12:00pm EDT.

Why Should I Apply?

Davidson Theatre in Columbus, OH

That’s a great question with so many answers! First, the competition has no entry fee of any kind. So, it’s FREE to apply and FREE to compete. Your startup will receive a FREE two-day professional developer Hackathon if you make it to the finals, which means you’ll get thousands of dollars worth of free development done to your product.

CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 will be on August 25th at the Davidson Theatre at Riffe Center in Columbus. You don’t have to be located in Ohio to be selected for this event. We are taking applications from anywhere in the United States (and we will be open to international startups during later competitions).

What’s a Hackathon?

The professional hackathon is an all-out, coffee and energy drink-filled coding marathon where professional software and application development teams are paired with CodeLaunch Finalists to build out as much of their product as they can. That product is then demoed live and for the first time in front of the CodeLaunch audience, who then vote for their Overall Winner.

This is what truly sets CodeLaunch apart from the rest of the startup events and we’re super proud of all the Hackathon sponsors who partner with us for each event.

CodeLaunch HOU 2022

The Competition

Speaking of the live demo, our final competition is always a thrilling event! Each CodeLaunch finalist will get to pitch to this room with the product they created or modified during the Hackathon.

This is a rare experience to explain what makes your product unique and marketable. The room is filled with VCs and Angels who want to find startups to invest in. Even if you do not win the competition, you will still have that product and get your name out to the audience.

To learn more about the CodeLaunch experience, you can click here to read all about CodeLaunch HOU 2022!

How to Apply

It’s so easy to apply that you have zero excuses not to! Go to our Application Portal and start the process. You’ll need a pitch deck which we accept through PowerPoint or PDF. Then, you’ll want to have mockups/wireframes. If we select you as a finalist, you’ll have to show us what you hope to build so we can do it through the hackathon. The categories we support are U.S. Commercial, Social Impact, and Youth.

What are you waiting for? Apply for CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 NOW!

Watch our CodeLaunch Houston 2022 wrap up video and get ready for an awesome experience in Ohio!

Startup DrinKicks Encourages Healthy Living Through Shoes

By CA Staff Blogger April 23, 2022

Startup Founder Kristeen Reynolds is striving to succeed with her startup DrinKicks, which is a health and wellness tech startup with a sneaker twist. 

DrinKicks Founder Kristeen Reynolds

Right now, they have a juice product with a QR code on the bottle. When customers scan the code, it takes them to a virtual metaverse experience. Participants will get incentivized for exercising and interacting with their environment. They’ll receive general health tips through the process and will even get taught how to make their own shoes. Kristeen says their ultimate goal is to physically make shoes using their own juice bottle product.

The innovative idea came from a conversation between Kristeen and her Co-Founder Michael Fletcher. They had an inspiring conversation about why people do not understand how important shoes are to their overall health. Michael said people should learn about health through shoes, and that’s how the idea for DrinKicks was born.

The startup applied for CodeLaunch HOU 2022. They were extremely close to making it to the finals but ultimately did not get in. However, Kristeen says it was cool to go through the process. She tells us it helped them learn more about their own product and meet a lot of people in the startup space.

“It challenged us to go out there and get customer feedback,” she says. “So, it was definitely a good experience that helped us take things to the next level or confirm that we are doing the right thing, taking the right steps.”

The DrinKicks idea started in 2020 and they filed for a trademark in 2021. By January 2022, they made the startup official. Now, their goal is to raise money and continue working on development. And when it comes to CodeLaunch, they have not given up yet!

“I’m big on the phrase ‘you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t make,” Kristeen said.

Kristeen plans to apply for CodeLaunch Ohio 2022, which is set for August in Columbus. To learn more about CodeLaunch Ohio 2022, click here.

In Case You Missed CodeLaunch HOU 2022

By CA Staff Blogger March 31, 2022

If you missed CodeLaunch HOU 2022, you should know that it was an amazing and thrilling success! It was the first CodeLaunch to happen in Houston, TX, and we can certainly say it made a mark on the startup space in H-Town.

CodeLaunch HOU 2022 Winner

CodeLaunch Winners Mery Ramirez Telha Ghanchi with CodeLaunch Founder Jason W. Taylor and Host Raheel Malik

Congratulations to Houston’s own TRX for winning the entire competition! The startup worked with its hackathon sponsor Improving throughout the week to snag the belt on Wednesday.

“CodeLaunch was the perfect addition to the upward momentum the Houston tech startup ecosystem is experiencing,” TRX Co-Founder Mery Ramirez said. “It was also a showcase of the incredible talent available by pairing finalists with hackathon teams. Our hackathon partner, Improving, was everything you want in a high-performing technical team. The overwhelming feedback we got from the event attendees validates that what we’re trying to do has the potential to resonate within the community, and reassures the mission and vision for our company.”

TRX is a platform dedicated to logistics recovery. They work to shine a light on how their platform can generate positive change for the US supply chain by connecting logistic companies with mobile mechanics.

“When we first met with Mery and Telha their vision was clear and we were able to quickly brainstorm and nail down an excellent idea to show off their business idea at CodeLaunch,” Improver and TRX Hackathon Team Member Michael Slater said. “They were fun to work with and the Improving team had an awesome time hacking together a mobile app to demonstrate the value TRX wants to bring to the industry. We are so happy to share in their success in winning CodeLaunch Houston 2022!”

Clutch Co-Founder Simone May (left) and Founder Madison Long (right) pose with their Judges’ Choice Award

Clutch, also from Houston, went home a winner too. The startup received a first-ever Judges’ Choice award during the event.

Shoutout to all of our other finalists who will now go on to launch in to viable startup companies.

Katy, TX
Houston, TX
Friendswood, TX (Student Founder)
Houston, TX
New York, NY

And a big thank you to our 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.

“CodeLaunch was a transformational experience for us,” Axon COO Owen Goode said. “Our team got an incredible opportunity to unify around a challenging project, resulting in a new level of cohesiveness and camaraderie. We were able to present our brand to both Houston and the world, and we found an audience that resonated with our offering. Finally and most importantly, we helped the otherwise impossible come to fruition by launching AIKYNETIX, giving them a massive boost towards investment and scale.”

All About CodeLaunch HOU 2022

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 there is no equity 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 HOU 2022 went above and beyond our expectations! There were more than 600 people in attendance. We are thankful for everyone who came out to support the event and Houston’s startup community.

Improving Houston President Devlin Liles

Houston Exponential Partnership

During the event, Improving Houston President Devlin Liles made an important announcement that we have partnered with Houston Exponential to make CodeLaunch the premier event occurring during the 2023 Houston Tech Rodeo!

CodeLaunch Ohio 2022 is Around the Corner

CodeLaunch heads to Ohio next! We will be in Columbus on August 24th. Click here to learn more and make sure to check in with us for more details in the coming months.

CodeLaunch HOU 2022 Hackathon Teams

CodeLaunch Comes to Houston, TX for the First Time in Competition History

By Shelby Sansone February 28, 2022

CodeLaunch is making its way to H-Town for the very first time, helping early-stage startups succeed using our unique spin on the seed accelerator model. Aligned with the ideals of conscious capitalism, CodeLaunch supports the startup ecosystem by awarding deserving startups with the invaluable services they need to launch. We have given over $1M in services to Finalists and the Overall Winners since 2013. 

“I am excited about what CodeLaunch means for these finalists, and what it means for the health and continued growth of the Houston startup space. Improving is investing heavily in the community through CodeLaunch and other events. This year is GREAT, and next year will be even greater!”

– Devlin Liles, President of Improving Houston

CodeLaunch HOU 2022 Finalists Announced: 

Congratulations to our CodeLaunch HOU 2022 finalists, who will compete in our main event on March 30th at the Bayou Music Center!


Each of these incredible startups will receive a professional product development hackathon from one of our professional hackathon team sponsors.

Our Houston cohort started with 81 founders. A small group earned their way into the CodeLaunch Professional Coder League “draft” after a six-week interactive and educational gauntlet produced by the CodeLaunch curation team. 

One of those founders is Eric Goldner, who is the founder of SkyValet.

“Being an up-and-coming travel start-up, SkyValet has had an interest in CodeLaunch since 2020,” Goldner said. “CodeLaunch is a natural fit for us. After applying for the accelerator, the second time was the charm for us — nothing comes easy. We are excited for what the event will bring as we expand our product offerings for 2022 and beyond.”

The hackathon teams made up of elite professional technology architects will put in 24 hours of sweat into their drafted startup before our competition finale and showcase on March 30th. ​

FirstGen Agency Founder Raheel Malik is our emcee, assisting with curation and production. This is his fourth CodeLaunch event.

Professional Hackathon Team Sponsors:

Houston-based technology company Axon Collective will provide a hackathon team for Aikynetix. 

“We first heard about CodeLaunch years ago when we were in Dallas, and we’ve followed them closely ever since. Our whole mission as a company revolves around enabling startups and helping them succeed, and so when we learned that CodeLaunch was coming to Houston we knew we had to participate. Aikynetix lands at the intersection of breakthrough technology and real need, and we are so excited to join them as they revolutionize running science.” 

– Axon Collective 

Only one startup will win, but every finalist will walk out with valuable investments already made to their startup because of the time their Hackathon team spent working on their product. 

What is CodeLaunch? 

Produced by Improving, CodeLaunch is a combination of a seed accelerator competition, tech tradeshow, startup conference, and raucous networking event! CodeLaunch sponsors and partners put thousands of dollars in professional seed services behind the winners of its national seed accelerator competition. 

CodeLaunch was founded in 2013. CodeLaunch Founder and President Jason W. Taylor wanted to help startups who were investible but for their technology holding up closing funding deals. With Code Authority’s (now Improving Frisco) resources, he made it happen. 

We have evolved into a traveling seed accelerator and startup expo. The first CodeLaunch event held outside of DFW was CodeLaunch ATL 2021 which was held in August. Based on the turnout and community interest in Atlanta, we have launched the CodeLaunch North American World Tour and Houston is our first stop!

What makes CodeLaunch truly unique is the professional hackathon. Local “dev shops” come together to build out as much of each Finalists’ MVP as possible. The Finalists then demo these products live and for the first time in front of the CodeLaunch audience, who then vote for a winner. 

CodeLaunch is aligned with the ideals of conscious capitalism, believing that business can be socially responsible and, ultimately, ethically good. One of the ways we exemplify this philosophy is by making the competition free to apply with no equity surrendered by the applicants. This means startups have nothing to lose and everything to gain by applying. In addition, CodeLaunch gives away surplus exhibitor space to local startups for free, allowing them to network with angels and investors. 

Join Us at CodeLaunch HOU 2022! 

CodeLaunch will take place at the Bayou Music Center on March 30th, 2022 in Houston, TX. Get your tickets here!

Media, Exhibit, and Sponsorship Inquiries:

You and your brand are invited to CodeLaunch. There is still time for your brand to align with CodeLaunch and Conscious Capitalism. Parties interested in Exhibit space, Media, and Sponsorship may contact Max Day. 

CodeLaunch DFW 2021 | Startup Accelerator Recap

CodeLaunch Professional Hackathon Team Sponsor Leverture Reflects on Their Amazing CodeLaunch DFW 2021 Experience

By CA Staff Blogger January 25, 2022
Jake Hamann (right) celebrates winning CodeLaunch DFW 2021 on stage with Jason W. Taylor (left)

CodeLaunch DFW 2021 winner AUTIX could not have earned the championship belt without their professional hackathon team sponsor, Leverture. Developers from this information technology and services company located in Plano, TX, worked tirelessly for two, 10-hour days, to help create Autix’s app during the competition’s Hackathon. 

Joshua Clounch, the Founder and CEO of Leverture, shared his delight after a successful experience at CodeLaunch DFW. 

“I don’t think initially we really fully understood what was going to be the end impact. We were just having fun building what we could, but them [AUTIX] having something in their hands when they did not have something in their hands before is so big.”

– Joshua Clounch

From the numerous benefits of being a professional hackathon team sponsor, Joshua highlighted the ultimate benefit for the developers, which was the ability to work a business idea without any red tape. Leverture worked directly with the startup, which is a quick, fun experience, with fewer constraints. These developers also get a platform to prove to themselves how they can effectively and collaboratively build the best application possible.

“We have seen first-hand that the developers who worked on the project are continuously motivated and direct their excitement towards their work to become even better.” said Jason W. Taylor, Founder of CodeLaunch.

Winning the hackathon has instilled a new wave of electricity and energy in the office. This win is an opportunity for the developers to enhance their personal brand as well as elevate their standing with existing and potential clients.

Leverture has been a great development partner for us (Autix)” said Jake Hamann CEO, Autix, after the Hackathon.

Jason W. Taylor (left) presents Jake Hamann (middle) and Joshua Clounch (right) with their CodeLaunch DFW 2021 trophy belts

Joining the CodeLaunch community sealed the relationship between Leverture and AUTIX, which continued to flourish after the competition ended. Leverture went above and beyond to provide another two weeks of pro-bono software development to AUTIX. Ensuring the best outcome possible for all. 

Given all of the above, Leverture has decided to join CodeLaunch again! They will continue to work with budding startups as a professional hackathon team sponsor for CodeLaunch DFW 2022. We can’t wait to have Mr. Clounch and his team back to help elevate the CodeLaunch experience.

CodeLaunch DFW 2021 Startup Accelerator Recap

Take a look at CodeLaunch’s Hackathon experience

Click here to learn more: CodeLaunch HTX 2022

Introducing Student Founder Finalist, Durable Alpha

By CA Staff Blogger October 29, 2020

Out of 140+ applicants, Durable Alpha was chosen as the Student Founder Finalist.  Durable Alpha is a customized, alternate data firm that works with hedge funds to analyze data and find additional market information. Read more to learn all about Durable Alpha and their CodeLaunch experience.

About Durable Alpha

Investment firms are always trying to find additional data on companies because it gives them a competitive edge over others participating in the market. With more data, they can generate higher returns. Hedge funds have unique ideas on the different types of data points they want to collect, but they oftentimes lack the technical capabilities to deploy solutions that are fast, reliable, and produce actionable insights.

hedge funds solution

Durable Alpha works with hedge funds to find this extra information. Their software solution allows investment companies to do everything at scale so they can start applying data to their ideas and generate great market returns. Working side by side with hedge funds, Durable Alpha’s solutions inform investment decisions. Their scalable technology allows Durable Alpha to mine data, analyze it, and create actionable insights seamlessly.

Founders Background and Goals

Durable Alpha was founded by Rohit Shenoy and Pranjal Satiia. Rohit is a McDermott scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas, majoring in Computer Science. He founded his first business, a tutoring marketplace, when he was 15 years old. He has worked on startups ever since being COO of Fixe Food and CEO of CampusOven. Currently, he is building Durable Alpha as the COO.

Pranjal is a National Merit scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas, majoring in Software Engineering. He has extensive technical experience, working on large scale apps as a software developer at Bottle Rocket. Before, he worked as a software engineer for Bloomberg in New York. He is the CTO of Durable Alpha.

Pranjal and Rohit always wanted to build a tech startup because of their technical skills and interest in business. Rohit says, “We are both of the mindset that having an idea and then building it into reality while being your own boss is one of the coolest things you can do.” Rohit was a software contractor at a hedge fund and developed the idea from there. When discussing building Durable Alpha, everything clicked for them and they realized they had something with big potential.

Durable Alpha’s short-term goal is to keep building up their clients and iterating the product offerings based on feedback they receive. Their long-term goal is to be the leading custom alternative data player in the institutional fund space.

product offerings

The CodeLaunch Experience

Rohit first learned about CodeLaunch from his mentor, Josh Stramiello. They found it interesting because they realized that applying and competing at CodeLaunch could get their name out there as well as get them technical help with some of their more challenging problems.

Regarding the CodeLaunch experience so far, Rohit says, “It has been seamless and fun! We really like everyone we’ve interacted with on the CodeLaunch team.”

If Durable Alpha were to win CodeLaunch, they would use the traction to then apply for other accelerators, like YC and Techstars, to build their company even further.

Join us at CodeLaunch 8!

Durable Alpha is most excited to pitch their company live in front of the CodeLaunch audience. Make sure you’re there to see it! Join us on November 5th and reserve your spot by registering for CodeLaunch 8 today!

Introducing the CodeLaunch 8 Finalists

By CA Staff Blogger October 26, 2020

2020 – what a year! We have endured a global pandemic, natural disasters, stock market drop, the loss of iconic figures such as Kobe Bryant, and much, much more. But, one thing we can all rejoice is that, thanks to the support of UNT at Frisco, CodeLaunch 8 will be ON and IN-PERSON!

CodeLaunch had humble beginnings with big dreams. It all started in 2012 as a local pitch competition and has since transformed into a traveling seed accelerator competition and startup expo. CodeLaunch 8 features some of the most unique startups yet, and they will all be bringing their A game.

This blog highlights the outstanding Finalists competing in CodeLaunch 8.  

The Finalists & What They Win

Despite COVID-19, CodeLaunch was still able to curate 140 applicants from 23 states and 17 different countries. Out of all of the applicants, only 5 Finalists and 1 Alternate were selected to represent CodeLaunch.

The CodeLaunch 8 Finalists include:

Commercial Venture

Student Founder


This year, our Finalists are competing for over $100,000 in invaluable seed services. Rather than a traditional cash prize, CodeLaunch actually provides those services that are critical to early-startup success. These offerings include a three-day product development hackathon, business plan consulting, legal services, digital marketing campaigns, and more.

Prior to the pitch competition, a select number of Finalists are provided a professional hackathon team to turn their tech concept into a tangible product. This year’s hackathon teams are offered by Code Authority, Improving, iTexico, and UNT at Frisco. Each team is made up of 3 to 5 developers, designers, and quality assurance experts.

The products developed during the hackathons are then demoed for the first time in front of a live audience at CodeLaunch. The competing startups have only 5 minutes to demonstrate how their product works, what makes it marketable, and why they should win CodeLaunch. One of the best parts is, as an attendee, you are instrumental in selecting the Overall Winner! Using ProTexting’s SMS text platform, you will get to cast your vote for the winning startup. It’s an exciting moment you don’t want to miss!

More About the Finalists

Now that you know who the finalists are, it’s time to learn more about what they do.


AuthentifyArt seeks to transform the art industry by allowing people to experience art in a brand-new way. They want to bring art into the 21st century by providing verified data to collectors, insurance companies, banks, value-added service providers, and the general public.


MotoClerk aims to advance the automotive repair industry with innovative software. Generally, automotive repair shops use antiquated software to manage their business. MotoClerk provides a free, modernized application so they can manage their inventory, track their customers and jobs, and process transactions all in one application.

Durable Alpha

Working cohesively with hedge funds, Durable Alpha’s solutions inform investment decisions. Their scalable technology allows users to mine data, analyze it, and create actionable insights seamlessly, giving hedge funds a competitive advantage.


talkien upgrades the way speech videos are created. A speech video is multimedia accompanied by an audio overlay. Currently, bloggers and others are forced to manually piece together these videos, which takes a lot of time. The talkien application transforms this process by allowing these speech videos to be created almost instantly.

Coconut Silo

Coconut Silo is a mobility startup that streamlines logistics. They enable manufacturers to move their cargo even if they don’t have trucks through the Coconut Silo application. Logistics companies, cargo owners, and drivers can manage resources using the application, speeding up and streamlining the process.

Join us at CodeLaunch 8!

CodeLaunch is a unique and memorable experience to take part in. CodeLaunch 8 is on November 5th and held at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. Join us at CodeLaunch 8 and choose a winner from one of the innovative Finalists. Due to our health and safety measures, only 500 people can attend so make sure you’re one of them by reserving your spot today!

Transforming the Art Industry with Authentify Art

By CA Staff Blogger October 26, 2020

CodeLaunch 8 will feature Finalists from a variety of background and industries. Among those is Authentify Art, a tech startup aimed at transforming the art industry by allowing the general public to experience collections in a brand-new way. This blog details Authentify Art, what they do, and their CodeLaunch experience so far.

What is Authentify Art?

As a 3 trillion dollar industry, art is one of the last unregulated asset classes in the world. It is often thought of as exciting and mysterious, but in reality, the current market is opaque and fragmented. Authentify Art believes it to be stuck in the 19th century. They want to transform and modernize the art industry by empowering people to engage in the art market.

To bring art into the 21st century, Authentify Art provides easy access to accurate information about works of art. They deliver verified data to collectors, insurance companies, banks, value-added service providers, and the general public. Authentify Art is all about data and their mission revolves around providing verified information so anyone can know the true identity of any authentic work of art. They bring together different technologies to move an entire industry into a new mindset.

Using cutting edge and established technologies (RFID, IoT devices, multi-spectral imaging, cloud computing, robotics, AI, and public blockchain), Authentify Art makes it easy and inexpensive for anyone to get access to verified information about artwork.

Founder Backgrounds

Curtis McConnell, CEO, is a technical engineer with 25 years of experience in developing technology and supply chain solutions. At ProFlowers, he helped to revolutionize the flower industry, and at 1800Flowers, he helped modernize an iconic brand by updating their technology. He is a visionary leader with the ability to motivate and mentor his team to move mountains and to pull off the seemingly impossible.

Dan Bodenheimer, CPO, is a pragmatic leader who is passionate about delivering the best product that an engineering team can deliver. He was part of the award-winning ProFlowers team and was the enterprise architect for 1800Flowers. Dan is a technology pioneer whose alter ego happens to be as a genealogy expert and the world’s foremost expert on Leslie Charteris’ mystery-adventure novels.

Keri Kilty, CRO, is an expert in relationship building, market strategy, and plan execution. Her mission is always to do good for her clients and colleagues. She has worked with companies such as Goodwill International, ING, and World Acceptance Corporation.

Accomplishments and Goals

Authentify Art’s biggest accomplishments are their patent and industry buy in. They are proud of their product vision, which is exciting major players in the art industry. They’ve received a couple of major clients in the insurance and banking industries.

As with any budding startup, Authentify Art has many goals. They want to work with major influencers in the art industry to establish their brand as the primary distributor of verified data. They want to change the mindset of industry insiders. But ultimately, they want the world to understand more about art so they can be more engaged to invest and collect it themselves.

The CodeLaunch Experience

Curtis heard about CodeLaunch only two days before the submission deadline. After learning more about it, he aligned with the mission. He was excited about the pitching format and the fact that the hackathon teams can help build a project that they had been dying to build for the past four years.

CodeLaunch excites the Authentify Art team because they love building things under time pressure. “I love the adrenaline rush. It reminds me of some of the biggest wins I have had in my professional life and in my years as a competitive hockey player,” says Curtis.

Curtis continues, “Having a short window of time to pull off what would often take months or even years is incredibly exciting and nerve-racking. Knowing how far to push things so your audience will be wowed and you won’t come up short with a buggy, non-functional product is really challenging. I love being a speaker, presenter, and showman, so I am really excited to be given the chance to present this game changing technology experience.”

If Authentify Art were to win CodeLaunch, they will take the created product to the biggest galleries, auction houses, and museums in the world. They have shared early prototypes and the excitement and interest has been resounding. Authentify Art truly believes their application will create change in the art world with how the public interacts with paintings in the future.

Learn More About Authentify at CodeLaunch 8

With its unique idea and lofty goals, Authentify Art’s pitch is sure to impress the audience. You can be a part of it as an attendee. CodeLaunch 8 will take place on November 5th at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. Reserve your spot today! We hope to see you there!

Highlighting MotoClerk, CodeLaunch 8 Finalist

By CA Staff Blogger October 20, 2020

CodeLaunch 8 features some of the brightest and most innovative startup concepts in the world. MotoClerk is a tech startup focused on elevating the automotive industry through streamlined software solutions. This blog details MotoClerk’s background, goals, and their CodeLaunch experience so far.

What is MotoClerk?

Founded by Sean Anderson and Christopher Lay, the inspiration behind MotoClerk was a problem they noticed impacting the efficiency of the automotive repair industry. The available software was often dated and businesses were forced into utilizing subscription-based services. Sean saw the antiquated software his brother used in his shop and decided that a more modern solution would greatly improve day-to-day and big picture processes.

What is great about MotoClerk is they found a way to make profit without charging a pesky subscription fee. One of the ways they plan to do this is by applying a transaction fee to all cards processed through Stripe in the application. The shop owner will have the option of charging this to the customer or paying the fee themselves. The great part is the fee can be avoided by simply using a own card processor of choice.

MotoClerk provides free management software to automotive repair shops. With this software, MotoClerk’s users can manage their inventory, track their customers and jobs, and process transactions all in one application. Unlike the options that currently exist, MotoClerk provides their software to businesses for free without a subscription.

Founder Background & Goals

Sean Anderson is a software developer with experience scaling applications. Personally, he is a self-proclaimed caffeine addict, an adventurous kayaker, and a manual automobile enthusiast (as Sean says, “Is it really a muscle car without a stick shift?”).

Christopher Lay is an Air Force veteran turned coder with experience working on enterprise grade software. He’s a Texas native, a Linux advocate, and breakfast taco lover. With their backgrounds, it is clear to say they make the picture-perfect duo to launch a successful startup.

Sean’s goal has always been to work for himself rather than for someone else. It keeps him motivated. He says that starting his own company has always been his goal since attending college. That entrepreneurial spirit makes him perfect for a competition like CodeLaunch. Aside from earning his black belt in karate, starting MotoClerk and finding Christopher as a co-founder has been his biggest accomplishment so far.

Their short-term goals are receiving a great round of seed funding, getting their first 100 users, and partnering with aftermarket parts resellers. Their long-term goal is using the automotive data they collect to branch out to other parts of the automotive industry.

Getting Ready for CodeLaunch 8

With their goal-oriented attitude and their passion for startups, it was clear they were destined for CodeLaunch 8. Sean found CodeLaunch while looking for other startup competitions. He read more and more about other founders’ experiences with the event and thought MotoClerk would be a great fit. So far, they have not been disappointed!

Sean says, “[CodeLaunch 8] has been an awesome experience so far that really pushed us to bring our A game, and we’ve come really far since the start of CodeLaunch. Jason and Josh have provided invaluable feedback and advice, which has helped shape the future of MotoClerk.”

Both Sean and Christopher are excited for what CodeLaunch 8 holds! They want to see how they stack up against the competition and how much they can accomplish during the hackathon.

Their next steps would be to procure seed funding and to finally launch their product—whether they win CodeLaunch or not. They are excited and determined to get MotoClerk up and running.

Learn More About MotoClerk at CodeLaunch 8

You will learn more about MotoClerk and the other finalists at CodeLaunch 8. We know we will be seeing a lot more from Sean and Christopher. You can too if you attend this year’s event! Save your spot as an attendee and register for a ticket today!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/moto_clerk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/motoclerk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MotoClerk/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/motoclerk

All About International Finalist Coconut Silo

By CA Staff Blogger October 15, 2020

Out of 140+ CodeLaunch 8 applicants, including 35 international applicants, Coconut Silo was chosen as an International Finalist. Coming all the way from Seoul, South Korea, their startup focuses on improving the efficiency of mobility and logistics in the commercial shipping industry. This blog details Coconut Silo, their accomplishments, and their CodeLaunch experience so far.

What is Coconut Silo?

Vietnam is a leading country in global commercial vehicle revenue, which is why Coconut Silo decided to start their business there (along with the fact that they like the country). Stakeholders still use conventional ways to communicate with each other—especially in Vietnam. They found that the vague pricing is a big problem in the industry, and oftentimes, cargo owners end up paying more than they should. This is a problem that Coconut Silo aims to solve.

Coconut Silo began as an in-house startup of the Hyundai Motor Group and evolved into their own entity in June of 2020. They are a mobility startup that streamlines logistics. One of the problems cargo owners have is with placing orders, which requires numerous calls and manual fetching and distribution. Coconut Silo solves this problem by having their users upload orders to their solution. Drivers then make bids to logistically fulfill them. Essentially, Coconut Silo enables manufacturers to move their cargo even if they don’t have trucks. Both logistics companies and drivers can manage resources using the Coconut Silo application.

About the Founders

Coconut Silo was founded by Seungyong Kim (CEO), Kangyeop Ahn (CMO), and Tony Taewon Han (CTO). Kim and Ahn have been friends since 2010, are fellow graduates of Hanyang University, Republic of Korea and former Hyundai Motor Company employees. While employed at Hyundai, they gained insights into both the commercial vehicle field and logistics market, which is what inspired Coconut Silo.

Kim and Han met each other at the Samsung SDS sGen Club, an internship, in 2014. They worked on several projects together, and realizing they made a good fit, Kim scouted Han for Coconut Silo.

Kim has been inspired by startups since he was young. It all started with Naver, a Korean search engine, which made a huge impact on Korean internet history. This shocked Kim and made him dream about launching a startup since he was 10 years old. As he grew older, he began to truly appreciate and love Vietnamese culture. When he first visited Vietnam in 2014, he was surprised by all of the Korean companies there. It inspired him to launch Coconut Silo in Vietnam.

Coconut Silo Founders

Coconut Silo Accomplishments & Goals

Being the youngest global startup from Hyundai’s in-house startup alumni, Coconut Silo has a lot to be proud of. Their biggest accomplishments include:

With an upward trajectory, Coconut Silo has many goals. Some of their short-term goals include:

Their long-term goals include:

They want to continue to pursue ideas that bring them joy and pave the way for other Korean startups to join the global market.

The CodeLaunch Experience

A government organization, Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (GCCEI) recommended CodeLaunch to Coconut Silo as they’ve been so successful as an early stage startup in Korea. They have enjoyed the selection process so far.

CodeLaunch Pitch

Kim says, “CodeLaunch is one of the biggest startup events in the world that has an individual track for international startups. We knew that becoming a CodeLaunch Finalist would boost and develop our business even further. The most important thing is CodeLaunch has become an enormous opportunity for us since we could check our probability among global startup ecosystems.”

Coconut Silo is also looking forward to the hackathon! Once they get the platform, they are heading directly to their target markets in Vietnam and India and will try their best to make Coconut Silo succeed.

Kim also says, “It is insane to become the first finalist from Asia. We’ve enjoyed the whole selection process and have been so excited to meet such nice guys like Josh and Jason. We received fancy comments from experts like them, which made us review our business overall.”

Join us at CodeLaunch 8!

CodeLaunch 8 features Finalists with so much promise, just like Coconut Silo. Join us on November 5th at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas! Save your spot as an attendee and register for CodeLaunch 8 now!  

– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/coconutsilo
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coconutsilo

Introducing CodeLaunch 8 Finalist, talkien

By CA Staff Blogger October 8, 2020

CodeLaunch 8 features some of most innovative startup organizations in the world, including talkien, one of our international Finalists from Russia. talkien is a cutting-edge communications app focused on speech videos. This blog highlights talkien, what they do, their future plans, and their CodeLaunch 8 experience so far.

What is talkien?

talkien is a new kind of communication app aimed at creating speech videos instantly. A speech video refers to any type of video where speaking is accompanied by images or videos. A talkien user talks and lets the app do the rest with built-in AI. The app analyzes your speech and automatically selects and integrates the most relevant videos and images. In other words, talkien is the shortest way to be heard.

Talkien phone

Nowadays, speech videos are created manually. Bloggers edit videos and images then overlay the audio. talkien, on the other hand, allows users to create a similar video much quicker. There’s a large market for communication apps, and talkien is about this large market with verified demand.

With 10 year of digital content marketing experience, the concept of talkien was created. It has undergone the nitty gritty of audience research, test advertising campaigns, and feedback collection in order to become the app it is today.

Founders’ Background

talkien was founded by Denis Dolsky and Pavel Yanonis, friends and colleagues for over 12 years. Denis came from a digital marketing and management background, heading the digital department of a large communications agency by 2017. In 2018, as Managing Director, Denis launched a creative digital agency, “deep”, from scratch. During the first year, the agency has implemented more than 30 projects for large international companies.

During this time, Pavel developed his career as a programmer, implementing large automation projects for international market leaders as well as in the music and sound industry. His musical project, Pauliq, is already receiving excellent reviews from the media industry and by performing at the Red Bull Music Festival.

Together, they are a team of highly qualified specialists in data science, design and UI/UX, digital marketing, and analytics. They have had a desire to launch a startup for a long time and they have been moving towards its realization consistently. With talkien, they believe they can.

Accomplishments & Goals

The first question they wanted to answer was: Can we create relevant frames based on keywords? Therefore, they developed an iOS MVP application and began to conduct their first tests. The video processing speed didn’t meet their original vision, but the result itself was not bad! Most of the keywords had been converted to relevant frames.

The second, more difficult question they had was: Do users need it? To prove their product demand hypothesis, they prepared over 50 static and dynamic creatives and ran a lead generation campaign on Facebook and Instagram. They received very good CPA and CIR indicators as well as their first app users.

talkien’s long-term goal is expressed in their brand vision: to be the shortest way to be heard. They are preparing a new version of the product to attract the first paying users.

Looking Towards to CodeLaunch 8

talkien found CodeLaunch through researching startup competitions. They imagined their ideal startup competition—presence of a large market, understanding of the target market, and the prize was substantial enough for them to continue development. Suddenly, they realized CodeLaunch fit all of their parameters perfectly.

When they found CodeLaunch, they thought “Wow, this is a very cool idea to combine a startup accelerator and a hackathon! Why didn’t many others do that?” From that moment, they knew they were game.

The founders feel like they have been working with the CodeLaunch team for a long time—even though application window just ended in July. As they said, “It is a real achievement to maintain both a high level of professionalism and a truly home-like atmosphere. It motivates and energizes!”

Currently, they understand their target product, and every day the founders move towards that goal. They’ve already made good progress since entering. If talkien wins, it will speed up the date of their app store release.

“Everyone who wants to start creating speech videos instantly as soon as possible should vote for us!” says the founders.

Join us at CodeLaunch 8!

CodeLaunch 8 takes place on November 5th at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. It’s going to be better than ever, and with our health and safety measures, we are taking every precaution that it will be safe to attend. Don’t miss out! Reserve your spot as an attendee and register today!

8 Reasons to Attend CodeLaunch 8

By CA Staff Blogger October 7, 2020

CodeLaunch began in 2012 as a small, local product pitch competition and has since evolved into a traveling startup competition and networking expo that aims to reach 3 additional markets in the United States in 2021. Despite the recent global pandemic, CodeLaunch received over 140 total applications this year, 35 of which came from countries outside of the U.S. The 8th annual CodeLaunch is going to be better than ever as we are introducing more Finalists, more hackathon teams, and more services than ever before.

Despite COVID, we are still proceeding with the event but will be enforcing strict safety precautions and guidelines outlined later in this blog.

Even if you didn’t apply for CodeLaunch, you can still benefit by attending the event. Here are 8 reasons why you should attend CodeLaunch 8.

1. Networking

With 95% of professionals considering face-to-face communication as vital for long-term business, attending CodeLaunch is the perfect way to network with aligned businesses, sponsors, and investors that you could potentially collaborate with. It’s a networking event unlike any other where startups, entrepreneurs, and investors collide. 

2. Pitch Competition

After much deliberation from our CodeLaunch selection committee, 7 Finalists and 1 Alternate were selected out of the 140+ applicants. These finalists are competing for invaluable seed services, such as a professional product development hackathon team, our continued startup development program (Afterburner), digital marketing campaigns, legal services, and much, much more!

Each Finalist has only 5 minutes to go over not only their background and goals but also how their concept or product works. In this brief period, they will explain how their product is unique and marketable and why they should win CodeLaunch.

3. Startup Expo

Take to the CodeLaunch expo floor and learn all about our CodeLaunch sponsors and startups in this is a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity. After the Pitch Competition, the Finalists, some Semi-Finalists, and 50+ local businesses and sponsors crowd the Expo floor to network.

4. Vote for Winner

As an attendee, you have a huge part in the outcome of CodeLaunch because you get to vote for the Overall Winner! After listening to the pitches, you get to decide which startup you think has the most potential to succeed.

After the last Finalist pitch, the audience is prompted to vote for their overall winner using ProTexting’s SMS voting platform. Each Finalist will have a unique code for you to cast your vote. On top of winning CodeLaunch, the Overall Winner will receive additional seed services.

5. Support Startup Ecosystem

Starting in Q1 of 2021, CodeLaunch will be expanding into new markets. Each quarter, CodeLaunch will be visiting an Improving market: Atlanta, Columbus, Minneapolis, and North Texas. Attending demonstrates your support for the growing entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem, as well as our core ideals of conscious capitalism.

6. Tech Demonstration

A select number of Finalists will receive a professional development hackathon team that will build out an MVP solution for their startup. The four current hackathon teams are provided by Code Authority, Improving, UNT at Frisco, and iTexico. Each hackathon recipient will receive a 3 to 5-person team of developers, designers, and quality assurance engineers to build out an MVP-level product within 72 hours.

This product from the hackathon team is then demoed during the Pitch Competition live, on stage, and for the first time in front of an audience. You’ll get to see cutting-edge technology created by the hackathon teams.

7. Safe Event

CodeLaunch and its sponsors have made many efforts to make the event safe for everyone to attend. Some of our health and safety initiatives include:

8. Re-Open America!

We are doing everything we can be conscientious of COVID. Our health and safety measures were put into place to make sure CodeLaunch is as safe as possible. With that being said, we are ready to bring some normalcy back into our lives. CodeLaunch will do just that!

Join us at CodeLaunch 8!

CodeLaunch 8 is going to be better than ever! The event takes place on November 5th at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. Save your spot as an attendee and register today!

3GStrong: 1 Year After Winning CodeLaunch

By CA Staff Blogger September 11, 2020


3GStrong was the winner of CodeLaunch 7—the seventh iteration of the annual, national seed accelerator competition. 3GStrong is an elementary school curriculum that teaches social and emotional skills to children through a series of online stories and activities that can be done independently at home, face to face with a class, or can be taught as a combination of the two. This startup was founded by Kelly Starnes and Jamie Peden.

This blog details our 2019 Social Impact finalist’s, 3GStrong, startup journey and the critical role CodeLaunch played in the team’s narrative.


3G strong image

As an elementary school principal and teacher, respectively, Peden and Starnes’ inspiration behind 3GStrong came from a need they saw at school. Research shows that social and emotional skills are essential to success in both school and career. The two founders wanted to teach these skills to kids at an early age, but they couldn’t find a solution that accomplished everything they wanted out of a program while also being accommodating to teachers. Programs similar to 3GStrong often require teachers to spend a significant amount of time planning and executing on top of their already busy schedules, which subsequently takes time away from their families.

Given that, Peden and Starnes continued to push forward and develop their platform in the best interest of their children and children across the nation. 

3GStrong, at its core, is an online curriculum designed to teach children the social and emotional skills critical to success. The offered curriculum is designed for schools, after school programs, and in-home learning. 3GStrong’s Educational material includes e-learning, interactive books, games for all kids, and so much more!

The 3GStrong curriculum also includes relevant and relatable characters in an entertaining presentation where teachers learn alongside students. Lessons include social and emotional development under three focal areas: grit, growth mindset, and grace.

Students connect to the stories and learn from characters Grit, Theo, and Grace in real-life lessons that teach students tools to be in control of their emotions, how to increase their intelligence, and strategies to overcome obstacles.

The 3GStrong lessons include teaching students about how their brain works and the power of breathing as one of the tools to be in control of their emotions, too.


3G strong history

Five years ago, Jamie Peden became the principal at the school where Kelly Starnes was a teacher. Being both educators and mothers, Peden and Starnes have witnessed firsthand how 3GStrong principles can help children succeed.

Starnes graduated from Texas Tech with a degree in Elementary Education and attended the University of North Texas for grad school concentrating in Education Psychology. She is the mother of two grown boys and she is married to a high school teacher and coach. Peden graduated from Texas A&M with a business degree. She owned a successful consulting company before moving into education when her children were young. Both are part of busy, active families.

On a personal note, Starnes says, “Between the two of us, Peden is the fun one. She argues I’m fun too, but she’s the risk taker in our partnership. I’m much more cautious and tend to really overthink things at times. I think it takes us both to be successful. At least for us, it works out pretty well.”

Both shared the idea that to really teach kids what they needed to succeed in today’s world, school must be more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Their belief was—and is—that it’s important to create an emotionally safe culture in which kids can learn. Both were passionate about growing future adults and felt responsible as educators to make sure kids learn the tools to become happy, healthy, and productive citizens.

The Beginning of 3GStrong

3G Strong photo

Peden and Starnes became fast friends and spent many hours after school and on weekends creating what would be known as 3GStrong. It was their “nerdy hobby,” as Starnes calls it. They talked about and tried to find ways to teach kids the skills they felt they needed.

They started by looking for programs that were already created and discovered it was hard to find a comprehensive package to teach these “soft skills.” When they did find something that fit what they wanted to teach, they didn’t believe the kids would resonate with the lesson enough to make the skills stick, that it wasn’t consistent, or that it required too much time and work for teachers to prepare.

Starnes and Peden wanted a daily curriculum that would build culture, but it had to be short and fit into the busy daily schedule of elementary school without creating more work for teachers. They couldn’t find that perfect solution so they began to brainstorm ideas on how to create their own.

Knowing how young kids relate to superheroes and characters, their solution was to create online stories and activities surrounding three characters who go through the same experiences and learn the same lessons as current elementary students do. Peden and Starnes developed realistic characters that learn social and emotional skills like self and social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making, planning and organizing, goal setting, how effort matters in growth, mindfulness, and more.

3GStrong’s Evolution


In the fall of 2016, Peden and Starnes organized these “soft skills” they felt kids needed to know under three main areas: grit, growth mindset, and grace. There, 3GStrong was born and they came up with the idea for the storyline that they used for 3GStrong in the fall of 2017. They shared the curriculum with others and tweaked it based on feedback they received. People kept telling them how much it helped them and their students. This feedback drove them because they wanted more people to experience it. They wanted children to grow. Their intention wasn’t to make a business initially; as natural educators and care-givers, they wanted to solve a real-world problem and ultimately make a real difference in the development of their children and students.

With only a small funding pool available, they hired an illustrator to design their characters and create their own scenes for the stories.

Furthermore, to establish an online presence, they hired Ansley Fones Web Design & Development to build out a website. Ansley helped them find presentation software that would work for 3GStrong stories and activities. They shared the stories with teachers and the response was overwhelming.

Since then, 3GStrong has evolved into a short, daily, online curriculum with professional voice-overs to read the stories aloud, activities that don’t require materials, and discussion topics to help kids and teachers get to know each other and create class culture. Each lesson ends with a mindful breathing exercise to help kids learn to deal with stress and prepare for learning.

With the ease for teachers and the 3G skills kids were learning, teachers started asking for more. They said that it helped their students socially and allowed them to learn like never before with the sense of belonging and culture it created.

The company is growing, and the co-founders realize that they need their own platform to allow users to have the best experience as they move into making 3GStrong a viable business. CodeLaunch is allowing them to do this sooner than they ever imagined by making 3GStrong a viable business.

3G Strong photo

Peden and Starnes aren’t at the same school anymore, but they still share the same passion, which has developed into a budding business. These two have big aspirations for 3GStrong’s future!

Several things along the way have really helped the co-founders know they were headed in the right direction. Here are a few that stand out as milestones that helped them keep their focus on growing 3GStrong so it could help as many students as possible.

Parents sharing success stories of kids applying 3GStrong at home

National after-school care program piloted 3GStrong in three sites in Texas

Teacher Survey Data – Took data on the schools where 3GStrong was piloted

Presented at the Texas Elementary Principal and Supervisor Conference (TEPSA) in Austin, Texas

3Gstrong became a CodeLaunch finalist!

After applying as a startup for the national seed accelerator and pitch competition, 3Gstrong was selected as one of the competition’s five finalists!


The Team


Peden is the co-owner of 3GStrong with prior experience as a successful business owner and has been in the field of education for 14 years.


Starnes is the co-owner of 3Gstrong with 20 years of experience in education and has 10 years of experience leading professional training for educators.


Tiffany is a consultant for 3GStrong and brings 21 years of educational experience with 9 of those years in counseling. She has trained with some of the most influential and knowledgeable researchers on grit, growth mindset, and grace.


Code Launch Event

3GStrong pitched their startup idea to a panel and live audience on July 31, 2019. The result: 3GStrong was awarded the title of CodeLaunch 7 Overall Winner! An exclusive CodeLaunch 7 championship-style belt was awarded to Jamie Peden and Kelly Starnes upon being announced as the winner, and confetti was cued in celebration, closing the finalists’ event.

The startup entrepreneurs received additional seed services as a result of their recognition by the audience at CodeLaunch. Plus, their win has drawn the attention of a prominent Dallas media organizations.

Peden and Starnes’ win was only one of the major takeaways during their time at the event. With over 500 people in attendance, the startup entrepreneurs say that they “met so many people who have connected [them] to others who may want to help 3GStrong continue to gain momentum.”

They met many of those people at the startup expo. The CodeLaunch Startup Expo is a huge networking event with attendees who are looking to help propel startup companies. If you are an entrepreneur, it is a must because it can grow your network leaps and bounds. Peden and Starnes now have new relationships with CodeLaunch Expo participants and are excited to see what is to come of their business.

The women know that “meeting other people passionate about their idea was a wonderful experience,” but there was something more that CodeLaunch offered them.

“We believe CodeLaunch pushed us out of our comfort zone, which needed to happen for us to further our product,” said the CodeLaunch 7 Overall Winner.

They went on to say that their key takeaway from participating in CodeLaunch as a finalist was that “It was more fun and more challenging than we expected. It felt great to have people see what we’ve been working on for four years and see the value in it. I think a lot of people have ideas that are worth seeing, but they don’t know how to change it into an actual product. This is what CodeLaunch can do. It can help you launch your product into more than just an idea.”


Code Launch Winner

When asked about their next steps following the national seed accelerator competition and startup expo, 3GStrong’s co-founders said, “We’ve met a lot of people who just want to help us get our product out there to help kids. Now, we’re looking to fund the rest of our platform and develop the rest of our curriculum so we can push it out as soon as possible to impact as many kids as possible.”

The startup has received a lot of attention since the event. People have contacted Peden and Starnes just to connect with them because they believe in the power of social, academic, and emotional learning.

3GStrong plans to finish their application and get it implemented in Texas’ school curriculum as soon as possible. Then, they anticipate “branching out and changing the world to have Grit, a Growth Mindset, and Grace.”


Code Launch photo

In closing their recap of their CodeLaunch experience as social impact finalists, Peden and Starnes advise people to take the chance on CodeLaunch. “Fill out the form. Just try it. You might just surprise yourself. You may have just what the world needs!” said 3GStrong’s co-founders.

For new startups their advice is to remember the three Gs. Keep a GROWTH mindset and believe you can even when it isn’t easy. Find the GRIT to make it happen. Finally, give yourself GRACE to be flexible and ask for help when you need it.

From everyone here at Code Authority, we wish 3GStrong continued success, as CodeLaunch is now under their belt—a CodeLaunch 7 Overall Winner’s belt, that is.

3G strong photo

3GStrong’s Success, 1 Year After Winning CodeLaunch

Since being crowned the overall winner at CodeLaunch 7 in 2019, 3GStrong has taken remarkable leaps towards success.

With a unique and groundbreaking concept, 3GStrong was destined for greatness, but every great idea needs a plan to execute. Co-founder, Jamie Peden, credits a lot of the early success to CodeLaunch, stating:

“We benefited from CodeLaunch in many ways, in addition to raising money.  We have benefitted from the people you have put us in contact with and the services we have received and are receiving.  All of it contributes to building the best product to meet the needs of our customers and hopefully soon to see a big return.”

Just within the past year, 3GStrong has been able to raise over $100,000, but noted that they have received several offers for more.

Jamie Peden is extremely excited about the momentum of the startup and what the future holds in store for them.

“Based on our projections from our business mentors, the future is bright and we should have some impressive numbers in the future.” 

3GStrong is one of many CodeLaunch finalists that have gone on to become very successful. If there was any doubt that CodeLaunch couldn’t help your startup take off, hear it from 3GStrong themselves:

“I will say that all in all CodeLaunch elevated our business to the next level from planning, financial resources, networking and mentorship opportunities, research and development, marketing, legal services, and more.”

As is customary, the CodeLaunch winner from the previous year will be on the judge’s panel for the following event. So, Kelly Starnes, herself, will be acting as a judge at CodeLaunch 8.

3GStrong will be rolling out a new and improved online program next month. Watch their social media for updates. You can follow them on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter @3GStrong, as well as their Facebook @GritGrowthGrace

3GStrong’s Response to COVID-19

Next Step

With the impact of COVID-19, 3GStrong has had to adapt, and their biggest obstacle has been timing. To combat that, they have hired more staff so they can accomplish more in a shorter timeframe.

They have also allowed teachers to Zoom with their program because ultimately their goal is to teach kids and help teachers. Their biggest accomplishment has been pivoting their program in a short period of time via online learning. They have had to think on their feet and focus on what is to come and what would be best for teachers and children—Coronavirus or not.

Join Us at CodeLaunch 8!

CodeLaunch 8 is still on and in person! Our team and the staff at the Comerica Center will be planning comprehensive health and safety measures to ensure we are abiding by social distancing policies. Read more in the announcement from CodeLaunch founder, Jason W. Taylor.

Reserve your spot as an attendee by buying a ticket to CodeLaunch 8!


Highlighting UNT at Frisco: CodeLaunch 8 Presenting Sponsor

By CA Staff Blogger August 31, 2020

Back for a third consecutive year, UNT at Frisco reclaims the title of CodeLaunch Presenting Sponsor. UNT at Frisco is a prestigious university located in the heart of North Texas. As their enrollment numbers continue to defy national trends, UNT’s ultimate goal of graduating more students, faster, with degrees that work came to fruition by opening a new campus in Frisco, Texas The new location first opened in 2016 and offers more than 24 full degree plans to over 5,000 students. Find out what else UNT at Frisco has in store for CodeLaunch, the city of Frisco, and their expanding Frisco location.

UNT at Frisco’s CodeLaunch Sponsorship

CodeLaunch and UNT at Frisco have a history for a good reason. The ideals of CodeLaunch mirror UNT at Frisco and their students. Dean Wesley Randall Ph.D. says, “What makes a successful CodeLaunch is a confluence of ideas, tech, digital, business acumen, co-creation and creativity, connection, and community. This is at the core of what we are developing as the foundation of our UNT at Frisco curricular identity.”

Randall continues, “When UNT was founded in 1890, it was because a group of business leaders came to together to train teachers to prepare their sons and daughters for the coming Industrial Revolution by instantiating new literacies—reading, writing and arithmetic. We know that the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution will require new literacies around the concepts of digital, creative, quantitative, connection and co-creation, communication, and commerce acumen.”

“We know that successful graduates of our programs require similar literacies. It is imperative that we ensure our students know how to create value working collaboratively and respectfully with those whose gifts may lay in other areas. Each student must master some literacies deeply, but all students must have a fundamental working knowledge and respect for all. Our partnership with CodeLaunch helps us find the best elements in this fusion and work together to keep this dynamism going,” says Randall.

The Impact of CodeLaunch

CodeLaunch is the national seed accelerator competition between individuals and groups who have software technology startup ideas. CodeLaunch is not only a competition—it is a startup expo that connects startups, entrepreneurs, and investors. The event was founded by Code Authority in Frisco, TX in 2012. Since its inception, CodeLaunch has received over 1,000 applicants from across the United States and worldwide. The goal of CodeLaunch is to elevate startups by providing them with invaluable seed services to get their business of the ground and flourish.

At a local level, CodeLaunch has pivoted startups from across the North Texas region. Code Authority and UNT at Frisco both have one goal in mind: expanding the business and technology ecosystem in Frisco.

Regarding CodeLaunch’s impact on Frisco, Randall says, “Frisco is well known as Sports City, USA. At the same time, major industry leaders also recognize Frisco’s continued ascendency as one of America’s new entrepreneurial, tech, creative, quantitative, and digital corridors. CodeLaunch has grown right alongside Frisco. Sports provide a focus. At two and three degrees of separation from sports, we see the growth of technology, analytics, wearables, embeddables, biomechanics, robotics, data science, health, and the augmentation of human capability. CodeLaunch helps focus the entrepreneurial efforts in these areas and both enables and is enabled by the diverse ideas, culture, and technologies that are grown organically through the CodeLaunch ecosystem.”

Code Authority (and CodeLaunch) merged with Improving in 2019. Improving strongly aligns itself with Conscious Capitalism, a growing movement in American business. As such, it turns out the CodeLaunch model of altruistically providing startups with critical pre-seed services is also highly aligned with Conscious Capitalism and Improving’s cultural identity and core values. To further impact, CodeLaunch will go on a nationwide tour in Spring 2021, visiting at least four Improving markets per year including DFW.

About UNT at Frisco (and Their Upcoming Changes!)

The future is bright for UNT at Frisco. The faculty, staff, and students embrace a career-ready form of education. Within the next few weeks, they will open another 20,000 square feet of space at Hall Park.

“This space will help us meet the demand we have for career-ready degrees in business and digital areas. We were recently awarded branch campus status by THECB for our new campus at the corner of Preston and Panther Creek. The master planning for that campus is complete. We are well under way planning building one, which will be focused on career-ready and project-based education at the undergraduate and graduate level. We also are launching our first Ph.D. cohort in Information Science in partnership with the College of Information, this fall,” says Randall.

Apart from the physical space, UNT at Frisco is further growing in its degree offerings! In 2016, they did not offer any full degrees in the Frisco location. However, now UNT at Frisco offers more than 24 full degree plan programs that include transfer completion options, graduate degrees, and certificates. They will also have their own student services team and career services on campus to provide their “career ready” services to their students.

Learn More About UNT at Frisco and Attend CodeLaunch

More information about UNT at Frisco can be found at their website, https://frisco.unt.edu. Be sure to give their social media a follow to stay updated on their new changes and more!

Facebook: UNT at Frisco
Twitter: @untatfrisco
Instagram: @untatfrisco
LinkedIn: University of North Texas at Frisco
YouTube: UNT at Frisco

CodeLaunch 8 has been pushed back to November 5th but we have received an official blessing from the City of Frisco to hold an in-person event. With that being said, we have a number of planned health & safety measures, including limiting attendance to only 500 guests. Learn more about the announcement and don’t forget to reserve your ticket to CodeLaunch today

will be better than ever! Due to our new health and safety measures, only 500 guests can attend. Don’t wait to reserve your spot and purchase your ticket today!

Looking Back at CodeLaunch 6 Winner: KidStrong

By CA Staff Blogger August 6, 2020

The annual CodeLaunch Startup Competition has given many companies a head start on the journey of entrepreneurship. And for the select few who have won at CodeLaunch, their victory can be a tremendous catalyst for growth and progress.

We recently caught up with Matt and Megin Sharp, owners of KidStrong—and winners of CodeLaunch 6 in 2018—to talk about their own startup journey. From their beginnings pre-CodeLaunch, through the event experience, and moving forward, the Sharp family’s story is both inspiring and motivational.

The Company’s Beginnings

The inspiration behind KidStrong happened when Megin and Matt’s daughter turned 13 months, or as Megin says, “when she developed personality.” From her educational and coaching background, Megin knew how sports and movement affected the brain, social, and emotional components of a child. In her experience, she had seen struggling children and noticed a correlation between activity and social intelligence. She expressed to Matt that she wanted to get their daughter involved in a variety of activities and to learn how to be around other children.

However, after trying many programs, they couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for. They were seeking structure. Matt is “an entrepreneur by blood,” according to Megin, and adding in her experience as a teacher and coach, they decided to start their own program, which would later become KidStrong.

KidStrong began in 2015 as a self-funded prototype store in Lexington, Kentucky. They rented out another gym’s warehouse, and even though the building didn’t have a working AC, they had 20 children attend. It was a huge hit with parents and children alike.

KidStrong Gym in Kentucky

The “10-second pitch” is that KidStrong is a training program designed to develop mental, physical and character skills in kids from 15 months to 13 years old — using curriculum that’s “built by science and taught by pros,” according to Matt.

It quickly gained popularity around their community, attracting immediate interest from investors. The idea came about to build a second model store and a corporate headquarters in a family-oriented city with great growth potential. After visiting Frisco, Texas — one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. — the Sharps had found their new home and HQ. They sold their house and car, donated half their belongings, packed up their three small children, and headed to Texas.

“Frisco is like Silicon Valley for a family business like KidStrong,” said Matt. “It’s an amazing confluence of family demographics and entrepreneurial energy and ecosystem.”


Having just moved to Frisco and opened up shop, the KidStrong team was focused on creating successful locations with amazing classes. Around that time, Matt and Megin saw Code Authority President Jason W. Taylor being interviewed on a podcast, discussing the CodeLaunch competition.

Matt and Megin had always wanted to have an online version of their concept, but figured they were at least a year away from making that transition. But then they realized that CodeLaunch could be an opportunity to fast-track their dream of getting KidStrong into millions of homes.

The Sharps knew it would be a longshot, but they felt like KidStrong had a very solid foundation and just needed assistance with the technology component. Hoping that CodeLaunch would be an opportunity to kick their online efforts into high gear, they decided to enter the competition.

“We said to ourselves, let’s test it and see if anyone else thinks this is a good idea,” said Matt. “And if it works, it forces us to think through this roadmap a lot faster — which is usually a healthy exercise.”

The Sharps decided to apply and even landed a meeting with Taylor. What was supposed to be a five-to-ten-minute pitch meeting turned into 45 minutes in which everyone realized that the Sharp family was “all in” for CodeLaunch.

An “Awesome Experience” at CodeLaunch 6

So, it was on Wednesday, August 1, at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco that CodeLaunch took place. Megin and Matt practiced their big pitch a lot, and when they took the stage, they were able to get the crowd on their side with their authenticity. “We don’t try to be anything we’re not,” said Megin. “We were just being ourselves.”

They still thought they were a long shot. But after their lively and engaging pitch to the judges, they felt good. And when the two winners were announced, KidStrong was called back to the stage as the first CodeLaunch winner from Frisco.

KidStrong CodeLaunch Pitch

They had just been happy to be there and the Sharps say that it was surreal to have won — it didn’t sink in for a while.

“It was an amazing experience to be a part of CodeLaunch, and even more amazing to be a winner,” said Matt. “Megin and I had an awesome experience — it was really cool from start to finish.”

Megin added: “It’s all about creating the most impact. Whatever’s best for the kids, that’s where we focus our attention. And winning CodeLaunch — an amazing experience from start to finish — means we’ll be further along towards our goal of helping kids on a larger scale.”

The Hackathon (and its Results)

Each CodeLaunch winner is rewarded a three-day hackathon with a five-person team of expert architects, designers, and developers. The goal is to give the recipient a huge push forward in developing their business in as short a time as possible.

The KidStrong team was excited to spend time with the team — taking the ideas they’d had for a long time and actually put some code behind it.

KidStrong CodeLaunch Hackathon

Working closely together, they were able to get to an MVP very soon. In fact, the overall solution came together so quickly, the team cut the scope to a two-day deliverable — and provided the Sharps and the KidStrong team just what they needed.

“It was a great experience, and the team was awesome,” says Megin. “They were able to get a tremendous amount of work done in a short time!”

KidStrong App

Matt agrees: “It’s a big chunk of what we need to really launch KidStrong to the next level, and it’s led to a whole host of other opportunities for us.”

KidStrong Today

Their CodeLaunch win earned the Sharps tremendous exposure, especially throughout the DFW Metroplex. They’ve been asked to serve as guest speakers, they’ve attracted a lot of people who want to work for KidStrong, and they’ve spoke with a lot of potential investors.

There’s a bunch of good news for KidStrong:

Next Steps

The future is bright for KidStrong, and their goals are tantalizing. Matt and Megin are looking to open as many locations as possible — as long as they maintain the same quality and standards — while also growing the online side with a successful app launch.

“It might sound crazy,” said Matt, “but we’d love to reach a million families at some point in the future. We think there’s a real need for this. There are a lot of parents looking online for solutions — and we want to be the place they go to find them.”

Advice for Entrepreneurs Applying to CodeLaunch

The Sharps are happy to share their thoughts with anyone thinking they might want to participate in CodeLaunch. Their top tips:

And they preach the “Hedgehog Concept” from author Jim Collins espoused in author Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” — that success is found at the intersection of three circles:

  1. What you’re deeply passionate about
  2. What you can be the best in the world at
  3. What best drives your economic or resource engine

“If you’re missing one of those, it’s not a business,” said Matt. “You have to have those items figure out. Nail those three, and you’ll be in a great position.”

 “There is never a good time to start,” said Megin. There is always something going on in our lives, but you just need to start it and figure it out because you’ll be happy you did. She says that you may look back and laugh: “If you can look back, and you’re a little embarrassed, that means you did something right.”

Final Comments

The Sharps know that the last few years have been “a wild ride,” but they understand that the next few years will be even wilder.

“We have a lot of really cool stuff in the pipeline,” said Megin. “And we’re obsessed with helping kids. Because of CodeLaunch, we’re on our way to doing that on a greater level than we ever thought possible!”

Follow KidStrong on Facebook at @kidstrongHQ, Instagram at @kidstrong_, LinkedIn at @skilz-for-kids, and Twitter at @kidstrong_.

About CodeLaunch 8

CodeLaunch is an annual seed accelerator competition between individuals and groups who have software technology startup ideas. The event was founded by Code Authority, a software development company in Frisco, TX in 2012.

Since its inception, CodeLaunch has accelerated numerous startup companies and has curated over 1,000 applications from all across the United States and Worldwide. The purpose of the competition is to accelerate the best startups with mission-critical seed services provided by sponsors. There’s no cost nor surrendered equity to participate in the competition and all ideas are protected under an NDA.

CodeLaunch 8 will take place Thursday, November 5th at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. In addition to the entrepreneur competition, CodeLaunch features a Startup Expo trade show that is beneficial for other startups who can meet up, network, and connect with interested supporters and investors.

Click here to learn more about what’s new for CodeLaunch 8 or RSVP to the CodeLaunch event on November 5th!

Changing the Construction Equipment Rental Industry Culture

By CA Staff Blogger December 18, 2019

ProsRent 2020 Update

ProsRent’s CEO John Clark recognized the lack of inventory and need for price transparency within the construction rental industry in 2016 while managing his own construction company. Now, COO Nick Powell and CEO John Clark want to make it simple for customers to source, manage, and procure rental equipment from a single asset aggregator. The ProsRent rental revolution started in 2017.

John Clark submitted his CodeLaunch application in 2016 and was chosen to compete as a finalist in the fourth annual seed accelerator competition. He pitched an equipment rental SaaS concept that would prove to be a necessary tool for people and organizations outsourcing machinery across the United States of America.

Following their CodeLaunch experience, the ProsRent team began developing digital platforms with responsive design including a website that would make it simple for customers to rent, manage, and pay for the equipment they needed. The ProsRent web app launched in August 2017, and their site was up and running by October 2017.

ProsRent Version Two: What to Expect

Illustration 1

The team behind this great idea has improved the experience customers have renting construction equipment. Improvements are in the forms of service, consistency, and transparency.

“We’re essentially becoming the Expedia of the construction rental industry,” said Clark. “Not only that, but the minds behind ProsRent are changing the construction equipment rental culture by offering transparent pricing and an optimal customer experience, which are areas lagging in the traditional process.”

They explained some of the problems with the current industry mentioning that large suppliers have assisted in providing “bloated rate” guidelines when it comes to pricing due to their company’s geographical reach and service area. The entire ProsRent team believes that revenue multiples come organically when you take care of the client and customer by offering new strategies that bring value to their core business drivers.

“Our team’s focus on customer service, communication and access are going to go very far in this industry because it is lacking right now,” said Powell.

Stemming from their focus on customer experience, ProsRent’s team of professionals plan to focus heavily on adoption and traction in 2020. The company is now servicing more than 8,000 locations nationwide, and they will be measuring analog and digital orders to learn more about customers and rental suppliers to elevate the overall experience offered to both using the ProsRent.com Process.

Along with the continual addition of supplier locations, ProsRent has been working on more features that will benefit customers when ordering construction rental equipment.

Version two will further automate processes that were once done manually by internal ProsRent.com rental coordinators, provide analytics and reporting capabilities, as well as tracking capabilities for vendors/suppliers managing their inventory through the ProsRent.com platform.

Phone app image

CodeLaunch 8 Information

If you or someone you know has a startup idea, start preparing for CodeLaunch 8! CodeLaunch provides seed services that are invaluable to early-stage startups. Sponsors and partners help guide winning startup ventures down the path of success while minimizing their financial risk. Applications open on March 1, 2020 and will close on June 30, 2020.

Follow our new CodeLaunch social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates on the seed accelerator competition and startup expo taking place September 10, 2020.

MATEREO: CodeLaunch International Finalist’s Startup Journey

By CA Staff Blogger July 17, 2019


CodeLaunch 7 is taking place in a few short weeks! This year’s startup expo and seed accelerator competition will be better than ever with five ambitious startups explaining their ideas to attendees in hopes of winning them over, as the live audience will be voting on the overall winner.

MATEREO is excited to share their startup journey this far, so learn about their startup idea before they take the stage to compete for the title of CodeLaunch 7 Overall Winner at the end of the month!


Based at Instituto Pedro Nunes in Coimbra, Portugal, MATEREO is a data science company. The technological startup was created by structural engineers and data science experts who are inspired by space and aviation maintenance practices.

The company fuses bridge engineering with scientific research by developing artificial intelligence to support road and rail operators for better and more reliable bridge maintenance operations.

MATEREO’s proprietary algorithms – powered with artificial intelligence – predict the occurrence of structural damages, so problems can be quickly solved from the root – saving time and money, as well as improving users’ safety.


MATEREO’s mission is to “bring predictability to the entire process of bridge maintenance and accelerate a future with zero unpredicted failures.”


MATEREO was established in 2014 by a group of 3 engineers with more than 10 years of experience in high profile projects and international academic research. Their common goal is to provide engineering consultancy to the industry based on their core competences of structural integrity and fluid dynamics.

In 2016, access to the European Space Agency Business Incubation Center – Portugal (ESA-BIC Portugal) allowed MATEREO to create a great technology network with a huge impact on the team’s mindset and development.

The team has been inspired by the practices of space and aviation maintenance teams to implement on critical infrastructures the same level of predictability that those sectors have.

MATEREO team members believe that “on bridges, just like in space and aviation, critical components can’t fail!” Resulting, they have started the development of the IMS (Intelligent Monitoring System) to bring predictability to the entire process of bridge maintenance.

MATEREO has reached a variety of milestones, and the team knows that CodeLaunch 7 will advance them to reach additional transformational moments in addition to the following milestones:

2016 – European Space Agency Business Incubation Center Program

2018 – Winner of the 2nd Edition of the FLAD EY BUZZ USA

2019 – ASTROPRENEURS – Space Startup Accelerator Mentoring Program

2019 – Top 50 – Startup of the Year INNO event at New Orleans, Louisiana – USA

2019 – Ongoing negotiations for pilot projects in Portugal and Spain

2019 – Finalist of CodeLaunch 7 – Frisco, Texas – USA



Co-Founder, Business Developer


Founder, Management


Technical Manager


MATEREO’s startup journey is accelerating at CodeLaunch 7 on July 31 in Frisco, Texas’ Comerica Center! Meet with sponsors, partners, local and national entrepreneurs and more at the startup event where industry experts accelerate startups.

Support MATEREO by attending the national seed accelerator competition and startup conference at Comerica Center. MATEREO would love to see you there!

Tickets are currently on sale, so RSVP for CodeLaunch 2019 today!

Congratulations on your startup’s accomplishments, MATEREO! We look forward to advocating for your company.

Swiping to Success: MEU Swipe’s Startup Experience

By CA Staff Blogger July 17, 2019

MEU Swipe

MEU Swipe is one of five finalists competing for the chance to become the overall winner at CodeLaunch 7: the national seed accelerator and pitch competition where startups are accelerated toward success!

Learn about MEU Swipe – one of our U.S. Commercial Venture finalists – and how CodeLaunch comes into play by accelerating the business in a unique way.


MEU Swipe is a freemium mobile contact management app that allows users to digitally send and receive contact details with one touch point that automatically syncs to enterprise CRM systems. MEU Swipe doesn’t replace CRM but integrates into existing systems and works with all phones.

MEU Swipe was conceived based on the principle that business is about people. When networking or meeting new clients, people get stacks of business cards, and these often get misplaced. The data also changes due to people changing their phone numbers, emails, addresses, jobs and companies over time.


The idea of MEU Swipe was founded while Michael Bates – Founder and CEO of MEU Swipe – was based in Shanghai with frequent travel throughout Asia Pacific, EMEA, and North America and amassed thousands of business cards. Managing all these contacts was increasingly difficult as clients changed jobs or moved and phone numbers became disconnected or emails bounced. It became very evident if I could keep business and personal contact details up-to-date automatically it would increase company revenue, employee productivity and allow leadership to make better informed decisions.

After moving to Frisco, TX from Los Angeles, CA and experiencing the cryptocurrency boom, Rama Raju – Co-founder and COO of MEU Swipe – started a consulting company called Give Or Die to help people donate cryptocurrencies to IRS tax-exempt 501(c)(3) foundations, non-profits, and public charities. He later met Michael Bates while networking at 1MillionCups in Frisco and together co-founded MEU Swipe.

At one point, Bates had to travel to Hong Kong for a client meeting regarding a luxury residential high rise project, Little Tai Hang in Causeway Bay, and then quickly to another city. Since he would be in both cities for a few days, he clustered the trip to hold meetings with other architects and property developers. Bates spent two full days finding accurate contact details to reach out to schedule meetings. The MEU Swipe solution could cut this time down to minutes, and not days, to setup meetings and coordinate logistics.

The first competition was pitched as a hybrid SaaS product in Shanghai with the Chicago China Club hosted by 10 Corso Como, MEU Swipe won first place in two categories: Best Concept and Best Pitch.

MEU Swipe is intended to be a multi-platform mobile application to work with any smartphone. Building out the first version of the software, Michael learned to code a few features with Ionic, and this helped MEU Swipe to inspire other talented developers and designers to first build with React Native before moving into native app development. Currently, MEU Swipe is writing the application in Swift for iOS and plans to get Android developed, so both platforms can be launched simultaneously and be able to be used cross-platform.


Founder and CEO of MEU Swipe, Michael Bates, says, “People do business with people, and not companies. MEU Swipe is a product that helps people to connect quickly and build networks to last.”

From that understanding, the co-founders decided that MEU Swipe’s mission is to empower people to easily connect and build a network that lasts.



Michael is the founder and CEO of MEU Swipe and is a tech entrepreneur who works with C-Suite executives to optimize small and large size enterprises to achieve operational efficiencies and growth targets. Bates has 17 years of management experience in six countries working with – and co-founding – early stage startups, as well as multibillion-dollar brands. He has additionally worked on two of the tallest buildings in the world, Shanghai Tower ( 上海中心大厦 ) and Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre ( 广州周大福中心 ). Bates holds a BS in Marketing from Metropolitan State University of Denver and holds an MBA from Rutgers Business School.


Rama is the co-founder and COO of MEU Swipe and is an entrepreneur with a passion for technology, sports and philanthropy. Raju has almost two decades of diverse work experience from Y combinator startups to Fortune 100 companies such as IBM, AT&T, and Citigroup. Raju holds a BS in Finance from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and an MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School.


MEU Swipe’s startup journey is accelerating at CodeLaunch 7 on July 31 in Frisco, Texas’ Comerica Center! Those looking to support MEU Swipe and other startups, network with local and national entrepreneurs, as well as interact with sponsors and partners should attend the seed accelerator competition and startup conference.

Members of the audience attending the pitch competition will help choose the overall winner of CodeLaunch 7. Support MEU Swipe, and come be a part of their big day!

Tickets are currently on sale, so get your ticket to RSVP for the greatest CodeLaunch event to date!

Congratulations on your startup success thus far, MEU Swipe! We look forward to continually supporting your startup journey.

Happy Family’s Startup Experience from Conception to Celebration

By CA Staff Blogger July 17, 2019

Happy Family

Frisco, Texas’ startup-focused national seed accelerator and pitch competition is taking place on July 31! The seventh annual CodeLaunch event will feature speaker content, exhibitor booths, networking opportunities and more!

Learn about our Youth finalist, Happy Family, in this post detailing the startup’s foundation, accomplishments and trajectory.


Happy Family is a health app created with family wellness in mind.

A family is where life begins. Right now, technology is ruling the world and there is no time for family members to come together. Stress, anxiety and loneliness lead to drugs, and lack of love leads to crime. The key to a healthy body and mind is a happy family. According to the statistics, people with a happy family live a longer and healthier life. Therefore, family wellness is a significant factor in shaping a better world.

People utilize varying fitness gadgets and apps worldwide, but there are no family wellness apps on the market. The Happy Family app has some great, unique features that help family members stay connected in a fun way.


Happy Family’s founder Prince Nallamothula asked himself other-centered questions from a young age. He asked himself “What makes people happy?” and “How can we increase family wellness?”

Following his questions came the creation of the family wellness app. He knew that an accessible, fun mobile app was the way to truly reach families and impact their happiness.

He used the SOLVED approach to come up with the final idea and tried different designs before he could finalize the solution. SOLVED stands for study, observe, list, visualize, engage and decide.

Prince then created wireframes of his mobile application using hand drawn screens and overall flow. And after that, he created a prototype using scratch programming and online mobile app wireframe websites. Once he was ready, he decided to present it.

Prince won the Chicago Young Inventor Challenge at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair for this concept and got to travel to NY toy fair, which is essentially the Oscar of toys.

The young entrepreneur also presented the Happy Family app idea in various Maker Faires. Following the impactful events, Prince received a patent pending status on this whole concept to protect his family-based mobile application idea.


“We believe that happy families make happy communities. Happy communities make happy states. Happy states make happy countries. And happy counties make a happy world.”



Prince is a young inventor, and along with a proclamation from the city mayor, he has been offered a full-ride scholarship to UNT. He was also the host/presenter for the TOTY awards event.


Happy Family’s startup journey is accelerating at CodeLaunch 7 on July 31 in Frisco, Texas’ Comerica Center! Those looking to support Happy Family and other startups, network with local and national entrepreneurs, as well as interact with sponsors and partners should attend the seed accelerator competition and startup conference.

Prince told the CodeLaunch team that he is “planning to launch [his] product into market in a phased approach. First in the U.S., marketing in the leading city of the US – DFW – and then slowly spreading wings in the entire U.S.”

Help choose the overall winner of CodeLaunch 7 by joining the live audience on Pitch Day! Be a part of Happy Family’s success by showing up to support the startup business.

Tickets are currently on sale, so get your ticket to RSVP for the greatest CodeLaunch event to date!

Congratulations on your business’ accomplishments, Happy Family! We are happy to support you throughout your startup journey.

The Key to CodeLaunch: CharaChorder’s Startup Story

By CA Staff Blogger July 17, 2019


What do you get when you cross a national seed accelerator and a pitch competition? You get CodeLaunch! The 7th annual startup event is taking place on July 31, and attendees are invited to learn from speakers and exhibitors, choose this year’s overall winner by voting as an audience member, attend a raucous networking after-party and more.

Learn more about CharaChorder – one of our U.S. Commercial Venture finalists – and the startup business’ journey from product development to becoming a CodeLaunch 2019 finalist.


CharaChorder is the first product to ever offer fluid chorded/character entry: a ground-breaking new technology that gives users the ability to input the letters of a word both individually and simultaneously. For example, to type ‘word,’ you can either press ‘w’, ‘o’, ‘r’, ‘d’ in order (character entry mode), or you can press them all at the same time (chorded entry mode). CharaChorder’s internal processor automatically arranges the letters in real-time on the screen. Using chorded entry mode, users can reach typing speeds of over 300 words per minute (the average QWERTY speed is 40 wpm).

Instead of the one-dimensional keys that keyboards use, CharaChorders detect motion in 3 dimensions, which means users have access to every letter, number, and special character without their fingers ever breaking contact with the device. The combination of 3D motion detection and fluid chorded/character entry creates a matrix of virtually unlimited programmable macros, as well as loads of other unique features including Ambidextrous Throwover, Cursor Warping, Hotwords, Scroll Coasting, Trigger Walking, and Paradox Chords.


Text has permanence. It’s how we organize our thoughts individually and collectively. CharaChorder believes that “If we can bring our text transmission speed up to the same level as our text comprehension speed, or even just up to talking speed, it could create one of the largest intellectual enlightenment in history.”


CharaChorder has been in development for over 4 years now, and while the startup is best known for being the first device to allow for both character and chorded text entry modes, there are many other revolutionary features the team has developed.

One example is Ambidextrous Throwover, which allows users to intuitively type one-handed with either hand. With Ambidextrous Throwover, you can use a drawing tablet, 3D mouse, or other specialized input device with your dominant hand, while your non-dominant hand still has access to every hotkey, character, number, and utility key without your fingers ever breaking contact with the device.

For CAD modelers, digital artists, gamers, and multitaskers, this is a revolutionary breakthrough. For the rest of us, it’s still pretty darn cool. Go ahead and take that extra sip of coffee or call over your pup for a lap cuddle without interrupting your work. There’s a lot you can do with an extra hand!

CodeLaunch is CharaChorder’s most exciting milestone to date. July 31, 2019, the team plans to reveal CharaChorder to the public for the first time ever!



Riley is the founder of Crash Studios and inventor of the CharaChorder. Crash Studios has received international recognition for their work in Business, Engineering and Design. At Toyota, Riley received the two highest honors an employee can receive from both the North American and Global CEO – both within his first year.


Monica is a data scientist who enjoys building novel solutions using data. She specializes in natural language processing and predictive machine learning models. As the lead data scientist at Darwin Ecosystem, she has worked on many innovative solutions including Projected Personality Interpreter and Darwin Awareness Engine.


Sandra is a six-year biomedical engineer and marketer by trade. Passionate about building sustainable business models in technology for healthcare, she has worked in the IOT, medical device, AI, and digital marketing arenas.


Adan is the owner of an athletic apparel company based in Frisco called LEO Athletics. He is passionate about working with people and developing small businesses. Adan is also an avid traveler and photographer.


“After years of development, we have created the fastest, most versatile, and most ergonomic devices for human computer interaction on the planet,” says CharaChorder. “A lot of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this, and we have a lot of people to thank for feedback and for believing in our team. We are unbelievably excited to finally reveal it to the public for the first time ever at CodeLaunch 7!” CharaChorder’s startup journey is accelerating at CodeLaunch 7 on July 31 in Frisco, Texas’ Comerica Center!

CharaChorder is depending on the audience’s vote on Pitch Day! Join the live audience to vote for the winner and interact with entrepreneurs, sponsors, exhibitors and partners at CodeLaunch.

Get your tickets today – you won’t want to miss out on the greatest CodeLaunch to date!

Congratulations on your startup’s development CharaChorder! We look forward to accelerating your business for success.

Five Finalists Competing in Unique North Texas Startup Competition Announced

By CA Staff Blogger July 15, 2019

Finalist Announcement

Code Authority is excited to announce the selection of our five finalists representing four startup venture categories in CodeLaunch VII: the national seed accelerator and pitch competition where finalists will pitch their startup idea to panelists and a live audience at Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas on July 31, 2019.

U.S. Commercial Venture – Michael Bates of “MEUSwipe” (Frisco, Texas)

U.S. Commercial Venture – Riley Keen of “CharaChorder” (Dunwoody, Georgia)

Youth – Prince Nallamothula of “Happy Family” (Frisco, Texas)

Social Impact – Jamie Peden of “3GStrong” (Frisco, Texas)

International – Ricardo Carmona of “Matereo” (Coimbra, Portugal)

About CodeLaunch:

Created by Code Authority’s CEO and President, Jason W. Taylor, in 2012, CodeLaunch is an exclusive opportunity to win seed services that are invaluable to early-stage startups.

The unique and innovative seed accelerator model pairs the best startup entrepreneurs with professional hackathon teams for three days preceding Pitch Day where three teams of five professional software developers will work on the startups’ product development.

Professional hackathon recipients – Social Impact and U.S. Commercial Venture category finalists – will walk on stage with their custom code in-hand on Pitch Day.

There’s no cost nor surrendered equity to participate in the competition, and all ideas are protected under a non-disclosure agreement. Sponsors and partners, such as UNT at Frisco and Improving, also help guide winning startup ventures down the path of success while minimizing their financial risk by awarding over $100,000 in services.

Ambitious finalists aim to win over the audience on Pitch Day, but partners Jamie Peden and Kelly Starnes of 3GStrong recognize what a huge accomplishment it is to even make it to the final round of CodeLaunch.

 “It’s always fun to be able to share our passion with others,” said Peden. “But it is also really rewarding to have others recognize your idea as something valuable for society and viable as a business.”

With their own input about the significance of this event in their startup journey, international finalist Ricardo Carmona of Matereo shares his vision for the implementation of his services in Frisco following CodeLaunch 2019.

 “CodeLaunch VII is the perfect event for our stage of development, allowing strategic connections for our development needs in the US,” said Carmona. “We want Frisco to be the very first city in the USA to have our technology for smarter and predictable bridges.”

Code Authority offers 100% onshore technology consulting services, such as business automation, transformation, production development, UI/UX, and full-service digital marketing to companies of all sizes and startups via our innovative CodeLaunch accelerator.

A History of CodeLaunch – Looking Back at 2017 Finalist: HoneyComb

By CA Staff Blogger May 31, 2019

The annual CodeLaunch Startup Competition has given many companies a head start on the journey of entrepreneurship. And for the select few who have succeeded at CodeLaunch, their participation can be a tremendous catalyst for growth and progress.

We recently caught up with D’arcy Young, founder of Honeycomb — and a finalist at CodeLaunch V in 2017 — to talk about his journey. From the company’s beginnings before CodeLaunch through the event experience and moving forward, the Honeycomb story represents the spirit of entrepreneurship.

The Company’s Beginnings

In June of 2016, the “Big Idea” came to D’arcy. He had a long career in real estate, and he noticed the growing trend of co-working — which is when entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other individuals (or small companies) use a shared office environment to do business.

D’arcy was thinking about the commercial real estate business — and how throughout the past 50 years, there had been no changes or innovations in how it’s been managed.

“I saw the three big value propositions — flexible lease terms, cool spaces, and services supported by technology,” said D’arcy. “It’s basically building a community. And when you add to that the changing demographics of the workforce, and you can see why the co-working concept is appealing.”

Realizing that the office building model was “broken,” D’arcy decided to fix it with Honeycomb — a web and mobile-based platform that allows for two-way communication between the landlord, tenant, and service providers. (Kind of like Slack for office buildings.)

Building out the Idea

Darcy realized there was a need for this kind of platform both for landlords and tenants of office and commercial buildings. Owners needed a better way to connect with tenants, as well as offering the next-level technology that today’s generation of tenants want.

Seeing the potential for applying the co-working model at the building level, D’arcy began to develop his idea.

“We can create a new kind of landlord/tenant relationship, provide technology that makes their everyday lives better, and create efficiencies,” said D’arcy. “It also gives management an integrated infrastructure technology — basically like an operating system for office buildings.”

Most buildings were using a variety of separate, disconnected technologies, including work order management systems, parking management systems, and many others. But to more efficiently manage those technologies, an operating system could be created to connect them — which would create a better customer experience and provide value beyond the physical aspects of the building.

D’arcy saw that the office buildings of today need to be tech-agnostic, and by integrating current and future technologies — and seamlessly presenting them internally for usage by property management (such as monitoring energy usage) and providing extra services to tenants.

“By growing the owner/tenant relationship, you can actively do things that they see as intrinsically valuable,” said D’arcy. “Then, tenants will want to stay and owners can increase retention.”

How it Works

Property managers have a lot of responsibilities within their building infrastructure, including (but certainly not limited to) Wi-Fi, access control, parking management, work order management. Most managers have more than four content management programs to handle, as well as the possibility that they’re being asked to use legacy programs they don’t know. And the cost of use can be high, without providing much value.

“Our goal at Honeycomb is to change the way infrastructure is managed,” said D’arcy. “And also, to draw data from it to make correlations that will drive future decisions.”

Some examples of how Honeycomb can deliver benefits for owners and tenants:

“It goes beyond just providing software,” said D’arcy. “Property managers can more easily handle the day-to-day operations, so they can focus on making their tenants happy. And for tenants, they get faster responses and better services.


Getting Honeycomb off the ground was tricky, because D’arcy needed building owners and management companies to get on board.

“You really have to start in uptown, downtown, and work your way up from there,” said D’arcy.

But making those kinds of connections takes work and promotion. And when D’arcy heard about the CodeLaunch competition, he was intrigued.

“CodeLaunch was the very first event I had attended for Honeycomb. I had applied sort of on a whim, and was excited to be accepted to the competition.”

An “Awesome Experience” at CodeLaunch V

Not only was he accepted, but D’arcy and Honeycomb were named a finalist at CodeLaunch V, held on August 9, 2017.

“It was a great experience,” said D’arcy. “When the day came, I didn’t realize how big it was going to be. And I learned a lot going through the process.”

At CodeLaunch V, he presented the Honeycomb concept to the five-judge panel, which featured several successful entrepreneurs.

“Going out there and articulating your idea to a large audience was great. I’m not sure I did a great job, because we were still in the early days when you have this huge broad vision that was hard to distill down.”

Benefits of CodeLaunch

But even though Honeycomb wasn’t named the winner, the company definitely got a lot out of the competition.

“While we didn’t get direct investment from the actual event, I did get a number of potential channel partners who approached me post-presentation — some of whom I’m still working with today.”

“And honestly, I’m not sure we were prepared for large investors at that time, either.”

Honeycomb Today

Since the event, Honeycomb has continued on the path to growth:

While the company is generating revenue and raising capital, that’s not the most important goal at this stage of Honeycomb’s development.

“We’re staying focused and staying lean until we’re commercially ready for larger expansion,” said D’arcy. “The important development is the number of buildings that are scheduled to begin using Honeycomb in the second half of 2019.”

Once Honeycomb is up and running with numerous buildings on board, the plan will be to raise more capital and expand the company footprint.

Next Steps

D’arcy is eyeing a seed round for more funding and possibly even Series A investment by the end of 2019.

While the app is currently available — under the name “Honeycomb Buildings” — for Android and iOS, the company also launched “Honeycomb Flex,” which is their co-working solution. This product manages the co-working experience from end to end (lease to payments to amenity reservations, etc.).

In the near future, Honeycomb will likely explore creating products for apartment buildings, as well as universities and hospitals.

Advice For Entrepreneurs Applying to CodeLaunch

D’arcy calls his experience at CodeLaunch “great” and highly recommends anyone who’s thinking about it to apply.

“Just go ahead and do it — because you’ll get a LOT of benefit out of it,” he said. “It makes you really think about what’s important to your concept and your company, as well as the things you’re trying to communicate.”

About CodeLaunch VII

CodeLaunch is an annual seed accelerator competition between individuals and groups who have software technology startup ideas. The event was founded by Code Authority, a software development company in Frisco, TX in 2012.

Since its inception, CodeLaunch has accelerated numerous startup companies and has curated over 1,000 applications from all across the United States and Worldwide. The purpose of the competition is to accelerate the best startups with mission-critical seed services provided by sponsors. There’s no cost nor surrendered equity to participate in the competition and all ideas are protected under an NDA.

CodeLaunch VII will take place Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. In addition to the entrepreneur competition, CodeLaunch features a Startup Expo trade show that is beneficial for other startups who can meet up, network, and connect with interested supporters and investors.

Click here to learn more about what’s new for CodeLaunch VII or RSVP to reserve your seat at the CodeLaunch event on July 31st!

A History of CodeLaunch – Looking Back at 2016 Finalist: ProsRent

By CA Staff Blogger May 28, 2019

ProsRent – The Idea Before the Launch

The construction equipment industry is dominated by three large enterprises who own most of the 7,500 equipment rental companies and supply yards across the United States. When businesses needed to rent construction equipment outside of their own territory, it was from vendors they were unfamiliar with or had never utilized before. To make matters worse, these vendors were demanding marked-up prices from new customers.

ProsRent CEO, John Clark, and COO, Nicholas Powell, identified this major pain point in the construction industry – which was the inspiration behind the creation of their company. The mission of ProsRent is simple: to provide contractors a one-stop online marketplace where construction rental equipment could be rented directly from the supplier.

It’s common practice that contractors have to rent from brokers or rental companies, which created quite a bit of havoc. Often, they would have to go to 10 different suppliers to find the right piece of equipment, not to mention extra wasted time sourcing and calling providers – all while they could instead be working on the job at hand with the equipment they needed.

Thanks to the concept behind ProsRent, smaller equipment rental companies can now compete with the larger firms by creating a database that connects equipment rental companies and the businesses that need construction equipment across all regions. This enables customers to get more competitive rates and small to medium-sized construction rental companies to find new customers and grow their businesses.

ProsRent streamlined process allows them to partner with thousands of suppliers across the nation. 9 times out of 10, contractors can find equipment closer to the location of their job site and at a more competitive price.

The “hotels.com” for the Equipment Rental Industry

In the construction industry, as mentioned, it’s standard to go to the larger rental companies to secure equipment for jobs. Or you go through a broker who re-rents the equipment at a much higher margin. ProsRent goes one step ahead of both of these options. This is the “game changer” when it comes to sourcing equipment.

Instead of wasting time calling around to find the equipment needed for a job, users can log on to the platform to see what supplier has which pieces of equipment in stock and where they are located – in real time – and they can book that piece of equipment for their use. ProsRent has partnered with thousands of suppliers across the nation, giving them greater access to available contractors that they never had before.

The ProsRent concept is similar to a platform like hotels.com. You log on to the site, enter your needs, and it shows you a real time view of what equipment, dates, pricing, location, etc. are available. The construction industry is quite slow to adapt to technology, so an application similar to ProsRent had not previously existed.

The concept of ProsRent was created, but what now? That’s where the real work for Clark and Powell began. They had to determine if their idea would resonate with the industry and whether or not to take that big leap of faith.

Making the Decision to Enter CodeLaunch

Ironically, the decision to enter CodeLaunch was not initially on the radar. In fact, 30 days before making the pitch it was still just an idea. Clark called Code Authority CEO, Jason W. Taylor, to discuss some possible ideas for website development and the topic of CodeLaunch came up and the option to enter their concept before the deadline was presented.

Clark was already facing a few obstacles developing the ProsRent concept and now had to make the decision to enter CodeLaunch:

  1. He already had a successful business, USA Renovations. Was it crazy to start another one? How hard would it be to run 2 businesses at the same time – growing one from the ground up while making sure the other wasn’t suffering?
  2. How much capital was it going to cost to start up ProsRent? He knew Prosrent would need start up capital. Usually start ups approach friends and family at this round however John took this round of funding on in effort to speed up the business’s time-to-market.
  3. He needed to find a business partner who shared his vision for ProsRent. Not an easy task at all
  4. Would he regret not giving ProsRent a try? Would he fail with this new endeavor? Or would ProsRent become a success? This was more of a mental challenge. He didn’t want to put it by the wayside and always wonder “what if”.

So Clark figured why not? He put his concept together, entered CodeLaunch where ProsRent advanced to the semi-finalist round, and then became a finalist to pitch his concept on stage at the 4th annual event.

The CodeLaunch Experience

“Had it not been for CodeLaunch, ProsRent would simply not exist,” says Clark. He views his experience as essentially one huge, valuable focus group. He got that all-important feedback from a large group of people who will definitely “let you know what they think,” he says.

In presenting his pitch, he immediately got the affirmation he was looking for and the reassurance that ProsRent was fulfilling a real need in the marketplace:

There are so many great aspects of CodeLaunch that Clark points out which will be beneficial to other entrepreneurs. The opportunity to network and build important relationships is one of the major takeaways that Clark brings out of the CodeLaunch experience. Even though ProsRent didn’t win, Clark left with so much more.

After CodeLaunch and What the Future Holds

The CodeLaunch experience gave Clark the go ahead he was looking for to dive in and “just start” the actual development of ProsRent.

ProsRent officially launched in October 2017. The overall platform is still in progress and the number of suppliers being added continues to grow. Currently they have over 5,000 supplier locations nationwide – which is more than 3 times that of United Rentals, viewed to be the leader of direct suppliers with only 1,500 locations.

Sales are growing at a steady pace, too. Since October 2017 until now, sales for ProsRent have reached approximately $2.75 million. They expect to close a seed round in April, with the hopes of another $1 million raised. These numbers clearly show the gap in the market and the need for a service like ProsRent for the construction industry.

While the first phase of the ProsRent site is more manual, with basic software and a website in place, there are two more phases to go. Phase 2 introduces version 2 of the platform, which will integrate more partnerships with vendors and API integration for software. Phase 3 is where Clark sees things as getting really exciting. He forecasts around $15-20 million in sales and more in-house technology employees building a front facing platform for customers, supplier and contractor dashboards, and a live marketplace for all users.

Clark knows this is a tedious process to bring this concept to life, but he also knows that he is able to get to the next step where so many others have failed. This is due in large part to his construction background and the connections he’s built in what’s viewed as a very relationship-based industry.

Advice for Others Considering Applying to CodeLaunch

Clark definitely looks fondly on his CodeLaunch experience and wholeheartedly recommends it for other budding entrepreneurs or those wondering “should I?” He still has his two CodeLaunch awards prominently displayed on his desk. When asked if he has any words of advice about his journey for others just starting out or considering submitting an application for CodeLaunch, he shared these three points:

  1. Fund smart money. Go to people that understand the industry you’re entering and understand the idea you have and how it can make an impact. While they have a place, don’t go to VC’s if you don’t have to. Find mentors and advisors you trust who aren’t just in it for the money.
  2. Don’t plan yourself out of the business. Dumb it down if you have to. Focus on the basics of the business before you get going. We went into CodeLaunch with a concept, barely a business plan. Our real business plan didn’t even come to fruition until 8 months after the idea.
  3. Always wait for the best partners. It’s better to wait and find the right person to go on the journey with you. Push back your target date(s) if you have to. Better to wait than to rush, find someone, regret it and have to start over again.

CodeLaunch VII

CodeLaunch is an annual seed accelerator competition between individuals and groups who have software technology startup ideas. The event was founded by Code Authority, a software development company in Frisco, TX in 2012. Since its inception, CodeLaunch has accelerated numerous startup companies and has curated over 1,000 applications from all across the United States and Worldwide. The purpose of the competition is to accelerate the best startups with mission-critical seed services provided by sponsors. There’s no cost nor surrendered equity to participate in the competition and all ideas are protected under an NDA.

CodeLaunch VII will take place Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. In addition to the entrepreneur competition, CodeLaunch features a Startup Expo trade show that is beneficial for other startups who can meet up, network, and connect with interested supporters and investors.

Click here to learn more about what’s new for CodeLaunch VII.

The Journey of CountertopSmart: From Inception to CodeLaunch and Beyond

By CA Staff Blogger May 14, 2019

By Audra London May 14, 2019

It’s been quite a journey for CodeLaunch VI winner, CountertopSmart, and the ride isn’t over yet! Come with us on a journey as we look back at CountertopSmart’s inception, their entry into CodeLaunch (which was decided in a matter of hours), and what has transpired since winning CodeLaunch VI.

The Inception of CountertopSmart

Based in Austin, Texas, CountertopSmart was developed by CEO, Zach House. House owned a kitchen and bath showroom and was seeing a common problem up to 4 times a week when it came to customers needing smaller quantities of stone for countertops and other projects.

When stone is purchased, it is purchased in full slabs of 60 square feet. For someone working on a bathroom remodel or a smaller project like a bar top or guest bath, they don’t need that big of a slab. That would mean they are paying for approximately 5-6 times as much in materials as they’d end up using. There goes the budget.

Because of this, consumers often turn to big box home improvement retailers who are able to sell the stone by the square foot instead of the large slab. Unfortunately, those retail outlets offer only a fraction of a percentage of the selection of all available stone options.

That’s where CountertopSmart comes in and changes the market.

CountertopSmart is an online marketplace that allows homeowners and construction trade professionals access to a little-known, secondary market of countertop remnants, which are the remaining unused portions of full stone slabs. These remnants are not second-hand stone or defective products.

For every one piece of a remnant a fabricator sells, they create five new remnant pieces. All these remnants begin overcrowding fabricators’ yards. Fabricators then end up paying thousands of dollars to have remnants hauled off to dumpsters. What many fabricators don’t realize is that these remnants are pure profit. They’ve already been paid for as the full slab piece, so being able to sell the remnants could potentially add an additional 20-40% to the bottom line.

The Craigslist of Countertops

Unbeknownst to the consumers, every city is “swimming in an ocean of countertop remnants,” according to House. The companies that own these countertop remnants typically don’t have the platform or marketing reach to sell them. “CountertopSmart is essentially a marketplace that connects sellers of stone remnants to customers,” says House. “Think of us like eBay or Craigslist — but for countertops.”

Consumers use CountertopSmart to buy stone in smaller quantities better suited for their individual projects, typically saving between 60%-80% thanks to a connection to more stone options outside of the generic inventories often offered at big box stores.

The website allows customers to search the stone inventory of sellers in their local marketplace according to targeted options such as stone species, color or dimension. Once they find their stone of choice, they place a completely free, no-risk “hold” on their selected stone remnant with the fabricator directly, which will take the remnant off the site for seven days while the customer arranges a time with the seller to view it in person. For customers who don’t have a countertop fabricator on speed-dial, they can be assured that every seller on CountertopSmart is a professional, site-vetted countertop fabricator who can do the legwork for them. All of the sellers on the site are bound by competitive, pre-negotiated installation rates so buyers know they will be getting a great deal.

Countertop Smart app illustration

CountertopSmart truly benefits both the fabricators (sellers) and the consumers. The fabricators can sell the remnants and add substantial revenue to their business, and the consumers are able to find the stone they want at a substantial savings.

Deciding to Enter CodeLaunch

The decision to enter CodeLaunch was a last minute one … literally. The team at CountertopSmart was looking online for pitch competitions to enter and they discovered CodeLaunch. The only problem was that they found it about 4-5 hours before the deadline to submit their application. They quickly dropped everything they were doing and applied. The rest, they say, is history!

The decision to apply was an easy one, says House. “At a point in a company’s young development, any type of recognition is good and something to build on, both from a business and momentum standpoint.” CodeLaunch gave them the recognition they were seeking, the momentum to move forward, and more.

CountertopSmart’s CodeLaunch Experience

The 2018 CodeLaunch event was the first time that two companies won the grand prize, one of them being CountertopSmart. The winners received $33,500 in seed funding and services and were the focus of a three-day hackathon by an expert team of architects, designers, and coders (more on that a bit later on!)

CountertopSmart’s CodeLaunch Experience

House sums up his CodeLaunch experience by saying, “We loved it!” He continues on that it was a top-notch production and he can see how it’s getting bigger and better and will continue to grow year after year.

He was impressed by a number of factors regarding the overall competition:

  1. How large it was.
  2. It was professionally run and organized from start to finish.
  3. The excellent job and thought in choosing the competing organizations.
  4. The sheer caliber of the competition.

House definitely feels they got the affirmation they needed about CountertopSmart after presenting the concept and discussing it with other competitors/panelists, and that it would bring a real value to a “fragmented industry.”

How CodeLaunch Helped the Brand – the “Hackathon”

During CodeLaunch, CountertopSmart had multiple opportunities to speak with panelists after their presentation and get some good advice. In addition, they got that much-needed validation that that they were presenting a product that provided a real solution and was easy to understand by the judges and audience alike.

Part of their grand prize was a three-day hackathon with Improving — one of the top custom software services companies in the region. The goal of the hackathon, which is performed by the company’s expert architects, designers, and coders, is to give the recipient a huge push forward in developing their business.


During these 72-hours, they created Version 1 of their “Remnant Upload” app, which is a crucial part of the CountertopSmart experience. This app will allow CountertopSmart to go directly to fabricator stone yards and with their own phones, take pictures of the stone available, tag it and upload it into the seller portal. The seller can then set the selling price and publish it to the marketplace for the buyers.

The development of this app greatly improves the efficiency in uploading inventory to the site and makes the once tedious process of adding inventory infinitely easier. “We got all the heavy lifting of creating this app done in a three-day hackathon,” says House. “With just a few more tweaks left to go, it’s saved us loads of development time and heartache.”

This app is also an important component to their website, which launched in June 2018. They needed to have a strong searchable inventory of stone available to consumers. The app allows CountertopSmart to add inventory quickly, anytime and from anywhere. The moment inventory is entered into the database, it can be readily available to consumers. No more backlog of photos and data that are waiting to be uploaded when they are back in the office.

CountertopSmart’s Milestones

In just a short time since winning CodeLaunch, CountertopSmart has achieved quite a few milestones.

  1. They are generating strong revenue through the site.
  2. CountertopSmart has expanded into a new marketplace, San Antonio, Texas.
  3. This is an exciting one … CountertopSmart was recently accepted into Techstars Class 155 as part of the 2019 Techstars Austin program. Techstars provides Accelerator portfolio companies with access to financial, human and intellectual capital to fuel the success of their business. Upon acceptance to a Techstars Accelerator, every company is offered a $100,000 convertible note. CountertopSmart should close on the pre-seed convertible note at the end of May.

What’s Next for CountertopSmart?

If the past year is any example, the future looks bright for CountertopSmart. The company plans on continuing to build their presence within the Austin market. The increased growth and addition of more fabricators to their database will only build on to the product and prove what a single market is capable of.

House really wants to continue to hone the processes of both the website and the app and get the company to a point where it can be efficiently scaled. “We have our work cut out for us and need to be laser focused,” says House. “We need to get our metrics tight and consistent. That will let us know what we need to raise in the next seed round so we can ramp up our expansion and look outside of Texas.”

Prize-Winning Advice for CodeLaunch Applicants

As a CodeLaunch grand prize winner, CountertopSmart obviously knows what it takes to make it all the way to the end of CodeLaunch and come out on top. We asked Zach House for some advice for those who are still considering applying for CodeLaunch VII. Here’s what he shared:

“Show that your product has a real market fit. If you’re not solving a problem and presenting a solution that can easily be described in about 5 minutes to an audience, then you need to take a step back and hone your message. Keep it simple and keep it concise.

For those who are in the early stage of their product or concept, sell the image, sell the dream. Even early on, it still has to solve a real problem.

For more information about CountertopSmart, please visit: https://www.countertopsmart.com.

CodeLaunch VII

CodeLaunch is an annual seed accelerator competition between individuals and groups who have software technology startup ideas. The event was founded by Code Authority, a software development company in Frisco, TX in 2012. Since its inception, CodeLaunch has accelerated numerous startup companies and has curated over 1,000 applications from all across the United States and Worldwide. The purpose of the competition is to accelerate the best startups with mission-critical seed services while providing valuable networking opportunities and exposure to like-minded individuals. CodeLaunch VII will take place Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. In addition to the entrepreneur competition, CodeLaunch features a Startup Expo trade show that is beneficial for other startups who can meet up, network, and connect with interested supporters and investors.

Code Launch

Click here to learn more about CodeLaunch VII or visit the official CodeLaunch site and complete the application form. Applications are due May 31, 2019.

Institution to be Exclusive Presenting Sponsor of CodeLaunch VII

By CA Staff Blogger April 26, 2019

Since opening in 2016, the UNT at Frisco campus has focused on building partnerships with the region’s business community. The school’s ongoing efforts are intended to benefit both its student population — with job-focused learning opportunities — as well as local businesses in one of the fastest-growing areas in the U.S. and the heart of the DFW economic boom.

As part of these efforts, UNT at Frisco has been a key player in cultivating the North Texas entrepreneur and startup system. That’s why the campus is returning as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of CodeLaunch VII — the annual seed accelerator competition that brings the hottest startups to Frisco every summer.

CodeLaunch is an invaluable asset to any and all entrepreneurs ,” said Mike Rondelli, associate vice president for innovation and commercialization at UNT at Frisco and a longtime entrepreneur. “Having a great business idea but lacking the capabilities to execute is a problem that CodeLaunch helps to solve.”

Jason W. Taylor, president and founder of Code Authority — the Frisco-based software development company that created CodeLaunch — agrees wholeheartedly. “ We developed CodeLaunch as a seed accelerator competition, tech trade show, startup conference, and networking event, all designed to give startups the boost they need to become successful .”

And teaming up with UNT at Frisco is a perfect fit,” continued Taylor, “because of our common goal — supporting the startup community.”

Working Together for Startups

After serving as a judge for CodeLaunch VI in 2018, Mr. Rondelli wanted to ensure that UNT at Frisco was involved again in this year’s event. The school decided to participate in CodeLaunch VII, and recently became the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of the event.

Working Together for Startups

CodeLaunch is a better business plan competition than any of the other accelerators and incubators,” said Mr. Rondelli. “ Instead of providing cash to pay for needed services, CodeLaunch actually awards those critical seed services .”

In addition, Mr. Rondelli is mentoring students who want to apply to Codelaunch — helping them with their pitch deck, mockups, and overall sales pitch.

With regard to serving as a CodeLaunch judge, Mr. Rondelli stated that “ UNT recognized CodeLaunch as a rebirth of the business plan competition, and we saw the opportunity to become a sponsor in 2018 .” He continued: “ I had the honor to serve as a judge for last year’s competition, and I was amazed by the depth of quality of the finalists. This year, we’re focused on continuing our relationship with CodeLaunch, and getting more UNT students to apply. Additionally, we’re offering mentoring to our student applicants to ensure they’re ready for the highly competitive field of international applicants .”

In addition, Mr. Rondelli has advice to share with this year’s applicants: “ CodeLaunch continues to grow in recognition year after year. I advise every applicant to start early and think about why any company ever wins at anything; it’s not just an idea, but how that idea is conveyed to others — whether those are investors, customers, suppliers, employees, or for a competition .”

 The slide deck for the application should be vetted by mentors to help refine the deck, so it answers the important questions: Why? Why this team? How does it make money? And how will it grow? 

 Also, it’s imperative to practice pitching until it’s second nature; so your enthusiasm is clear and the logic behind the investment is absolute. Nothing beats preparation .”

Further Connections: Inspire Frisco

In addition, UNT at Frisco recently chose to join the board of Inspire Frisco — a local network of advisors and mentors who provide resources, support, and connections to venture capital for regional entrepreneurs.

Code Authority is on the board of Inspire Frisco, and Mr. Rondelli serves as one of the network’s primary mentors. They attend every meeting and work to develop mutually beneficial relationships between all startups. Also, UNT at Frisco offers mentoring sessions for IF members.

 UNT is proud to be part of Inspire Frisco as it continues to expand its services across Frisco and the entire North Texas region ,” said Mr. Rondelli. “ We got involved early because we recognized that Frisco offers a unique circumstance of people, access to capital and an engaged corporate culture that makes Frisco the epicenter for growing the innovation ecosystem in the region .”

 We see Inspire Frisco as a catalyst to change the very fiber of our economy; engaging students, employees, large corporations and entrepreneurs to grow together, to feed off each other’s successes and grow the entire region together .”

Putting Down Roots in Frisco

Currently, UNT at Frisco’s home is located at Inspire Park. But the school announced that it will be opening a brand-new campus in 2022, to be located on Preston Road in North Frisco.

Putting Down Roots in Frisco

In addition, they’re launching a new business/entrepreneur-based degree program, aimed at preparing students who want to build their own business.

Building a Brighter Future Together

Together, UNT at Frisco and Code Authority are demonstrating their dedication to both startups and the North Texas business community.

Building a Brighter Future Together

 UNT Frisco is committed to innovation across the university, by both helping students as well as transferring technology from our faculty’s research into startup companies ,” said Mr. Rondelli. “ We’ve developed mentoring programs to help startups advance quickly with less chance of failure. Also, we’re working with several venture funds to build access to funding critical to startup success .”

Mr. Taylor added: “ We made a bold statement and commitment to the national startup ecosystem by opening participation in CodeLaunch to lots of professional software development teams. This model for supporting very early-stage tech startups is game-changing, and we’re proud to be a part of it — thanks to help from organizations like UNT at Frisco .”

For more information, visit these websites:

CodeLaunch: The Evolution of a Seed Accelerator

By CA Staff Blogger April 1, 2019

We’re just a few months away from CodeLaunch VII!

Over the years, the Code Authority team has used their amazing talents and skills to make CodeLaunch a premier event for entrepreneurs from across the country. (It also takes a whole lot of coffee, energy drinks, and late-night tacos.)

Let’s step in the Wayback Machine for a moment and look at how far the CodeLaunch event has come, from its humble beginnings back in:

2012: The Year of “The Idea”

Code Authority was an 11-year-old company — and like most 11-year-olds, some big changes were about to take place.

“We’ve always loved helping startups in the best way we can,” says Jason W. Taylor, Founder and President of Code Authority. “We consider it a responsibility to help save startups from making the wrong first steps when it comes to technology.”

Jason and the Code Authority team saw that they had the resources to incubate companies that needed their services to “get off the ground” and succeed.

The First Step

“We incubated a startup called School Office Pro,” says Jason. “We brought their team into our office to work with our staff for a year. They ‘graduated’ about a year later and moved out with $400,000 in funding, go-to-market products, and clients ready to go. And they’re still alive and kicking today!”

After that successful experience, Code Authority decided to formalize the incubation process and create an annual, repeatable program.

“The idea was to put a unique spin on the software seed accelerator concept,” Jason continues. “It was all about giving deserving startups the tools they need to get off the ground.”

So, Jason and the Code Authority team set to work on developing the first event.

The First Step

CodeLaunch I: Overcoming Obstacles

When CodeLaunch I took place on September 11, 2013, it was the result of a lot of hard work and determination.

To prepare for the event, Code Authority consulted mentor Raamel Mitchell on many of the important details. It was Mr. Mitchell who coached the team on how CodeLaunch should work, and he was instrumental in putting together the panel of judges — which included Trey Bowles, who also served as the event MC, and would go on to found the Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

While CL1 had no sponsors, only about 40 attendees showed up (they were hoping for 150), and one of the finalists had to withdraw due to background check issues the night before, the event was a great start. We knew it had a lot of potential and positive energy, but definitely had a long way to go.

Our First Success Story

The six CLI finalists were all from the DFW Metroplex, and the winner was Cheri Garcia and her startup, RentEval. 

“Cheri was a great investment,” declares Jason. “She worked hard, and we provided over 1,000 hours of work to build her 1.0 product. Together, we got her to the next level.”

Our First Success Story

In fact, Cheri’s company attracted investment from a local angel investor, who bought out all of Code Authority’s shares.

And Code Authority began its relationship with Optimus Business Plans — a partner who is still with us today. Optimus agreed to provide free services to the event winner, which led us to the idea of giving each year’s winner seed services in lieu of seed capital.

“We were batting 1.000,” says Jason. “One event, one investment, one exit.”

CodeLaunch II: Learning and Growing

2014 brought a rollercoaster of activity for CodeLaunch II.

Many things stayed the same. For example, the venue for CLII was the old NTEC Building — which is now the University of North Texas’ Inspire Park. And the event still had no official sponsors.

CodeLaunch II: Learning and Growing

Although we had an issue with our judges — two of the three canceled on the day of the event (although one found a substitute for himself) — we did establish the tradition of bringing back the event’s previous winner as a judge. It holds us accountable, so we make sure to provide our winners with a positive experience, so they come back and continue to be a part of CodeLaunch.

(And we’re proud to note that Cheri has continued to have a close relationship with Code Authority and CodeLaunch to this day.)

Notes from CLII:

All in all, the event was growing in every way, with more companies offering seed services. It was full steam ahead!

CodeLaunch III: More Twists and Turns

In 2015, Code Authority moved into our current offices in the 3001 building of Hall Office Park in Frisco. As part of our lease, we got to use the entire top floor (which was finished, but empty) as a one-day venue for CodeLaunch III.

CodeLaunch III: More Twists and Turns

In continuing with our tradition, our 2nd year winner was back as a judge. And CLIII was the first time we had finalists from outside of Texas — one from Mississippi, and one from Idaho.

Notes from CLIII:

So, while CodeLaunch had a successful “exit” under our collective belt, we didn’t have a whole lot to show for all of our hours of labor, event planning, and stress. (Yet…)

CodeLaunch IV: Improvements and New Ideas

CodeLaunch IV: Improvements and New Ideas

“We wanted to ‘level up’ in 2016,” recalls Jason. “So, we added the Startup Expo to the event. Essentially, it’s a tradeshow for networking after the party. It allows us to showcase our financial sponsors, community partners, and the finalists — and even some semifinalists.”

“And in the big picture, it turned CodeLaunch into an event with even more potential.”

Notes from CodeLaunch IV:

Jason continues: “We’re proud to have been an important part of their growth. And they’ve helped us grow, in the sense that they inspired us to quantify the amount of seed services provided to winners. And that’s where the Winners’ 3-day CodeLaunch Hackathon was born.”

CodeLaunch V: Introducing the Hackathon

CodeLaunch V: Introducing the Hackathon

With the Hackathon concept, we set very specific limits to what Code Authority would be “on the hook” to provide for winners.

They would get a 3-day Hackathon — with a five-person team from our company being selected to spend three straight days in one big room — and at the end of the session, the winner is a LOT further down the road. This model offered a rapid burst of more than $17,000 worth of services.

“This allowed us to provide services to the winner without any strings attached” says Jason. “We used to take equity from the companies in order to build their product; now, we get a lot done with this highly sustainable model.”

“It can’t be understated how different CodeLaunch is in that it doesn’t cost anything to enter, AND the winners walk away with all the benefits — without giving up any equity.”

Notes from CodeLaunch V:

CodeLaunch VI: More and More Growth

CodeLaunch VI: More and More Growth

With the success of the Hackathon model, we connected with another local professional software development consultancy called Improving, which is run by our good friend David O’Hara. His company agreed to test the waters and provide another Hackathon team to a second winner.

The CodeLaunch attendance continued to grow, and the tradeshow expo/after-party was a great opportunity for attendees to meet up and learn about other entrepreneurs.

Notes from CodeLaunch VI:

“We loved the entire CodeLaunch experience,” says David. “In fact, we’re now all-in on CodeLaunch next year!”

CodeLaunch VII: Bigger and Better

The 2019 event will take place on Wednesday, July 31 at the Comerica Center (the former Dr Pepper Arena) in Frisco. For the first time, the competition will begin after normal office hours — starting at 5:00 p.m.

CodeLaunch VII: Bigger and Better

Improving is back and will offer a Hackathon to their chosen winner.

NOTE: We are currently looking for additional professional software companies to contribute a 5-person team for a 3-day Hackathon. Interested? Contact us now!

— “It’s our goal to make every CodeLaunch event better than the last one,” says Taylor. “This year is no different!”

To that end, CodeLaunch VII will feature:

Got an idea? Apply by May 31!

CodeLaunch VII is now accepting applications! Visit the official CodeLaunch site and complete the application form.

For great reasons to apply, check out our blog on the subject.

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