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CodeLaunch Startup Competition Curation Process



All CodeLaunch Startup Accelerator applicants must submit a completed application with the required attachments during the application acceptance window. There is no application fee to apply to CodeLaunch nor is any equity surrendered to compete in or win the event. We do require some proof of execution, however. For example, having your UI/UX mockups prepared. We are not looking for “concepts only” or startups in the “embryonic stage”. You must have a decent deck and mock-ups that show us what you want to create.

Cohort Selection


The CodeLaunch Selection Committee will review each application based on a select number of criteria. The Cohort will be selected and announced via livestream, social media, the CodeLaunch website, and email.

Once the announcement has been made, all accepted to the Cohort are given execution milestones to reach. Progress toward these milestones heavily impacts further consideration by the Selection Committee.

Cohort startups who demonstrate the most hustle will advance to the Semifinalist round of the startup competition.

Semifinalists Selection


The quarterfinalist founders who prove themselves by meeting our execution challenges will be invited to accept a limited number of “Pitch Meeting Slots” which occur over a two week period. These are 30-minute meetings which are face to face or virtual. During the pitch meetings, the founders and the selection committee dive deeper into the startup. The pitch meetings include the following:

  • Intros & Welcome
  • A 4-minute, uninterrupted pitch from the founders
  • Concept Q&A
  • Technical Q&A
  • Hackathon Goals
  • Execution Guidance, Suggestions, and Feedback

Finalists Selection


The CodeLaunch selection committee, along with our professional hackathon sponsors, will then choose from the very best startups. Which founders are selected for the Finalist round of the startup competition depends greatly on short-term resource availability from the hackathon sponsors, the categories supported at the event, the technical “fit” of the startup’s tech, and the team’s experience and skill set. Each startup accelerator finalist is paired with one professional development team during the PCL (Professional Coder League) Draft.

The professional hackathons occur a few weeks after the finalists are announced via live stream, just before the startup competition event in the host city.

Finalists Hackathons


The startup accelerator Finalist experience at CodeLaunch begins four days prior to the event. Day 1 is the beginning of the professional hackathon. The founders work directly with their consulting team, normally 3 to 5 consultants, within a tight two-day timeline to crank out meaningful progress on their product. The 3rd day is reserved for Finalist’s content such as pitch coaching, potential sponsor content, and the finalists’ dinner with CodeLaunch founder Jason W. Taylor. Day four is “game day”, which begins with a dress rehearsal lunch, exhibitor setup, and then the startup competition! It has been common for finalists to attend the full four-day experience in person, however, the hackathon experience can be engaged remotely.

Startup Competition

CodeLaunch 8 Finalists

The startup competition kicks off with introductions to key sponsors, panelists, and a keynote speech. Following that, the finalists each deliver pitches in front of a live audience, followed by short demonstrations of their product development, and are challenged by Q&A from the panelists.

Startups compete head-to-head in three individual rounds. The winners of each round, determined by live audience voting, advance to the final round where the remaining 3 startups deliver a 30-second appeal to engage with the audience once again. Upon conclusion of the last appeal, the Judges announce the winner of the Judges’ Choice Award, and the live audience then selects the “Champion” of each event at a grand finale by voting using ProTexting’s SMS Voting Platform.

However, we have a saying here at CodeLaunch… every CodeLaunch Finalist has already won by being paired with a professional software development team to work on their products!

Following the startup competition, the Startup Expo kicks off with high-energy and usually lasts until about 9 pm.

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