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Celebrating a History of CodeLaunch Diversity

By CA Staff Blogger July 15, 2020

CodeLaunch is known for elevating the best startups without any other considerations aside from their merit. As we look back through the history of CodeLaunch, we’ve had a great deal of extraordinary concepts from leaders coming from all walks of life. CodeLaunch takes great pride in inclusivity for all and celebrates the robust diversity of our applicants, sponsors, and attendees.

CodeLaunch History

Code Authority President and CodeLaunch Founder, Jason W. Taylor, hosted the inaugural CodeLaunch event in 2013—but the startup competition actually dates back to 2011. As an ambitious entrepreneur, Taylor saw the opportunity to help boost the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Texas with a startup competition. The first ever startup event help by Jason and Code Authority was the Code Authority App Idea Competition. Creative name, right?

Pre-CodeLaunch (2011-2012)

The first Code Authority startup event was relatively small, hosting only 38 applicants. The winning startup was JayMed Technology founded by Toni Thomas of Irving, TX. Toni was a single mom with a busy schedule who created an app to help diabetic children, parents, caregivers, and doctors to monitor their diabetic insulin measurement levels in near real-time. Users would input blood sugar levels, how much insulin they use, and how many carbs they plan to eat. The app would prevent blood sugar levels from reaching too high or too low.

The First CodeLaunch (2013)

In 2013, Taylor changed the name from Code Authority Startup Event to “CodeLaunch,” (it just rolls off the tongue better, right?). The first official CodeLaunch competition featured two female finalists with the winner being Cheri Garcia of RentEval—an app that digitizes property maintenance and the evaluation process. RentEval was later acquired by a third party and was considered CodeLaunch’s first successful “exit”. Garcia later moved on to found Cornbread Hustle, a staffing agency for second chances. Cornbread Hustle helps people with criminal backgrounds and those in recovery find employment.

CodeLaunch III (2015)

At CodeLaunch III, there was inclusive representation from both the finalists and the overall winner. CodeLaunch’s first out-of-state winner, Kathryn Moore from Boise, Idaho, founded Key2Close. Coming from a background in mortgage loans, Moore conceptualized a real estate app that would allow all parties to be in constant communication throughout the home buying process.

CodeLaunch IV & V

2016 and 2017 featured a lot of diversity among CodeLaunch applicants and finalists, as well. At CodeLaunch IV in 2016, Eric Fooks of Virtual Vue made it to the finalist round. Virtual Vue is a media and communications business specializing in virtual real estate tours.

In 2017 CodeLaunch featured two female finalists. The first finalist was Dr. Roshawna Novellus from Atlanta, Georgia who founded EnrichHER, a company that provides a variety of financial resources that can help women-led businesses grow including small business loans, training, debit and credit cards, and affiliates and partnerships.

The other finalist, Madison McClure, is a North Texas resident who co-founded Cortex, an app that helps speech-language pathology patients maintain their progress between sessions and after discharge. McClure went on to win CodeLaunch V.

CodeLaunch VI (2018)

CodeLaunch 2018 featured a very diverse group, including three finalists who were founded or co-founded by women, including Anona by Mary Kynaston, GotSpot by Reda Hicks, and KidStrong by Megin Sharp. The overall winner was KidStrong. KidStrong is an at-home program designed for parents to fortify “strong body, strong brain, strong character” principles in their children through expert advice, parenting tips and videos, and the private KidStrong community.

CodeLaunch VII (2019)

Last year’s CodeLaunch featured the first international finalist, Matereo founded by Ricardo Carmona, all the way from Portugal. The CodeLaunch 2019 winner was 3GStrong, which is a partnership between two women from North Texas, Kelly Starnes and Jamie Peden. 3GStrong is a curriculum for schools, after-school programs, and home that focuses on teaching children social and emotional critical skills.

Join Us at CodeLaunch 8!

As our past demonstrates, anyone can win CodeLaunch. Finalists and winners are selected on their quality and excellence alone. We encourage all with tech startup concepts to apply to compete for exclusive seed services.

CodeLaunch 8 will be better than ever. You won’t want to miss this chance to network with entrepreneurs and investors! Attendance is capped at 500 this year, so register to reserve your attendance today.

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