CodeLaunch Announces Finalists for its 8th Annual Seed Accelerator Competition

CodeLaunch 2020 will be held in-person on Nov. 5 in Frisco, and its team doesn't plan on changing the date. A COVID-19 Safety and Mitigation plan has been put in place.

Frisco-based Code Authority has a major announcement for the North Texas startup ecosystem: CodeLaunch 2020 is on.

A seed accelerator competition, startup conference, tech tradeshow, and networking event, CodeLaunch was originally scheduled for Sept. 10.

It was started by Code Authority, a custom software development company that specializes in technology consulting, digital marketing, and application development for businesses of all sizes. Code Authority merged with Improving last year, and the two now partner on the event.

It’s a highly anticipated competition—last year, the accelerator awarded more than $120,000 in seed services to its finalists.

But as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to surge throughout, the team knew they had to reevaluate.

“We were hoping public sentiment and scientific reality would begin to swing in favor of a re-opening so we could have a real face-to-face CodeLaunch in September,” Jason Taylor, the president and founder of both Code Authority and CodeLaunch, wrote in a blog post. “It was blind faith at the time, but by June 1st, it seemed to me both of those variables were heading in the right direction.”

Taylor collaborated with president sponsor UNT at Frisco, host Comerica Center Arena, and “CodeLaunch evangelist” Josh Stramiello to work out the details of a non-virtual event, while keeping with health and safety guidelines.

After weeks of working out the details, he and the team officially announced that the 8th annual CodeLaunch event is on for Nov. 5. It’s going to be in-person, and according to Taylor, it’s not changing.

CodeLaunch’s COVID-19 Safety and Mitigation plan received an “official blessing from the City of Frisco” to go on. Taylor says a set of safety measures will be taken to comply with health concerns, as his goal is to “make sure everyone feels like CodeLaunch is a healthy space to be in.”

Those include sanitization stations, complimentary masks and gloves, socially distanced seating, and a temperature reading at check-in.

“Come help us re-open the North Texas startup ecosystem by attending this CodeLaunch event and we promise we’ll be doing all the right things to mitigate any COVID-19 risk,” he wrote. “We have always been laser focused on continuing to produce this event, elevating its impact, and growing participation in CodeLaunch. This year we will prove that like no other.”

Meet the finalists

In a live stream on Aug. 17, Taylor and Stramiello, a project management consultant at TaskAway, announced the finalists of CodeLaunch 8. They were chosen from a pool of 22 semi-finalists from three continents, who all pitched over a period of nine days.

Each entrepreneur chosen will receive a product development hackathon and compete to win on Nov. 5. It was announced in the live stream that HackDFW, a Dallas-area hackathon put on by local entrepreneur Adam Kila and Asterisk, has provided three additional hackathon teams to give “more services to startups that deserve it.”

The 2020 CodeLaunch finalists consist of two international teams, a student founder, one social impact company, and three teams in the U.S. commercial venture space. There is one first alternate on-hold, Mortie based in Longview, Texas.

The seven finalists are:

• Talkien, the first-ever international finalist from Russia
• Coconut Silo, a South Korea-based smart solution that enables users to quickly get orders
• UTD senior Rohit Shenoy and Durable Alpha, which provides highly customized alternative data to financial firms
• avoMD, an NYC-based app that delivers bite-size knowledge to physicians at the point of care
• DreamDesk, a task management and internal messaging tool based in Las Vegas
• MotoClerk, a modern solution to automotive shop management based in St. Petersburg, Florida
• AuthentifyArt, a San Marcos, California-based tech solution that verifies information for the art industry

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