CodeLaunch: The Seed Accelerator That’s Launched 8 Companies

Neal Rappaport and Cheri Garcia and Jason W. Taylor


If you’re into tech, innovation, entrepreneurship and startups, you’ve surely seen and maybe even participated in your share of pitch competitions. Everyone is competing for money to fund their dreams.

A serial entrepreneur had an app idea that would help streamline the tedious real estate inspection process by customizing inspection criteria and grading and allowing the user to take pictures directly from the app, as well as saving data automatically without having to manually input information into spreadsheets.

That idea turned into RentEval, which created a technology that simplifies the inspection process for condition reports for multiple industries, particularly property management. The Dallas-based company just launched its Android app after weeks of development.

While the startup, which already has several Dallas-based clients, is poised for significant growth, the company, founded by serial entrepreneur Cheri Garcia, was launched at CodeLaunch, a seed accelerator produced by Code Authority Inc., a custom software company in Frisco.

Cheri Garcia, like many others, had an interesting app idea but didn’t have the thousands of dollars it takes to develop a new platform. Jason W. Taylor, president of Code Authority Inc., was constantly getting pitched new and interesting app ideas from people who had little or no money.  Taylor knew some of the ideas he was receiving could become viable companies and that’s when CodeLaunch was born.

Taylor knew he could connect potential entrepreneurs with seed funding and utilize his technical team to develop apps in exchange for equity.

CodeLaunch was established in 2011, and since then, eight companies have been created, with seven of them still alive. CodeLaunch winners have raised over half a million dollars in funding and have received over $300k in services. There are currently six apps in production.

The competition has grown each year with applicants from across the United States coming to Frisco to pitch their ideas. This year, the event will be held on Aug. 17, at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. The public is invited to Pitch Day.


The first step in the process is to fill out an application.

Applicants will sign a mutual NDA during the process which will protect their idea. When the application deadline has passed, a team of software architects and business executives will review all the applications and evaluate their viability and technical feasibility, as well as the business acumen and background of the applicant.

Applicants are scored via six different criteria and are taken through three rounds of cuts before judges decide on five finalists who will pitch on CodeLaunch Pitch Day.

On CodeLaunch Pitch Day, finalists will give timed pitches to a team of distinguished judges, an audience full of investors, developers, and other interested parties.

One or more competitors as “Overall Winners” are designated at CodeLaunch Pitch Day.

Code Authority Custom Software of Frisco will designate one or more competitors as “Overall Winners” at CodeLaunch Pitch Day.

These applicants will be offered a package of services and benefits as well as a customized partnership with Code Authority. This partnership will include critical services needed to build an “MVP” (minimal viable product).

A significant amount of free custom software design, development, and/or website and hosting services will be offered in exchange for a minority stake in the startup. Code Authority wants to be a long-term partner and investor in these startups.

Following the five finalist pitches, the “deal making reception” begins.

CodeLaunch invites investors, freelance developers and other skilled people interested in joining early stage startups, attending investors, organizations, or developers are encouraged to approach finalists to offer their own deals, packages or services.

Finalists are free to negotiate with anyone and are not obligated to accept any offers.  Many local businesses and also more advanced stage startups will also man exhibits at the “deal making reception” where food and beverages will be enjoyed by all.


The accelerator is open to anyone who thinks they have a great app idea but don’t necessarily have the technical team or funding required to pay a technical team to get it off the ground and into the marketplace. With local angel investors, venture capitalists, and other entrepreneurial organizations and leaders in attendance, CodeLaunch is sure to get finalists connected to the right people.

The pitch day is open to anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship, but is especially attractive to those involved with funding startup companies, or technical services experts such as software developers who may be interested in getting involved with a startup at the ground level as an investor with an equity stake.


For companies such as RentEval, the journey of growth started with CodeLaunch. Shortly after Garcia won the competition, RentEval was accepted into Tech Wildcatters, a startup accelerator in Dallas.

Code Authority’s shares were later bought out in a six-figure transaction with an angel investor. Meanwhile, RentEval continues to grow and that journey from seed to thriving business epitomizes what CodeLaunch is all about. Last year’s overall winner, Key2Close just launched.


This year will be the biggest CodeLaunch yet. If you are interested in competing this year please go to http://codelaunch.com and click Apply Now. Applications are accepted now through May 31. CodeLaunch Pitch Day is Aug. 17, and interested parties may RSVP to attend Pitch Day beginning on June 1 by contacting Ashlyn Udden at 469-213-3223.

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Susy Solis is president of Solis Media Strategies. She is former journalist who often works with startups and entrepreneurs and is the PR adviser at the North Texas Enterprise Center, or NTEC.