Photo Recap: Online Educational Series Wins This Year’s CodeLaunch

As the 2019 CodeLaunch 7 winners, 3GStrong will receive over $44K in product design, general startup consultation, legal services, and more. See what startups it went up against to take the top spot.

CodeLaunch, the region’s annual seed accelerator competition and startup conference, is back. And this year, there were some big changes.

3GStrong—an educational series focused on teaching grit, growth mindset, and grace for today’s generation of kids—was crowned this year’s winner of the competition portion of CodeLaunch.

3GStrong’s Kelly Starnes throws her hands up as her startup is announced as the seed accelerator competition winner. 3GStrong was a finalist in the “social good” category. [Photo: Rachel Walters]

Code Authority, a custom software development company that specializes in technology consulting, digital marketing, and application development for businesses of all sizes, awarded Jamie Peden and Kelly Starnes first place out of five finalists at this year’s pitch event.

In addition to receiving over $128,000 in seed services, the duo was awarded over $44,400 in product design, general startup consultation, legal services, social media strategy, coworking space, and creative and digital marketing services.

Unlike any other CodeLaunch event, this year’s annual hackathon took place prior to the competition, giving finalists the chance to produce a prototype to demonstrate to the audience.

“This is the biggest change of all,” Code Authority founder and CodeLaunch creator Jason W. Taylor says. “Maybe for the first time you understand what we’re trying to do here, which is to elevate these startups and provide a product development path.”

CEO of Code Authority Jason W. Taylor opens up CodeLaunch’s Seed Accelerator Competition at CodeLaunch VII Startup Expo. [Photo: Rachel Walters]

Take a look at the startups who participated—and what they pitched—at this year’s CodeLaunch 7.


Ricardo Carmona of Matereo presented as the finalist in the International category of the competition. [Photo: Rachel Walters]

It’s not every day that your average bridge collapses. But, co-founder and business developer Ricardo Carmona has collaborated with a group of structural engineers and data science experts to prevent unpredicted failures and assure bridge safety. 

“In the same way that we do regular heath checkups, we also need to have regular health bridges, to ensure user safety,” Carmona explains. “And, this becomes more critical as bridges get older.”

Based in Pedro Nunes in Coimbra, Portugal, the data science company aims to solve a huge problem by bringing predictability to bridge maintenance.

“How? Carmona says. “We have developed our own algorithms to predict bridge safety, allowing bridge owners to avoid downtime costs.”

To avoid the problems that traditional maintenance teams face, “the company fuses  bridge engineering and scientific research by developing artificial intelligence to support road and rail operators for better and more reliable bridge maintenance operations,” according to CodeLaunch. “MATEREO’s proprietary algorithms predict the occurrence of structural damages, so problems can quickly solved from the root—saving time and money, as well as improving users’ safety.”

Now, the startup is on its way to establishing MATEREO here in the United States. “We want you to join our mission to accelerate the future with zero unpredicted bridge failures!” Carmona says.


Prince Nallamothula of Happy Family presents as the finalist in the youth category of the competition. [Photo: Rachel Walters]

“I believe that happy families make happy communities. And, happy communities make happy states. And, happy states make happy countries. And, you guessed it, happy countries make a happy world.”

Those are the words from Prince Nallamothula, founder of the first family wellness application, Happy Family.

“Right now, technology is ruling the world. And, there’s no time for family members to come together.”

The app consists of a variety of features to keep families entertained and connected through their cellphones. Some of the activities include, family group hugs, eat a meal together, walk to the park together, no gadgets for an evening, cook for your spouse, and call your parents.

“I think if we do these activities, the results will be a healthy body and mind, good relationships, feeling loved, reduced stress, and last but not least, happy kids,” the 9-year old says.

Using his hand-drawn wireframes, the young entrepreneur took the audience through a virtual tour of the Happy Family app, with each segment separated by colorful “touch bubbles” on the app’s homepage.

“And then, my favorite part, the family dashboard,” he says. “It shows you how how well you’ve been doing on a weekly and monthly basis, as well as your family score. It also shows your favorite activities that you’ve completed, and will recommend new ones.” 

Happy Family is for everyone to use regardless of your age, gender, religion, or cultural descriptions.

“Everything’s ready. All we need is for the code to launch. Signing off, Prince.”


Adan Arriaga of CharaChorder acted as a mad scientist during his team’s pitch. [Photo: Rachel Walters]

How fast can you type on your QWERTY keyboard? Well, with a CharaChorder, it is now possible to type at the speed of thought, and founder and inventor Riley Keen has just proved it.

“With just one hand, and one hand behind my back, I have access to every letter, every number, every special character and all 106 buttons on you keyboard, without my fingers ever breaking contact with the device,” Keen says.

“Instead of the one-dimensional keys that keyboards use, CharaChorders detect motion in 3-dimensions,” CodeLaunch says. “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.”

With a mission to “create a new standard in the human computer interaction,” the CharaChorder team has completely transformed the typing experience. Users can reach up to typing speeds of 300 words per minute, with the average being only 40 words per minute using a QWERTY.

“So, now that we’ve developed the fastest, most versatile, most ergonomic, and overall just awesome text entry device on the planet, our business plan is to put it on kickstarter tomorrow, and sit back and roll in the process!” Keen says.

“Just kidding. As Dr. Dvorak would tell you, ‘our work is just getting started.'” Building CharaChorder took a lot of hard work, but getting a foothold in this market is going to be a lot harder.”


Students pulled messages out of backpacks during 3GStrong’s pitch to empasize how they believe each child carries “an invisible backpack” of worries and thoughts. [Photo: Rachel Walters]

“I am being bullied.”

“I have a learning disability.”

“I worry what others think.”

These were some of the words written on poster board in big letters by a few members of the 3GStrong community.

3GStrong, the 2019 CodeLaunch 7 winner, is an interactive curriculum designed to teach students in kindergarten through fifth grade valuable tools to become successful. With the mission to coach students using GRIT, GROWTH MINDSET AND GRACE, Jamie Peden and Kelly Starnes have created the online program to teach children the social and emotional skills critical to success.

“We want kids to have confidence and believe in themselves enough to reach for things they never thought they could do.”

Using the illustrated story characters Grit, Grace and Theo, the online program consists of stories that portray real-life lessons and “teach students tools to be in control of their emotions, how to increase their intelligence and strategies to overcome obstacles,” according to CodeLaunch. 

Their goal was to find something that was easy for educators to use and was beneficial and easy for young children to engage in while in school.

Students can begin interacting with these characters from a very young age, while continuing to grow and evolve alongside them as they progress through school.

“We are currently having our illustrator draw the characters from kindergarten all the way up, so these characters will actually grow up with the kids,” Starnes says. “The kids will get to know them and the stories will be slightly different for what relates to that grade level.”

Although the program is being developed for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade, The CodeLaunch 7 winners plan to expand 3GStrong for anyone, no matter how old you are or what grade level you are in.


Michael Bates of MEU Swipe demoed some of the app’s features. [Photo: Rachel Walters]

Keeping track of business cards can be impossible at times. More often than not, they get thrown in the trash or immediately misplaced. But, with MEU Swipe, you can now keep track of all of your business cards in one place.

“The freemium mobile peer-to-peer contact platform allows users to digitally send, and receive contact details with one touch point that automatically syncs to enterprise CRM systems,” CodeLaunch says.

CEO and founder Michael Bates has partnered with COO and co-founder Rama Raju to create the newest digital business card the makes it quick and easy to exchange contact information.

“When networking or meeting new clients, overtime the data simply changes due to changing companies,” Bates says.

Now, with MEU Swipe, if your information changes over time, you can simply update it through the app and all of your contacts will get that update.

And, to top it off, you can use MEU Swipe anywhere, even 35,000 feet up in there on an aircraft! You can use the app in airplane mode with no cell service, or bluetooth.

“We’re creating a brand new way to exchange data,” Bates says.

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