Editor’s Note: The venue has changed for CodeLaunch on August 25. The event will now be held at the Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St.
CodeLaunch Ohio, presented by Cyrannus, will host its inaugural event on Thursday, August 25. Offering a unique spin on an accelerator by supporting startups with professional product development, five software-based enterprises will take the stage in a Shark Tank like experience to demo their products and field questions from venture capitalists.
Launched in 2013 in Dallas, CodeLaunch President and Founder Jason Taylor saw the event as a way to bridge the gap between startups that had investment potential, but lacked the technology or minimum viable product to really seal the deal. During CodeLaunch, startups are paired with experienced development shops that help them build out a MVP to present during the event. There’s no funding to be won, but startups walk away with a concrete product they can leverage to attract investors.
Dallas-based Improving, which has offices across the country, including in Columbus, acquired CodeLaunch in 2019, as the event aligned with the software development firm on multiple goals.
“Naturally we have an interest in tech entrepreneurship and that execution phase of early-stage startups,” says Josh Harrison, president of Improving Ohio.
It also aligns with Improving’s promotion of conscious capitalism, which focuses on doing business in a way that is both socially and ethically responsible. Harrison says Improving uses its capabilities to support growth in entrepreneurship in the community. And, at its core, CodeLaunch also promotes conscious capitalism by creating a low barrier to entry for its startups. Startups are not charged a fee nor do they have to hand over any equity to participate.
After hosting events in Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, CodeLaunch looked at about two dozen cities for its next move before landing on Columbus.
“Columbus just has a lot of the right stakeholders that made CodeLaunch successful,” Harrison says, citing the city’s startup ecosystem, technology and business ecosystem, and institutions like OSU.
Startups and development shops will get to work in the coming days to build the products that will be featured at next week’s event.
Teams for the CodeLaunch 2022 include:
- Centric Consulting + ParaWave
- Enzee + masteryportfolio
- Improving Ohio + AlignAI
- QStartLabs + servUS
- Tech Elevator + Metatopia Network
Startups will field questions from a panel of judges, including:
- Lee Mosbacker – Founder, Cyrannus
- Ryan Retcher – COO, Loud Capital
- Falon Donohue – Partner, Narya
- Heather Mickman – CIO, Gap, Inc.
Audience members will determine the night’s winner, who will receive additional in-kind services like legal, PR and accounting services. While bragging rights are on the table, Harrison says CodeLaunch is also about what happens after the event. Startups have a workable software they can use to seek better investments.
Harrison says there’s a lot of investment lacking for startups at that zero stage – those that are trying to take things from idea to product. CodeLaunch can help them get there, and into the realm of a Series A where more dollars exist.
Harrison says CodeLaunch Ohio will be a recurring event, and they have plans to take the opportunity across North America with quarterly events over the next year.
CodeLaunch Ohio presented by Cyrannus kicks off at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 25 at the Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. Downtown. Register for tickets here.
For more information, visit codelaunch.com.