FRISCO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Frisco-based KidStrong and Austin-based CountertopSmart were the product hackathon winners at the CodeLaunch Startup Competition.
Combined, all six finalists won more than $67,000 worth of seed services at the event, which took place on Wednesday, August 1 at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, TX.
CodeLaunch — ”Where Software Startups are Launched” — is an annual event including a finalists’ Pitch Day showcasing top tech startups competing for critical seed services. Candidates from the general public enter their unique ideas in hopes they will advance through a summer-long curation process and earn a chance at the finals. The finalists’ seed services are designed to assist building their MVP (Minimally Viable Product) and support other early stage startup needs.
This year’s event was the first time that two companies won the grand prize. Both Code Authority and Improving — two of the top custom software services companies in the region chose a winner to provide with a three-day hackathon by a professional five-person team. The goal of the hackathon, which is performed by each company’s expert architects, designers, and coders, is to give the recipient a huge push forward in developing their business.
KidStrong is a comprehensive child development program that focuses on strengthening the athletic ability, character, and mental development of kids. The startup, founded by Frisco-based husband-and-wife team Matt and Megin Sharp, will receive a variety of essential services including software product development, leadership coaching, financial, legal, design and marketing consulting.
“We’re absolutely thrilled and honored to be named a CodeLaunch winner,” said Matt Sharp. “We want to ensure we make the most of this incredible opportunity.”
KidStrong began as a prototype store in Lexington KY in 2015. At that time, it had been self-funded by the Sharps. Right away it started to take off and began to attract investors with big ideas. One such idea was to create a second model store and eventual corporate HQ in a city better suited for a family-oriented brand like KidStrong. After being recruited to visit Frisco, TX by a local investor, the Sharps were convinced.
“We believed in Frisco so much we sold our house, car, and donated half of our belongings to a refugee family. Then we packed up three small children and moved to Frisco to build KidStrong WHQ,” said Sharp. “Frisco is like Silicon Valley for a family business like KidStrong. It’s an amazing confluence of family demographics and entrepreneurial energy and ecosystem.”
KidStrong wasn’t the only winner at CodeLaunch. Austin, TX based CountertopSmart is an online marketplace for bathroom countertop remnants, enabling fabricators — very few of whom are able to store, track, market or sell their remnants — to not only keep inventory, but to offer them for sale to the public. By creating local marketplaces, CountertopSmart is changing the $11 billion bathroom countertop market.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the CodeLaunch event,” said Zach House, CEO and Co-founder of CountertopSmart. “The exposure has definitely given us a noticeable momentum boost, and the experience has been incredibly rewarding.” CodeLaunch partner Improving provided their own product hackathon team to CountertopSmart.
David O’Hara, President at Improving, stated that “our company is so excited to be involved with CodeLaunch. To be able to help entrepreneurs in this way is in perfect alignment with what we’re all about.”
“We consider it an honor to work with great people who have great ideas,” said Jason W. Taylor, Founder & CEO of Code Authority. “Our goal is to help them overcome their struggles with product development and put momentum behind them to launch companies and bring innovation to their marketplaces.”