Codefi Welcomes 15 Companies and Aspiring Entrepreneurs into Nationally Recognized 120-Day Tech Startup Program
Innovate SOMO Works to Expand Pipeline of High-Growth Companies Across Southern Missouri.
November 13, 2023
When Codefi1 and our regional partners in the Southern Missouri Innovation Network (Innovate SOMO)2 announced the launch of the most comprehensive set of tech startup programs and services3 in Missouri’s history, we had one goal in mind—make sure the talented entrepreneurs in our region, with big ideas, get the support and services they need.
“To say we are impressed with our first workshop cohort is an understatement,” said Dr. James Stapleton, Codefi’s co-founder and seasoned tech startup coach. With the support of capacity-building partners like the Missouri Technology Corporation4 and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Codefi is now able to deploy our truly unique expertise, programs, and services to tech entrepreneurs anywhere across southern Missouri.
Unlocking Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Talent
Too often, people underestimate the ingenuity of individuals who live in smaller metros, cities, and in rural areas. Take for instance the participants in this workshop, who bring with them a wide range of industry and life experiences, and are working to solve significant problems that impact large numbers of companies and people.
These are just a few examples of the inspiring ideas and solutions our participants are bringing to the table. The diversity of ideas reflects the rich tapestry of innovation that is emerging in southern Missouri.
In our experience supporting tech entrepreneurs for nearly the last 10 years, we find people just like Mark, Shawn, Allison, Kevin, Canon, Andrew, Lizzy, and Adam every day, who have incredible industry and domain expertise and entrepreneurial mindsets, but need access to the specific support, services, and resources to successfully launch and grow tech companies.
What it Takes to Fuel Innovation in Southern Missouri
The best methodology to successfully validate and monetize a repeatable, sustainable business model for a tech company is almost nothing like starting a traditional small business. Thankfully, the entrepreneurial renaissance following the Great Recession triggered a national resurgence of startup activity and the development and dissemination of new mindsets and improved methods, frameworks, and tools. Those tools have since been tested and further refined by specialized venture development organizations like Codefi, continuing to improve the probability of success for new tech businesses.
The first of its kind in Missouri, 120-Day Tech Startup provides best-in-class evidence-based methods and tools for testing the desirability, viability, and feasibility of tech business ideas. The program is the first stage in a pipeline of programs offered to Southern Missouri entrepreneurs designed to provide comprehensive resources, coaching, tech services, and funding to help more startups successfully launch and grow.
Over time, we also created our own proprietary programs to fill additional gaps and overcome blockers preventing more entrepreneurs with great ideas from having success launching tech businesses. And we have combined our startup and technology development experience and expertise with our mission to train more digital workers, creating an ecosystem effect that drives demand and supply of talent.
Many of the fastest-growing careers and companies in Missouri are in tech. Throughout the state's smaller metros, cities, and more rural areas, though, the resources and technical services to equip entrepreneurs and workers for these opportunities aren't always available.
These gaps in opportunity are what motivated the creation of Innovate SOMO and our mission: to unlock the full potential of entrepreneurship and innovation to transform entire communities in the southernmost 47 counties in Missouri. When people have the skills and resources to enter high-quality occupations and start more of the companies that provide those jobs, the economic well-being of the entire region benefits.
Join Us for the Second Cohort
As we reflect on the diverse entrepreneurs in this first cohort and the potential that abounds, we recognize the impact of the program extends far beyond individual success stories. Together with our invaluable partners and communities we serve, Codefi will continue bridging the gap for aspiring entrepreneurs in southern Missouri to flourish.
Applications are now open for the second cohort of the 120-Day Tech Startup program, scheduled to kick off in early 2024. If you have a unique problem to solve and think a tech-based solution could be the answer, the 120-Day Tech Startup program5 is for you.
Together, let's continue fueling innovation in southern Missouri and beyond!