$50K awarded to 4 startup companies in Cape Girardeau

$50K awarded to 4 startup companies in Cape Girardeau
The companies were finalists in the 1ST50K competition and pitched their startups to a committee. (Source: WBRC)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Four startup companies in Cape Girardeau were awarded $50,000.

The companies were finalists in the 1ST50K competition and pitched their startups to a committee.

“We typically award one or two teams,” said Codefi Co-Founder Chris Carnell. “This year is unprecedented. We’re going to award all four teams $50,000 and they’re all going to locate here in Cape Girardeau for the next year. There’s going to be millions of dollars invested in our community and high wage jobs created.”

The startups include:

  • Venku - an Airbnb for the outdoors
  • SportsTrace - analyzes athlete’s bodies using just a mobile phone
  • Swipesum - helps small businesses save money by figuring out the best payment processing for them
  • Upswot - a white label for banks that connects to small businesses’ applications to help them both manage more effectively
Codefi 1st50K

Codefi’s 1st50K has a huge announcement! You don't want to miss it. Check out this video to hear the big news brought to you by Codefi co-founder Chris Carnell. 👇

Posted by Codefi on Thursday, August 13, 2020

In past 1ST50K competitions, one or two winning startups received $50,000 equity-free for their startup, as well as membership to Codefi, and more.

This year, all four finalists will relocate to Cape Girardeau as part of the 1ST50K program.

The winners in 2019 included Pumptrakr and Sho.AI.

Pumptrakr created a system where farmers could remotely control their irrigation pumps while managing team communication. In its first irrigation season, the company had more than 600 modules being used by farm operations across southeast Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Sho.AI received a $250,000 investment from the Center on Rural Innovation’s Opportunity Zone Seed Fund to establish headquarters in Cape Girardeau.

The 1ST50K program is through a partnership with the Missouri Technology Corporation. In the spring of 2020, MTC selected 1ST50K as an award recipient for its competitive grant competition, Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity. The award was matched dollar for dollar by local, private donations to support this project, and the award provides a regional focus to 1ST50K, as well as support to launch it in partnership with Southeast Missouri State University.

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