1ST50K Startup Competition announces winners

Four companies were awarded $50,000 in the 1ST50K Startup Competition and will relocate to Cape...
Four companies were awarded $50,000 in the 1ST50K Startup Competition and will relocate to Cape Girardeau.(KFVS)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 2:00 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Four companies were awarded $50,000 in the 1ST50K Startup Competition and will relocate to Cape Girardeau in October.

The winners include:

  • Food Haven (San Francisco, California) - Connects restaurants with users interested in purchasing freshly prepared meals, made from surplus ingredients and sold at discounted prices
  • RentHub (New York City, New York) - An alternative data platform for the multi-trillion-dollar rental housing industry. With their data, industry stakeholders are empowered to make more intelligent decisions
  • STOCKHAUS (Cape Girardeau, Missouri) - A digital wholesaler for small businesses and organizations. The STOCKHAUS app allows buyers to purchase larger quantities directly from the manufacturer by teaming up their buying power to unlock lower wholesale prices
  • WATT (Los Angeles, California) - A community engagement platform for virtual charity walks and running events. Described by customers as the “Fitbit for a cause”

They were awarded the money after nearly 200 applications from around the world were received and reviewed.

From there, nine finalists were selected and introduced to the Cape Girardeau community during Techfest, an exclusive event that showcased there demo products.

Finalists also participated in Pitch Day, where a group of local, seasoned entrepreneurs, executives and technology specialists made recommendations to the competition directors for the winners.

“In smaller cities one of the challenges is creating density of companies to grow the digital economy, where there is a critical mass of founders, mentors, talent, investors and community support for startups to thrive,” said Dr. James Stapleton, co-founder at Codefi. “1ST50K helps inject new companies immediately into the community, to work alongside local entrepreneurs.”

According to Codefi, a recent Economic Modeling Systems report showed that since 2019, 1ST50K awardees have created nearly 40 jobs and generated more than an estimated $2 million in economic impact in Cape Girardeau.

“Those numbers only encompass the six most-recent awardees,” said Sarah Gant, 1ST50K program directors. “We continue to attract highly-innovative sets of startup founders to work with the talented group of local entrepreneurs in the competition committee. It’s only up from here.”

1ST50K awards are made equity-free as an incentive to keep or help relocate digital companies to the region.

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