Codefi’s 1ST50K Startup Competition: How Winners 10x After Relocating to Rural Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Press Release ( - CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - May 19, 2021 - Malcolm Gladwell hit the nail on the head when he wrote about being a big fish in a small pond. Startups moving to the Midwest are starting to prove the theory. Cue SwipeSum, which helps eliminate most credit card processing fees for small businesses. Acting as fractional Chief Payments Officers, the company sources the best payment solutions at the best pricing.

Michael Seaman, founder and CEO of the company, asked a major question that a lot of startups have been wondering the past year: “What would it look like if I moved out of the metro and into a rural community to grow this company?” He didn’t have to look far as he came across Codefi’s 1ST50K Startup Program out of Cape Girardeau, Missouri — a startup accelerator that awards $50,000 for teams that are located in, or relocate to, Southeast Missouri or West Kentucky. 

“Before 1ST50K, we were at the point of not necessarily profitable yet, but we thought it was just right within our reach and so we wanted to find the best place to generate the most revenue and have access to people in programs that could let that happen. The beginning of this year, we’ve done about twice as much revenue as we did in all of last year. We absolutely would not be where we are today without everything else that comes with the 1ST50K award: biggest clients, realistic help with software, marketing, sales — any kind of development with our startup.” 

For any company that is looking at accelerators, that needs cash, that would love to have better founders and employees, it needs to be sure to bring its A-game because this year is going to be extremely competitive.

For companies looking for a founder-friendly startup environment to grow their technology startup, look no further. 1ST50K funds $50,000 non-dilutive awards to help startups thrive in the rural Midwest. Why choose rural? Companies can free themselves from the distraction and chaos that big life heaps upon them. Innovative tech startups can happen wherever the founders want to live. What helped Michael 10x SwipeSum?

  • Big Fish in a Small Pond — In a large city, a company may be one of hundreds of startups. In a rural community, it will get the help and attention the company deserves and needs to be successful early on.
  • Cost of Living — When a mortgage and office space cost a few hundred bucks, a startup’s runway gets quite a bit longer so managers can have time to grow the company. Now, companies can get off the just-ramen diet. Enjoy more beer and BBQ.
  • Less Distraction — Startups are hard. Companies have to do a lot of work and work long hours. It just makes sense to remove the shiny objects.

Codefi’s 1ST50K program is led by two entrepreneurs themselves, Chris Carnell and James Stapleton, Ph.D. Chris has 15+ years of experience working in and alongside startups and small and medium enterprises. Stapleton is a nationally recognized lean startup coach. And Codefi has set out to create a program that differs from the rest to help companies like SwipeSum relocate and scale. The program states its “1ST50K Difference”:

$50,000 award non-dilutive

Teams can win $50,000 without giving away equity. It’s not a loan, a lame voucher or even a SAFE. A founder’s first investment is typically the hardest to find and most expensive to take. Being founder-friendly is the guiding focus. Of course, startups need more than $50,000 depending on where they are in the lifecycle. The network of investors put together in Southern Missouri and West Kentucky can help the teams scale as they need.

Curriculum-free, Startup-focused

Startups need to work on their business, not their slide deck. Every startup is at a different phase when they enter a program. Whether they’re still conceptual or generating revenue, they won’t get shoved down the same curriculum path as everyone else. Most importantly, they won’t get paraded around to be shown off to crowds that clap at the end of a demo and never call back. The program is set to meet startups where they are and help them set metrics that define their success, and then the Codefi team gets its hands dirty to help achieve them.

Startups can be scaled in rural America. SwipeSum is proof, and is just one of many. Want a shot? Visit to apply. Applications will be open through May, reviews are in June, with Pitch Day at the end of July. 

Source : Codefi Follow on Google News
Business Info :
338 Broadway (Suite 601)
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
CATEGORIES : Business Technology


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