Validate Your Idea

When it comes to founding a tech startup, there’s no shortage of options for getting to where you want to go. Many tech founders try to learn on the job, read books, or take online courses. But the key to mastering anything, including the skills it takes to start a tech company, is making time for deliberate practice and surrounding yourself with experts. In 120-Day Tech Startup, you’ll learn by doing as our seasoned coaches guide you through an iterative process to help you understand your customer journeys, create prototypes for you to demo and sell before you build your product, and prepare you to raise pre-seed and angel capital to launch your company on a customized path to launch and growth.

120-Day Tech Startup is considered the validation tier in our pipeline of tech startup programs. It's offered twice a year, in the spring and fall. If you are an individual or a team with an idea for a software-based or enhanced product with high-growth potential, and you are located in southern Missouri, you are eligible to participate!

Successful participants will compete for $100K pre-seed SAFE note or Cash Flow debt investments from a regional fund, co-investment from state and other funds, and be admitted to the Pre-Accelerator Program.

The next cohort kicks off in April 2024. Keep reading to learn more, and apply below!

Fast-track Your product

Move your idea forward with 1:1 coaching, software development resources, and access to pre-seed capital when you participate in the 120-Day Tech Startup program. You'll learn a systems-based approach to test the viability of your idea and establish demand. We will show you how to drive customer interest to your tech product or service before building it.

Establish Demand

Establishing demand for your product before you build it is the first step to take when launching a new product.

During the workshop, you will:

  • Design business models.
  • Test whether an idea is worth pursuing.
  • Communicate an idea clearly and concisely to stakeholders.
  • Identify and prioritize assumptions in your business model.
  • Stress test your riskiest assumptions using small and fast experiments.
  • Use customer interviews to learn from customers.
  • Design and build a software prototype.
  • Pitch to customers.
  • Prepare to pitch to investors if your idea is worth pursuing.

Problem / Solution Fit

Through the program, you'll take your idea from concept to Problem/Solution Fit, but what exactly does that mean?

Problem/Solution Fit means you have:

  • A business model blueprint and traction roadmap for key milestones and validation.
  • An identified opportunity worth pursuing and a clear understanding of customers' needs (and wants).
  • A working prototype and knowledge of the smallest thing to deliver value to customers (MVP).
  • Secured sufficient tangible commitments (registrations, subscriptions) from customers.
  • The knowledge to be able to make an evidence-based go/no-go decision to move forward on the idea.

120-Day Tech Startup in a Nutshell

100% Virtual. Cohorts Every Six Months.

Feedback from experienced entrepreneurs

Bi-weekly Workshops. 1:1 Coaching.

Team discussions. Private Forums.

Learn by doing.
Build a prototype.

Structured schedule and accountability.

"Codefi is the engine that brought my idea into reality and made it marketable. I work really hard to do as much legwork as I can, and they’re the professionals that make the app work. I rely heavily on their advice. They were and are a big help."

Nathan Holmes, Founder of PumpTrakr

No Cost for 120-Day Tech Startup for Eligible Teams in Southern Missouri!

Thousands of teams across the globe each year pay $7,999 per team to complete this workshop. This workshop is available at no cost for teams located in or willing to relocate to 1 of the 47 counties served by Innovate SOMO, thanks to the support of our generous partners.

Offered twice a year:
fall/winter and spring/summer.
Spring/Summer 2024 COHORT
April 2024
August 2024
Registration open until March 14, 2024!

For Founders, By Founders

What sets this program apart? It's taught and led by practicing entrepreneurs with years of experience. We believe the more we coach, the more we learn and share, the better results everyone gets. Though most of the tools and frameworks for this program were first developed by Ash Maurya, creator of LEANSTACK and the Lean Canvas, your coaches for 120-Day Tech Startup are tech founders and entrepreneurs in residence at Codefi.

Driven by the search for better and faster ways for building successful products, Ash has developed a continuous innovation framework for raising the odds of early product success built upon principles and techniques drawn from Lean Startup, Business Modeling Design, Design Thinking, Jobs-to-be-Done, Behavioral Science, and Systems thinking. He regularly hosts sold-out workshops around the world and serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars and Capital Factory.

James is a seasoned entrepreneur, certified LEANSTACK and Lean Startup coach, angel investor, and startup evangelist who has founded organizations that supported the creation of hundreds of tech startups and small businesses. He actively coaches tech founders across southern Missouri and will be the lead coach in the 120-Day Startup workshop.

Chris has 15+ years experience as a tech entrepreneur and has managed international startup competitions. He works with startups going through customer development and technical discovery processes to onboard into the technology team for solution design. He is also the founder of a nationally recognized software developer training program and manages collaborations with business development/startup pipeline and workforce development/talent pipeline stakeholders to bridge connections.

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Swipesum. A veteran of the payments industry, Michael and his brother Stephen have led Swipesum since its inception in 2016. Michael is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Codefi and the founder of its LeadLabs program, which provides sales strategy and customer acquisition training and services to startups in Codefi’s programs.

"Codefi gave us that little catalyst, that spark if you will, to really take an idea and turn it into a company. After the program, that spark, we've had year-over-year growth. It's been really really great."

Sho Rust, Founder of

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this program 120 days?
How many people can participate in a team?
What are the criteria to qualify for 120-Day Tech Startup?
What are the important program dates and deadlines to participate?
Who is the 120-Day Tech Startup Program for?
Why should I join this program? Can't I get the same learnings from your books and free videos?
Is this a remote or on-site coaching program?
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Can you introduce me to investors?

Still Have Questions?

We Can Help
The journey from idea to launch isn't always a straight path. Wherever you're at in your journey, we're happy to chat further to determine how we can help. Schedule time with our startup team.

Alumni Testimonials

Max Montrey, founder
Devon Edmonds & Matt Hildebrand, founders
Michael Seaman, founder
Murielle Gaither, founder