“I had some friends in the St. Pete area and after a few visits, I decided it was the place to be for an early-stage company,” Code-X founder and CEO Darren LaCroix told the St. Pete Catalyst about making the recent move to the St. Petersburg, FL area. “We are a DoD organization right now and the ability to get a workforce with clearance in this area is a much higher pool than the other locations in the United States,” LaCroix added about the attraction to the Sunshine City.
Code-X is a cybersecurity startup that has been developing and testing for more than three years and has named St. Pete their headquarters. The company, which usually focuses on DoD, is releasing a new SaaS platform that is the first commercially available lattice-based data protection platform validated by the U.Ss Department of Defense. Their mission is to simplify how organizations protect the world’s most sensitive information and systems.
LaCroix founded the data security company in 2018 but has been in stealth mode with the startup to focus on the product. Code-X gained two more co-founders six months later as they began to build and test the technology. Fast forward three years, LaCroix and his team announced their public launch and they closed a $5 million Series A funding round as well. The round was led by By Light IT Services, with participation from fama Ventures.
"JP [DuBuque, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp.] and everyone else has been great; it's a great environment to build a business," he said to Lauren Coffey, TBBJ & Inno reporter. "Everyone works together and we're looking to create an innovation group, which would have everyone from the DoD and business world solve problems in the community and elsewhere."
LaCroix and his team are already cultivating a culture with their 13 employees that is in line with the values of St. Pete. As they look to grow to 40 employees by the end of the year, Code-X is taking a leadership role in the community as the catalyst to a discussion regarding building a talent pool of technologists by training people from St. Pete's underserved communities. This idea has culminated in an on-going effort and collaboration that has been joined by EDC recruitment project Codeboxx and EDC Investor St. Pete College, along with St. Pete Works and led by Jocelyn Howard with the Grow Smarter initiative.
For more information about Code-X's launch, see the Tampa Bay Inno article "St. Pete cybersecurity startup launches, raises $5M Series A," or the company's press release "Code-X Introduces First Commercially Available Lattice-Based Data Protection Platform Validated by the United States Department of Defense."
Code-X may be found at teamcode-x.com.
Code-X co-founders Bob Twitchell, Darren LaCroix and Dani Tarino. Photo: Code-X