News Column

Startup Memphis Focuses on Female Entrepreneurship

December 3, 2012

James Dowd

It's a woman's world. At least that's the entrepreneurial ethos surrounding LaunchMemphis this week with the organization's upcoming 48-Hour Launch that will highlight women-owned startups.

Similar to other 48-Hour events -- this will be the third one held this year -- the event kicks off on Friday with registration at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and then startup pitches. Participants will determine which ideas show the most promise and the remainder of the weekend will be spent with teams working like crazy to bring these nascent companies to launch statue. Final presentations will take place on Sunday beginning at 6 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.

The difference this time around is the commitment to boosting female entrepreneurship, but men are welcome to participate, too. Organizers hope those collaborations will underscore the interconnectedness of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

"It really does take a village and that's the approach we're looking at for this event," said Elizabeth Lemmonds, chief brand officer for LaunchYourCity. "We're trying to increase female entrepreneurship, but we're excited to hear pitches from women or men and we hope there'll be a good mix of people working on great startup ideas."

Cost is $40 and includes meals and materials. Child care will also be provided for an additional fee.

To find out more, visit launchmemphis.com.

For anyone who's interested in participating in 48-Hour Launch, but feels a little unsure about how to pitch a startup idea, this week's Founders Toolkit Workshop is for you. The workshop runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and will be devoted to helping attendees polish their elevator speeches and develop dynamic presentation skills. There's no cost to attend, but do the organizers a favor and call ahead to let them know you're coming.

For more information, send an email to info@launchmemphis.com or call 901-213-7795.

Wednesday morning, join the Interactive Expedition gang for their monthly breakfast forum from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis, 3700 Central.

Featured presenter will be Joelle Pittman of Yelp and participants are likely to have plenty of interesting and helpful tech tips to help you maximize online tools for your work or business. Cost is $20 and includes the breakfast buffet, or $15 each for you and a friend if you bring a newcomer.

Registration is requested and you may learn more by visiting meetup.com/socialexpedition.

That evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Borrego Springs Bank will offer a seminar focusing on loan programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The free program will be held at the Renaissance Business Center, 555 Beale and is aimed at entrepreneurs interested in launching startups as well as for small business owners seeking additional working capital for their companies.

To register for the workshop, visit tsbdc.org or call Yolanda Handy at 901-333-5085.

If you need a little help getting into the holiday spirit, or if you've got plenty that you'd like to share, then head over to the Cooper Young business district for the monthly First Thursday Night Out from 5 to 9 p.m.

This is a great chance to visit some really fantastic locally owned small businesses during extended hours and take advantage of money-saving restaurant and retail discounts.

In addition, there will be a holiday decorations contest hosted by the Cooper Young Business Association and at the gazebo, the Peabody School Choir under the direction of Jerry Sanders will sing Christmas carols from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Make sure to bring your little ones because Santa is expected to be in the neighborhood handing out sweet treats.

Wrapping up the holiday theme -- and also on Thursday -- the Memphis chapter of the American Advertising Federation and the Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South will co-host "Mix, Mingle and Jingle" from 5:30 to 8:30 at Just For Lunch inside Chickasaw Oaks Village, 3092 Poplar.

The event is the annual networking and holiday celebration sponsored by both groups and is open to the public.

Admission is $10 for AAF and SMS members, $15 for guests and attendees are asked to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bears that will be hand-delivered to children at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and the Memphis Child Advocacy Center during the holidays.

To learn more, visit aafmemphis.org or sms-midsouth.org.

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(c)2012 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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