How was the Weekend? Creative & Intense!
Here is a post I wrote for MemphisConnect.com here that I have place below: http://www.memphisconnect.com/2009/06/10/how-was-the-weekend-intense-and-creative/
On May 29th, 30th, and 31st, 2009, seventy (70) Memphians came together for one of the most intense, creative, and entrepreneurial events of their lives. In just 48 hours (6pm Friday to 6pm Sunday) these creative class members from all walks of life pitched 14 ideas, selected 5 for startup, and launched 3 beta products. In its second year of operation, LaunchMemphis brought Startup Weekend back to Memphis to support entrepreneurial action!
Why the excitement?
Last year, LaunchMemphis hosted over 100 people at EmergeMemphis and one idea was selected and born, Spynner. That concept eventually died, but one other idea pitched that weekend went on to form a team, build a product, achieve user base, and garner revenue in 2009. That company is NRange (www.nrange.com), a golf GPS app for smart phones that is cheaper but just as accurate as $300-$500 range finders golfers buy. Now that’s entrepreneurial action! This year with an enhanced entrepreneurship ecosystem and a dedicated group of 70 people, LaunchMemphis Startup Weekend delivered five new business concepts to our local economy.
Will all of these startups succeed?
According to Tulane University business Professor Lisa Amos, the average for entrepreneurs has 3.8 failures before finally succeeding. At LaunchMemphis with programs like Startup Weekend, we encourage people to form teams, build startups, and ‘fail fast’ so that they can learn and get right back into the ecosystem of entrepreneurship to start again.
You did what?
When asked, “What did you do this past weekend?” most may reply with the details of sporting events, yard work, and/or relaxing with a book. Not for this crew of Memphians. They can proudly say, “I launched a new business in 48 hours!”
What are the 5 startups?
Here I provide a very brief summary of the 5 ideas that moved forward. Stay tuned to learn about how these startups evolve. We will have a Startup Weekend Reunion on August 27th, 2009 to hear about how these businesses have progressed and if any of the other ideas not-selected moved forward, like NRange (www.nrange.com) did last year. Learn more about Memphis Startup Weekend at www.LaunchMemphis.com.
The Roll Play (www.therollplay.com) is a new web system to allow students, writers, and others to build stories collectively with other members by assuming the role of a character of their own making. The members in effect make a “rolling” play or even a debate. The site is up and running with new differentiating functionality coming out weekly.
Mister Menus (http://mistermenus.com/) is a site that allows a user to upload menus of their favorite restaurants and to rate menu items. This enables other users to search where to eat using criteria like dish ingredients and menu items. This way if you need to find the best vegan dishes in the city you can easily locate them and know where to go.
CheezyWeezy (www.CheezyWeezy.com), another project that built a beta launch product and business plan in 48 hours, encourages the world to “Take a Smile Break” by heading to their site to view and rate photos of cute kids. Grandparents unite and rate your grandchildren to the top!
Rezzie focused on designing an innovative business model for the real estate and print news industry. By providing previously unavailable data to consumers on agents and brokers on print news web sites, all parties can benefit withrevenue and savings. This idea easily could provide large returns to investors and the team is moving forward with technical specs.
GameWavMedia focused on providing a new cross functional gaming platform to change the way games are designed, distributed and played. At the center of the idea is object oriented gaming independent of game functionality. Sound complicated — it is — but the idea has some merit, especially since the average age of a gamer is over 35.