For the past couple of years I've had the pleasure of working with a variety of startups in the content space and most of them are located on one of the two coasts here in the U.S. Last week was an eye-opening experience for me when I traveled to Memphis to take part in the Seed Hatchery Investor Day. I was there to help represent a terrific startup I'm now part of, Screwpulp, but the opportunity to mingle with investors and the other startups was priceless.
In the span of 3 hours Thursday afternoon I had the pleasure of listening to the investor pitches from six highly innovative startups: BetterFed, MentorMe, Boosterville, Musistic, Soundstache and, of course, Screwpulp. All but one of these startups originated in Memphis. Memphis! And you thought all they had in Memphis was Graceland and BBQ joints. (Btw, all the food in Memphis, especially the BBQ, is out of this world!)
I mentioned that all the startups but one were from Memphis. The exception is Boosterville, which was founded by a couple from my hometown, Indianapolis. But since there's no equivalent platform to the Seed Hatchery and their Investor Day here in Indianapolis, the Boosterville founders went to Memphis instead.
Sounds like an opportunity to me... That's also what Eric Mathews, CEO and co-president of LaunchYourCity, believes as well. I spent some time with Eric and his co-president, Andre Fowlkes, and I left convinced these guys are on to something. Innovation and startup launches aren't limited to the coasts, of course. We just need people like Eric and Andre to find leaders in towns like Indianapolis and get them to step up and organize the local efforts. Btw, LaunchYourCity announced last week that they're rebranding themselves as Start Co. Great name, and an even better tag line: "Never stop starting." Brilliant!
What does the startup scene look like in your hometown? Is it invisible to the local community like mine is? If so, I encourage you to reach out to the folks at Start Co. and see what can be done to change the situation. That's what I'm doing.