Author Archives: Katie Milligan

Wantrepreneur – A Webinar with Al Pickett and the NUL


Curious about what it takes to launch a company and be successful? Al Pickett, VP of Diversity at Start Co., has been selected by the National Urban League (NUL) to host a webinar about starting a company the smart way. The webinar, called “Wantrepreneur: Are you ready to be your own boss?” is part of the Digital Career Success Webinar Series. Already, 300 people have registered for this webinar – more than twice the average number of registrants.

Whether you are in an organization or starting your own business, the ability to think innovatively is invaluable. During the discussion, listeners will hear real strategies to get real results using entrepreneurial skill sets and principles. The discussion will provide a roadmap for turning an idea into reality and will touch on idea validation, monetizing your ideas, and how to avoid the common pitfalls of starting up.

Check out the webinar from the live discussion on July 9, 2014:

Al Pickett is the VP of Diversity at Start Co. Follow him on Twitter @MrAlPickett. #NUL #NeverStop

Start Co. Welcomes Logistadvise to the Sparkgap Accelerator


Start. Co is thrilled to add Logistadvise as the 19th startup to the Summer of Acceleration.  Founded by Eric Spearin and Radek Duda, Logistadvise is a database that connects freight transportation providers with thousands of transportation carriers in North America. Logistadvise revolutionizes the transportation industry with its algorithm based system and large volume of available data on every for-hire company in the industry.

The Logistadvise team sought out Start Co. and Memphis because of the strength of the network of mentors, logistics industry experts, fellow entrepreneurs, and potential investors.  Logistadvise will join the Sparkgap Accelerator and work toward pitching investors at Demo Day.  Start Co. will support Logistadvise as they work alongside the other 18 startups in the Summer of Acceleration.

Hailing from Canada, Spearin and Duda started work on Logistadvise in September 2013; today, Spearin and Duda are finalizing the company’s business model, having moved to Memphis to work with Start Co.. They designed and launched their platform in February of 2014 in private beta and plan to officially launch the platform in early August of 2014.  Today, the users on Logistadvise’s beta test website search through over 65 million shipping options to find the best fit for their needs.

Join us in welcoming Logistadvise to Memphis.  If you’re interested in learning more about Logistadivse, visit

If you’d like to attend the culminating experience of the Start Co. Summer of Acceleration, where Logistadvise and the 18 other emerging startups will pitch to investors, reserve your seat here:

Innovation District Promised As Maker Movement Gets a Close-Up


Memphis makers got the spotlight last week as city officials announced they’d joined the White House’s “Mayors’ Maker Challenge,” and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton promised more resources to aid the city’s already hot start-up community.

Makers make things. They’re inventors, tinkerers, builders, craftsman, and more. Five-In-One Social Club is an example of crafty makers in Memphis. The Broad Avenue storefront offers classes on sewing, working with paper, or making rubber stamps. The more high-tech Mid-South Makers group whips up giant LED clocks, micro-controlled robots, drones, and more at its Memphis workshop.

View the full article at Memphis Flyer

Start Co. Helps Entrepreneurs Bring Ideas to Life


DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) –They’ve relocated from all across the country to work and create right here in Memphis. They are entrepreneurs working to build their businesses from the ground up, and they’ve got 90 days to do it.

The company that is helping them is called Start Co., a start-up incubator that works with entrepreneurs to take their ideas from business plan to prototype.

Many of these innovators moved here from cities like San Francisco and New York City to work with StartCo in Downtown Memphis.

“They give us this beautiful office space, mentors, funding, and overall support and encouragement,” said Maggie Owsley, founder of a company called Playtag.

StartCo helps them build their ideas into products that can be manufactured and sold. They’ve got 90 days to complete their ideas; so many teams have been working day and night.

View the full article at My Fox Memphis

Memphis Tech Industry Remembers Dave Barger


For the better part of the week, local Memphis tech industry insiders have been posting memories of Dave Barger, founder and CEO of LunaWeb, who died last weekend in a kayak accident on the Wolf River near Shelby Farms Park.

Most of the memories came via Twitter under #rememberdave, while some people who knew Barger posted blogs about their experiences with him, including Start Co. founder Eric Mathews and LunaWeb’s vice president, Steve Phipps.

View the full article at Memphis Business Journal

Partners Drive Startup Ecosystem


Building startups is tough work that requires the engagement of money, mentorship and professional support.

Back before there were incubators, accelerators and formal platforms to systematically assist startup companies, there were critical trusted advisers in the community to help guide entrepreneurs as they started up. Those advisers were local bankers, lawyers, marketers, accountants and others where entrepreneurs could turn for support and guidance. While new startup infrastructures have sprung up to provide knowledge, capital and other resources, professionals continue to be the backbone driving entrepreneurial growth.

Read the full article at The Daily News

SciTech Maker Movement Moves Into Memphis


(My Fox Memphis) The next wave of digital technology in Memphis is called the Maker Movement. It’s a challenge the Bluff City is tackling head on.

City representatives introduced several local entrepreneurs and makers at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. The Maker Movement is an umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers.

“We don’t say enough or know enough about what’s really going on here in Memphis and one of the key things is entrepreneurial activity,” said George Little, the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Memphis.

Many startups and non-profits are already here. They came to Memphis to take advantage of its resources. Companies like Start Co, a startup accelerator that helps companies take an idea from concept to execution. Start Co says other major cities are oversaturated and that makes Memphis the perfect place for what they do.

View the full article at My Fox Memphis

The College Initiative works with Start Co. to increase college enrollment


(Memphis Business Journal) As the cost to attend college continues to increase and getting into college becomes more competitive, a local nonprofit is hoping to help more students from low-income families succeed.

And judging by its latest success, they’re off to a good start.

The College Initiative, an organization founded by Gabriel Fotsing, an alumnus of Teach For America, has joined the inaugural group of social startups participating in Start Co.’s Sky High accelerator this year. Since The College Initiative was started in 2012, the organization has worked with more than 80 students, successfully getting 100 percent of them into college while raising more than $5 million in scholarships.

View the full article at Memphis Business Journal

Sparkcap creating bridges between established and startup logisitics companies


(Memphis Business Journal)  With Memphis’ reputation as the logistics capital of the U.S., the city is long overdue for a small business accelerator that focuses on logistics and transportation companies. With that in mind, Start Co. is attempting to fill the void with its first cohort of Sparkgap.

Sparkgap is working with three companies in its first cohort, Extra Rail, a company that focuses on using unused rail yards for rail car storage; Drone Stuff, a company that rents or sells small drones for use for aerial photographers or filmmakers; and Graph Story, which uses data compiled by logistics companies in real time to determine the best delivery routes for drivers.

Read full article at Memphis Business Journal

Upstart accelerator goes global in year two


(Memphis Business Journal) In its second year, Start Co.’s Upstart accelerator has gone international.

The accelerator, which focuses on women-owned startups, has attracted companies from New York and one from Hungary.

Virag Reti, co-founder and CEO of Weoid, a mobile application that helps travelers find partners to help split the cost of transportation once they arrive to their destination, came to Upstart from Hungary, bypassing similar programs in Europe.

Read the full article at Upstart Business Journal