Author Archives: Andre Fowlkes

Meet the Team from WordPress and Audrey Capital on May 15


Help us welcome core members of the WordPress and Audrey Capital teams to Memphis and the Launchpad on Tuesday, May 15!

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and content management system, created in 2003 to fulfill “a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL.” Due largely to its ease of use and incredibly robust functionality it has grown to become the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world. In fact, our own LaunchMemphis, Seed Hatchery and LaunchYourCity sites are powered by WP, as are local favorites I Love Memphis, Startup Memphis, Smart City Memphis and MemphisConnect. Even Mayor AC Wharton uses WP for From the Mayor’s Desk!

Audrey Capital is an angel investment and research company launched by WP’s own co-creator Matt Mullenweg to “help innovative ideas grow.” And the Audrey team loves Memphis- and our BBQ! While they’re in town for Memphis in May BBQ Fest they have graciously agreed to come to the Launchpad for a WP Community Meetup and rooftop party! You definitely won’t want to miss this opportunity- bring your questions, and get ready to raise a glass (cup?) of Ghost River!


WordPress party, (Launch)Memphis-style
Matt Mullenweg, founder of Audrey Capital, co-creator of WordPress and founder of Automattic
Andrew Nacin, tech ninja at Audrey Capital and core developer at WordPress
Scott Reilly, tech ninja at Audrey Capital and core developer at WordPress
Samuel “Otto” Wood, tech ninja at Audrey Capital and core developer at WordPress
When and where:
5:30pm meetup in the Launchpad (suite 127), 6:30pm party on the EmergeMemphis rooftop (516 Tennessee St.)
How Much:

Many, many thanks to Beth Sanders and Otto Wood of the Memphis WP User Group for making this opportunity possible!

Huey's Fuels Memphis Entrepreneurs!


We are proud to announce that Huey’s is our first official restaurant partner! Home of “blues, brews and burgers since 1970,” Huey’s boasts seven locations in the greater Memphis area and is no stranger to local polls such as “Best Burger” and “Best Late Night Dining.” But the food is only one element of what makes Huey’s such a Memphis tradition. Live music, a ceiling full of toothpicks, and sustainability efforts add to the reasons we love the place. So is their dedication to community support and partnership.

Giving back to the community has always been important to Huey’s and its employees. Founder Thomas Boggs always had a knack for the hospitality industry, starting when he was 14 years old working at Rexall Drugstore as a soda jerk. In 1975 he became a bartender at Huey’s Midtown, which at that time was just a bar. After only two years Boggs became partner and set out to turn Huey’s into a great restaurant. Like all great entrepreneurs, Boggs found a gap in the marketplace and turned it into an opportunity.

The Boggs Family

In addition to e-cycling and other eco efforts, Huey's Midtown is also PGF certified.

Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Boggs was an active member of many boards and committees in Memphis and was always dedicated to civic and social causes. He received numerous awards including the Jefferson Award in 2002, which is given by the American Institute for Public Service, 2002 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Memphis, 2005, the Memphis Restaurant Association’s Civic and Community Leadership Award in 2007, and True Blue Tiger Award given by the University of Memphis Alumni Association in 2007. Mr. Boggs was inducted into the Society of Entrepreneurs, and in 2006, into the Memphis City Schools Hall of Fame.

Today the Boggs family and the rest of the Huey’s team continue in their founder’s footsteps by offering customers great food and service, and through charitable support in the community. Learn more about their giving here, and join us in supporting them as they fuel Memphis entrepreneurship!


LaunchYourCity Partners for Entrepreneurial Citizenship Symposium on April 14


St. George’s Independent School announces the second in a series of educational symposiums titled “Entrepreneurial Citizenship: Responsibility, Civic Awareness, Engagement” and scheduled for April 14, 2012. Organized by St. George’s Independent School, and co-sponsored by LaunchYourCity and Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the symposium will feature dialogue and ideas about the importance of entrepreneurial citizenship in the 21st century, with local business, government, education, and environmental leaders as panelists.

The symposium is free and open to the public; online registration may be found at

The schedule and panelists are as follows:

  • OPENING SESSION – 9:30-10:00 AM Speaker TBA
  • SESSION 1 – 10:10-11:10 AM Business/Entrepreneurship Panel Panelists: Steven J. Bares, President & Executive Director, Memphis Bioworks Foundation; Demarcus Love, Co- Founder & President, ChooMoGo; Cameron Mann, Director, Memphis Music Resource Center; Gayle S. Rose, Principal Owner & CEO, Electronic Vaulting Services
  • SESSION 2 – 11:20 AM-12:20 PM Eco-preneurship/Environmental Panel Panelists: Josh Bell, Founder & President, IntoOutdoors Magazine; Matt Farr, Founder, EcoLaborate; Amelia Mayahi, Sustainability Coordinator, University of Memphis; Peter Schutt, Founder, Tennesee Wildlife Federation’s Great Outdoors University and National Wildlife Federation Volunteer of The Year
  • LUNCH Pre-purchased box lunches available
  • SESSION 3 – 1:15-2:15 PM Edu-preneurship/Education Panel Panelists: Tomeka Hart, President & CEO, Memphis Urban League; Jamal McCall, Executive Director, KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools; Ken Steorts, President, Visible Music College; Bill Taylor, President, St. George’s Independent School


  • SESSION 4 – 2:25-3:25 PM Civic Entrepreneurship/Political Panel Panelists: Andre K. Fowlkes, Co-President, LaunchYourCity Inc.; Kerry J. Hayes, Special Assistant for Research and Innovation, City of Memphis; Kevin J. Mireles, Found- er,

Join Us When Boxee & Trep Trip Visit Memphis on the Way to SxSW


Word of Memphis’ dynamic entrepreneurial community is spreading fast.

We are beyond excited to announce that both Boxee and Trep Trip are stopping through Memphis on their way to South by Southwest Interactive- and we invite you to join us as we host them at Emerge! We’ll fill in more details as they arise, but here’s what you need to know:

Boxee Meetup and Mixer
Wednesday, March 7
Sponsored by ChooMoGo

Boxee is heading to South by Southwest Interactive, with a few stops along the way. On March 7 they’ll be in Memphis and we’re hosting a Meetup and Mixer at 6:00pm on the Emerge rooftop! Join us for the unique opportunity to meet the team behind this hot young company- they’re looking for entrepreneurs, developers, and tech enthusiasts who want to chat about movies, TV, art, beer, or startup culture. And Boxee.

Did we mention that there will be demos? And a Ghost River keg? And a giveaway of a Boxee Slingshot HD?!

**Note that this is a revised schedule. Boxee was originally scheduled to be at the Fox & Hound at 7pm but have moved the event downtown with us at Emerge. But please still RSVP here.

Boxee is the one box your TV needs to watch web content- once you pay for the box, you have access to thousands of TV episodes, a massive movie rental library, apps to access your services like Netflix or Hulu, and the capability to display anything else your computer can (including personal videos or music playlists). And there are no recurring monthly fees!

Trep Trip
Monday, March 12
4:30pm Community Forum
5:30pm Rooftop Reception

Evolve Concepts, Inc. and Tweetsicles have come together to develop a four-city tour labeled Trep Trip en route to SXSW. These young entrepreneurs will make stops in Nashville, Memphis, Dallas, and finally at the marquee event in Austin.

“We really wanted to design this as a creative think tank road trip for young entrepreneurs”, Brad Kossow of Evolve Concepts stated. “Every startup has a unique story behind how they got to where they are today, and we’re aiming to highlight these as we make the trek to SXSW”, Kris Eul of Tweetsicles added.

They’ll spend the afternoon in Memphis, speaking with local early stage entrepreneurs and innovators in Evolve’s Airstream Skydeck complete with a second floor deck, four zones with flat screens displays of real-time interactive content and a social media rear lounge.

Then we invite the broader community of innovators, creators, developers, technophiles and general movers and shakers to join us at 4:30pm at Emerge Memphis for a public forum with the Trep Trip crew, followed by a 5:30pm rooftop reception!

Check in with Trep Trip on their journey by following @heytreptrip on Twitter or liking Trep Trip on Facebook.

Tweetsicles is a small business in Green Bay with BIG ideas and a passion for people. They manage social media accounts, create Facebook and Twitter treats to promote brand consistency, and discuss concepts and best practices.

Evolve Concepts, Inc. designs and provides innovative, creative and solution driven custom hospitality vehicles and products that meet and exceed client needs and expectations.

Tech Cocktails: February 2012 Edition


An evening of laughs, fun, and of course entrepreneurial chatter; the February edition of Tech Cocktails was a success! Held at South of Beale, tech enthusiasts–including University of Memphis Journalism instructors/students and the Spring 2012 Seed Hatchery cohorts–gathered for an evening of cocktails and conversation.

A member of The U of M Entrepreneurial Journalism/Media Management class, graduate student Chandra Towler not only attended, but also contributed a wonderful piece to her entrepreneur class website.

“Tech Cocktails is a Memphis-based technology user and development networking event that encourages conversation about innovation in a casual environment,” Towler noted.

We had a fantastic time and thank everyone who came out to meet and greet. If you couldn’t make it this month, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for details about the March Edition of Tech Cocktails.

2012 Business BOOSTcamp


On January 28 individuals from across the city came together at EmergeMemphis and participated in Business BOOSTcamp, hosted by LaunchMemphis. A revamped version of the former business plan bootcamp, BOOSTcamp consisted of a day-long interactive course in entrepreneurship.

Led by Eric Mathews, Business BOOSTcamp walked entrepreneurs through the problems solving process; even giving them the opportunity to present elevator pitches at the end of the session. During the bootcamp, Mathews stressed the importance of applying scientific discipline to the startup process.

“Iteration trumps perfection,” Mathews stated to a room full of entrepreneurs.

By applying scientific methods to the startup process, entrepreneurs are not simply solving a problem–they are funding a business. Breaking into two different teams, entrepreneurs were asked to complete a business model canvas, a concept from the book “Business Model Generation”, written by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur.

Support our 5th year of fueling entrepreneurship through our $5 for 5 campaign


We’ve been proudly fueling Memphis entrepreneurship for five years. Now we hope you’ll fuel our efforts through our $5 for 5 fundraising campaign. 

LaunchMemphis celebrates our fifth year of providing support to early stage entrepreneurs, and growing Memphis’ innovation economy. A few of our favorite highlights:

  • Our highly interactive, hands-on programming includes 48 Hour Launch, Business BOOSTcamp, BarCamp Memphis, Ignite Memphis and MemTech events
  • The Launchpad is Memphis’ first entrepreneurial co-working space
  • Through programming and ad hoc mentoring we’ve groomed 130+ entrepreneurs
  • We’ve delivered 1800+ connections to our entrepreneurial community
  • We’re a member of MemphisED/Shelby Growth Alliance, and Startup Tennessee
  • We were a local stakeholder in CEOs for Cities’ Opportunity Challenge
  • Our principles have been applied in the development of EcoLaborate, Fuel Film, 48 Hour Music Launch, and the U of M’s new Entrepreneurial Journalism course

Now we ask that you help us further develop Memphis’ entrepreneurial community by contributing to our new $5 for 5 campaign: by clicking below, you can set up a recurring monthly donation of only $5 for the next 12 months. As a registered 501(c)(3), your support goes a long way in helping us to empower entrepreneurial action. We thank you in advance, and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

Business BOOSTcamp: January 28


We amped up our business plan bootcamp into a new Business BOOSTcamp! Join us for this day-long interactive course in entrepreneurship that will dramatically boost your chances of turning your startup into a success. Industry experts will kick off the day walking you through the entrepreneurial problem-solving process, and for the afternoon you’ll set up one-on-one Office Hours with professionals who will offer personalized advice relevant to launching, running and growing your business. Show off what you’ve learned when you present your (brief!) elevator pitch at the end of the session.

Who should attend? Entrepreneurs who are starting a company are strongly encouraged to join us! But our signature focus on entrepreneurial thinking and process is valuable for small business owners, non-profits, or anyone planning to expand into a new customer base or product line.

Date/Time: Saturday, January 28 8:30am- 4:00pm
Cost: $40 per person. (Lunch and materials included)
Location: EmergeMemphis Building. 516 Tennessee St.
Get Tickets:

Dream. Build. LAUNCH! 24 Hour Launch for students in grades9-12


Have you ever thought about the perfect Facebook app… that doesn’t exist yet? Have an idea for a website that streamlines an important decision like college selection? If you have an innovative business idea- or just want to be part of converting such a concept into reality- then you should join LaunchMemphis and your peers from local high schools for 24 Hour Launch.

During Memphis’ most unique high school opportunity, young people in grades 9-12 will collaboratively pitch, develop and launch technology-based businesses plans that address real student issues. Through guidance from “real world” industry experts, students will learn how to convert a creative idea into a viable business model. Their hands-on process will include customer discovery, product refinement, user experience, revenue options, marketing strategies and even presentation skills for investor pitches.

When 24 Hour Launch concludes on Saturday evening, participants will present legitimate business plans to the Memphis community. Even more, they’ll possess a valuable problem-solving toolkit that will help them apply entrepreneurial principles to any future endeavor or career path.

Instructors: LaunchMemphis and industry experts
Friday, January 20; 4;00-7:00 pm, and Saturday, January 21; 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Hutchison School. 1740 Ridgeway Road.
Get Tickets: