First Upstart Memphis Cohort to Host Demo Day


Far too often we see buzz phrases like “glass ceiling” and “gender gap” in the news with no thoughts on how to combat them.  We know that women face adversity professionally, especially when trying to start their own business, and we can agree that this is unfortunate—but what have we agreed to do about it?  That’s why Start Co. decided to provide solutions and create Upstart Memphis, a women’s exclusive accelerator program for tech-based startups.

On July 11, 2013 four teams were given $15,000 each to get their startup off the ground.  Now, we would like you to see just how far they’ve come.  Join us Wednesday, October 23 at the Malco’s Studio on the Square at 2 PM as we celebrate and highlight our female founders and their accomplishments.  This year, Upstart Memphis will be showcasing:

  • Leni Stoeva, CEO of Artwardly, a web-based service that leases artwork to businesses, corporations and collectors.
  • Kelli Meade, CEO of GemPhones, a brand of high-fashion earphones designed to include both quality of sound and functionality.
  • Zakkiyah Daniels, CEO of Stylecrook, a fashion retail marketplace where members can save on the latest styles with the help of their friends.
  • Audrey Jones and Demarcus Bowser, co-founders of Kids360, a mobile app that allows parents to communicate their emergency contact information across multiple channels.

In addition, we will also feature Brit Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of MentorMe as well as Tameesha Desangles, an entrepreneur who has advanced through Start Co.’s Launch University and earned an opportunity to pitch alongside our other women’s teams.

Upstart Memphis is one of a handful of women focused accelerators in the country—and the first program of its kind to come to a conclusion and renewal on Demo Day.  Upstart Memphis is part of Start Co.’s larger Start Empowering platform dedicated to serving underrepresented founders and increasing access to vital capital, mentorship and networking opportunities.

It is our hope that Upstart Memphis will provide the foundation for closing the disparity gap for real economic inclusion into the building of high growth entrepreneurial companies within our city.  Economic growth and job creation are driven by entrepreneurship, regardless of gender.  It takes a village to launch a startup.  We invite you to join ours.

Please register to attend here.