If People Are The Hardware, Culture Is The Software


With this post we want to give you a feel for what it is like to be a part of the startup community in Memphis, and more specifically, the Start Co. accelerators.

Welcome to Start Co.

Our Culture in Action:

It wouldn’t be a Memphis without blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and BBQ.  At Start Co. we take full advantage of the natural assets of our community to make sure our founders, partners, and investors experience the true flavor of Memphis with unique events and networking opportunities.

Start-Q is hosted during The World Championship of Bar-B-Que in Memphis TN.  With National Office Hours, pitch competitions, and BBQ, we draw national partners and supporters such as Amazon Web Services, American Airlines, PayPal BrainTree, Softlayer, and more to Memphis to support the regional growth of startup ecosystem.

Start Co. Lounge is a monthly gathering of fellow innovators, investors, developers, designers, accelerator alumni, and many other business leaders in the community for an evening of drinks, good conversation, and creative collisions.

48 Hour Launch is a weekend long event where veteran, and first time, entrepreneurs come together to identify potential startup businesses and build them in just 48 hours.  Sound intense?  It is.  80-100 people are working around the clock to build new innovations that solve problems, while simultaneously building community.  You will find our accelerator alumni giving back and mentoring new generations of entrepreneurs at these events each year.

Our Space:

Start Co. Lab is ground zero for our accelerators, workshops, training sessions, and more. Each startup receives a dedicated workstation to accommodate their team and setup homebase. The accelerator co-working space is sealed away from other event space at Start Co., allowing teams to leave their things behind each night without the fear of them being disturbed.

Accessible 24/7, our newly renovated 7800+ sq ft office provides plenty of room for big ideas to grow. And our location in the core of downtown Memphis offers limitless walkable options for dining, entertainment, off-site work, and housing.  In addition, we offer a formal board room, mid-sized conference room, and other breakout spaces for whiteboarding, conference calls, and customer meetings. There is even a walk out patio and grill for working and relaxing outside.

Meet Our Founders:

As members of the Global Accelerator Network, we have benchmarked our program against the best in the world.  Start Co. is admired for the hands-on nature of the business and technical assistance that is supplied to our startups during the accelerator, and the months following it.  But you don’t have to take our word for it.  Here are quotes, and videos, from our founders on their experience and what surprised them the most about going through an accelerator.

“Upstart was the most valuable personal and professional experience I’ve ever had. I learned more in 3 months than I did in 3 years of law school.” – Rachel Fuller, Feather (Upstart ’15)

“Bring all you have to the table. Start Co. will pour gasoline on it and light your idea on fire.” – Jessica Buffington, FrontDoor (Upstart ’15)

“It’s not just business-changing… it’s life-changing.” – Ken Sills, Preteckt (Seed Hatchery ’15)

“The curriculum is rigorous and rewarding. Oftentimes, the feedback is tough but because of it, you’ll be well-equipped, if not over-prepared once you graduate.” – Aaron Fitzgerald, Ncrease (Seed Hatchery ’15)

Preteckt relocated from Canada to Memphis, the distribution and logistics capital of the world, to build their hardware and software company that predicts long-haul truck breakdowns before they happen. Peter Bassa, CEO & Co-Founder of Preteckt, shares what surprised him about Start Co. after going through our 2015 Seed Hatchery Accelerator.

FrontDoor (formerly MLSMyNest) is disrupting the real estate industry by providing home sellers with full-service agent for a flat fee of $1500.  Jessica Buffington, CEO & Co-Founder, shares what surprised her about Start Co. after going through our women-led accelerator program in 2015.

The Ncrease team moved from Los Angeles and Washington, DC to build their startup in Memphis.  The CEO & Founder of Ncrease, Aaron Fitzgerald, was surprised by the intensity of the programming in the accelerator program.  Learn more about his experience here:

DivorceSecure is a company that not only took advantage of the accelerator program at Start Co. but also took full advantage of startup programming at Start Co. before the program began to position for success.  The CEO & Founder of DivorceSecure, Hirsch Serman, shares why you should think about taking advantage of the programming.