Memphis startups take trip to Silicon Valley


(High Ground News) Eight Memphis startup companies are traveling to Silicon Valley this week to pitch their business plans and try to make connections within the high-tech haven.

The trip was organized by Start Co., a local nonprofit aimed at growing and supporting Memphis’ entrepreneurial community. The eight companies are all graduates of Start Co. accelerator programs, which serve as a first-stop for budding businesses and are designed to help potential entrepreneurs take the first actionable steps toward launching a business.

Start Co. CEO and founder Eric Mathews and president Andre Fowlkes are leading the visit. It is the organization’s third trip to Silicon Valley in 18 months and another effort to highlight the strengths of the Memphis entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Throughout the visit, Start Co. hopes to exchange best practices and lessons in failure with their peers as well as find new resources such as mentors, sponsors, partners and other providers for its programs and investment capital.

On Wednesday, Start Co. will host its own Demo Day at San Francisco seed fund and accelerator 500 Startups. The event will have a definitive Memphis twist, with local barbecue and libations served to attendees. It also will provide a forum for the eight accompanying businesses to pitch their ideas to investors representing brands such as PayPal, American Airlines and SoftLayer.

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