We hosted 48 Hour Launch this past weekend and must say, “WOW.” The event is all about innovation and community building- and this edition was particularly remarkable on both of those fronts. Over 20 concepts were pitched on Friday evening, which we have on credible authority surpassed a recent launch weekend in Chicago. This certainly says a great deal about Memphis’ entrepreneurial spirit!
Dozens of participants cast their votes for their four favorite pitches, then divided into teams. And thus were born Happy Potty, Lost Petcast, Screwpulp and Yadoog!
Happy Potty is an app of crowdsourced ratings of public restrooms. Users determine if a bathroom gets a Happy Potty or a Crappy Potty. This could become a road trip must-have!
Lost Petcast is in simplest terms an Amber Alert for pets. Users can report a lost, found, or spotted pet on the website. Worthy of note: Lost Petcast was already cash-flow positive by Sunday evening!
Screwpulp is a self-publishing website for authors and readers, with an important twist: initial copies of books are downloaded in return for mandatory reviews and social media buzz rather than cash.
Yadoog is a photo sharing app that reimagines the way you tell your story. Capture and share up to 24 photos, tagged with associated emotions, presenting a visual narrative of the ups and downs of your day.
We tapped a keg and DJ Justin Baker was on hand Friday night, but these teams were ready to hit the ground and by 11pm had already filled whiteboards and plastered post-it notes all over their breakout rooms. We’re thrilled to add that Kyle Sandler of Nibletz was in the house covering pitches and progress, and providing valuable feedback.
By Saturday at noon when the teams made their first group report, @HappyPotty and @Screwpulp already had Twitter profiles up and running. Screwpulp and Lost Petcast had logos and were working on additional design efforts and wireframes. Lost Petcast and Yadoog visited the Memphis Farmers Market for some valuable in-person customer feedback. Happy Potty was tweeting for feedback while developing a proof of concept for their iPhone app.
It takes a village to start a company, and we want to take a moment to commend those who voluntarily spent their weekend doing customer discovery, writing code, building websites, testing revenue models, researching competitors, and pulling together a five minute investor pitch. We hope that Saturday’s demo with Sam Pike and Endurance Krav Maga provided a bit of respite if not levity to an otherwise intense day…
By Sunday teams were tweeting, feverishly completing prototypes, testing websites and polishing presentations. And then at 6pm… it magically came together and four new Memphis startups were launched.
Well, perhaps not so magically.
The overnight success is an urban legend. Behind what might appear to be serendipity or sudden fame is months if not years of hard work, passion, sacrifice and force of will. But 48 Hour Launch proves that you can seriously kickstart an innovative concept, if using solid entrepreneurial principles and if you have the right team in place collaborating and committed to the cause.
This is why we do what we do. We’ll be working with these teams further around business development, and look forward to seeing what the future holds for Happy Potty, Lost Petcast, Screwpulp and Yadoog!
Many thanks to Sarah Bleau and My Fox Memphis for their two-part feature on 48 Hour Launch! Check it out: