The Memphis startup ecosystem has played a significant role in the Screwpulp story. I began by pitching my idea to archer>malmo ventures who gave me some simple advice: “The idea is great but, you’re not ready. You need a team.” I continued to develop my idea, and a year later, was ready take it to the public at a Start Co. 48 Hour Launch event. After being selected as one of the four ideas to be developed that weekend I had many firsts. I did my first public pitch, completed my first business plan, worked with my first mentors, and even met my first co-founder. It was the first of a series of ‘starts.’
We continued work closely with Start Co. and were chosen to compete in the Amazing Risk competition – which had us pitching against 3 other startups around the city, including a federal judge’s court room. We won the contest, which provided us with a small operating budget. A few months later we were accepted into Seed Hatchery, a 90 day, boot camp style startup accelerator. During those 90 days we added two more co-founders, took on our first investment, honed our business models, and launched our product.
After Seed Hatchery we able to find more capital. We were chosen to showcase at the Southland conference, asked to sit on panel at the Digital Publishers Innovation Summit in NYC, and were selected by Launch TN as one of the top “TENN” startups in the region. Through our continued work with Start Co, we recently raised $330K in our seed round which allow us to continue to develop our product. Now that we have a solid team and working product we have taken the story full circle. We are now working with archer>malmo ventures.
Through the 48 Hour Launch and Seed Hatchery accelerators we learned early on that if you’re building a product, whether you’re developing a tech-based startup or writing the next best seller, you must rely heavily on customer feedback and mentors within your profession. Tapping into your local ecosystem, like Start Co. for entrepreneurs, or writers and readers groups for authors, can facilitate both of these. If you have an idea, there’s no reason not to start today. Start up. You’ll be glad you did.