Three UT student startup companies have been awarded a total of $35,000 to develop their businesses in the fall 2015 Boyd Venture Challenge. Eight teams were selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of local entrepreneurs who determined which companies were most deserving of seed funding and how much they should receive. “We saw an excellent group of companies this semester,” said Tom Graves, operations director of the UT Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “The judges were quite impressed both with the variety and quality of the startups that presented. It’s exciting to see our students taking ideas and turning them into a reality.”
Chattanooga Times Free Press
California-based Carbon Five hadn’t planned to expand to Chattanooga, let alone the South, when last year two members of its team turned to the Society of Work for office space.With locations in San Francisco and Santa Monica, the software-design-and-
Memphis Business Journal
AfterMaster Audio Labs has set out to reinvent television audio with a unique device, and is seeking the public’s help to fund production. The Scottsdale-based company’s prototype product, AfterMaster TV, helps dialogue stand out louder and clearer among loud music and other sounds, while improving the overall audio. Memphis-born singer, actor and record producer Justin Timberlake was such a fan of AfterMaster he became a co-owner of the company in December 2014. Timberlake joined CEO Larry Ryckman, Aaron Ryckman’s dad, who is known in the business for his expertise in audio production and mastering. AfterMaster is trying to raise $200,000 through a recently-launched Kickstarter campaign that ends Dec. 21. With less than a week under its belt, the campaign has already raised more than half of its goal and has more than 400 backers.
The LAUNCH Business Entrepreneurship Academy helped recent graduates get a step closer to their dreams, participant Nancy Green said. “I am so grateful for this program, for those around the table who shared their dreams with me, and for those of you who worked with us [and helped make me] feel brave, more confident and empowered,” she said at last week’s program graduation. LAUNCH is a local nonprofit that aims to empower community members through entrepreneurship, job training and mentorship. Twenty area residents recently graduated from the 10-week entrepreneurship course aimed at adults interested in starting a business and those who have already started one.
High Ground News
In 2012, native Memphian Josh Horton launched Hieroglyph, a local apparel and accessories brand. Recognizing the need for creative people to have a place to connect and find support, he launched the annual Creative Works conference, attracting attendees from all over the world for the three day event. Not limiting things to the conference itself, Horton intends for Creative Works to serve as a community building space where creative professionals can find support and year long programming, events, and workshops to assist them in developing and implementing their own businesses. “Memphis is not the best place for creatives as it can be difficult for creative people to find funding for their ventures.” says Horton. “Things like Creative Works empower creative people and give them access to the amenities they need, helps them understood that they are valued here and I hope to see this bleed out into the community as a whole.”
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