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Investing in the future

Mark Twain has famously said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Twenty years from now, the six teams who pitched their startup ideas at the Seed Hatchery's first Investor’s Day will at least be happy they took part in this mentorship-based program for entrepreneurs. At the most, they will be rolling in dough.

Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. who I borrowed the Mark Twain quote from, also said that supporting small businesses is just as important as attracting big companies.

City of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. spoke about how there’s nothing more powerful than an idea.

The following six ideas were pitched in front of about 200 potential capital venture and angel investors as well as community leaders. Investor’s Day is the culmination of a 90-day boot camp-style program created to help technology-based startups take their ideas from abstract sketches to an investable form.

1. A Smarter City pitched by Seth Regenold ( connects the physical world to the internet through inexpensive sensors and software. For example, with their technology you could see in real time which parking spots are available in specific garages in downtown Memphis.

2. StiQRd pitched by Aaron Prather ( gives businesses and customers a user friendly loyalty program app. The start-up provides a business-specific QR code that customers scan when they check-in and StiQRd tracks data and the rewards for the business and consumer.

3. Work for Pie pitched by Cliff McKinney ( a streamlined website which connects employers with technology-based professionals. They hope to replace as the go-to site for tech jobs.

4. ChooMoGo pitched by Demarcus Love ( portable mobile-charging kiosks that will charge up your cellphone’s battery in 10-15 minutes. While you wait, you can play games or check the news.

5. Krikle pitched by Dirk Scholvin ( a new iPhone application that allows users use the camera feature on your phone to leave drawings, text, or messages on the wall of a restaurant, business, or building – without using a magic marker or spray paint.

6. Obeedo pitched by Scott Brown ( a click and collect groceries website. The customer orders their groceries on the obeedo website and then picks them up in the drive-through of the obeedo warehouse.

Seed Hatchery is a mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund that supports emerging technology entrepreneurs through capital and strategic mentorship. Modeled after the highly successful TechStars program out of Boulder, Colo., Seed Hatchery bridges a gap in early-stage funding and mentoring. Seed Hatchery was launched in December 2010, in partnership with Nashville venture capital firm Solidus Company, Eric Matthews of LaunchMemphis and Gwin Scott of EmergeMemphis*. Led by Eric Mathews, a strong proponent for entrepreneurship in Memphis, the program began accepting submissions for its first cohort in January 2011.

*EmergeMemphis is supported by the Memphis Area Economic Development Plan. A vital partner of the Memphis Area Economic Development (MemphisED) Plan, EmergeMemphis works toward a significant goal of creating a national entrepreneurship ‘center of excellence’ to drive the creation of new high value ventures and jobs.

-- Christina Meek
Posted: 6/6/2011 11:06:42 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: business, chamber, development, economic, entrepreneurship, growth, hatchery, memphis, seed, startups, technology

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The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 ( or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (