Startup Weekend Memphis: And The Winner Is…. CoachSpeak

Startup Weekend Memphis saw some great ideas formulated from the Friday pitches. The four finalist teams were: BuyersUnite, Capta Vita (Legacy Interview), RightNowPal (Event Czar) and CoachSpeak.  After Saturday evenings gut check all four finalist teams and the three individual entrepreneurs that would pitch on Sunday started to hunker down and focus on the prize at the end of the weekend. Three startups would walk away with $1000 cash, 9 hours of legal services and 9 hours of accounting services. One team would walk away victorious as the winners of Startup Weekend Memphis 2012.

By 10pm Saturday night the 7 presenting startups had pivoted a total of 24 times (seriously). The mentors had been in for hours on Saturday and everyone was scrambling. Around nine PM I checked in with Derek Chapman and Joseph Dees the two guys behind CoachSpeak and they were in an intense debate on several different key issues. We put in a call to a good friend of Gabe Lozana the founder of St. Louis startup LockerDome who agreed to a quick by phone mentoring session.

That late night phone call sure paid off as CoachSpeak came in first place with the judges on Sunday evening.

Chapman walked the judges through the concept, the revenue and the execution of CoachSpeak which is a social network for professional coaches and athletic personnel from the high school level on up.

Chapman, who is the founder of CoachSpeak, demonstrated a great use case for when coaches change jobs and cities and need to fill coaching team positions very quickly. Startup Weekend Memphis judge, and entrepreneur, Ekundayo Bandele threw Chapman a curve ball asking what happens if a collegiate coach moves his whole team from one school to another, doesn’t that make the service irrelevant.

Simple answer, that never ever happens, but more so Chapman was able to explain how if that did happen that would leave openings to fill at the school the coach came from. More important than that though is that CoachSpeak is already up and running and has 120 professional coaches in their network.

The network isn’t just about filling jobs, it’s about sharing information, camaraderie between coaches, sharing scouting information, job hunting, vendor placement and more.

Dees, who is a financial advisor at Regions Bank in Birmingham Alabama had come into Memphis for his first Startup Weekend. Since graduating from UAB Dees had always had a knack for creating business plans and has actually consulted on several successful business plan. He was the perfect partner for Chapman who had ironed out the entire concept except for the revenue streams and subscriber base.

Obviously the judges liked the collaborative effort between the two!

Chapman plans on continuing to build out CoachSpeak and will probably go to some of the judges who are local entrepreneurs eager to invest in the latest tech startups brewing from Memphis.

LaunchMemphis/SeedHatchery’s Elizabeth Lemmonds was on-site Sunday evening for the final pitches and actually enjoying attending an event that she didn’t have to organize. Prior to her taking a position with Launch Your City (Launch Memphis/Seed Hatcher’s parent) Lemmonds would attend entrepreneurial events in Memphis.

As we reported on Friday, this Startup Weekend was organized by local entrepreneurs James Ruffer and Chris Przybyszewski who are not affiliated with any other organization. The two of them organized this Startup Weekend as a fun and laid back way to spur more startups and entrepreneurship in Memphis. Ruffer, Przybszewski and Lemmonds let all of the finalists know along with any attendees that the resources of Launch Your City, Launch Memphis (and if they apply) Seed Hatchery are all available to these new startups and entrepreneurs at Emerge Memphis.

The LaunchPad free drop in co-working space and Launch Memphis were sponsors of Nibletz coverage of this Startup Weekend.

Here’s yo links:

Check out the winning team’s startup at

For more information on LaunchMemphis, Seed Hatchery, and the LaunchPad Click here

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