The umbrella organization that oversees Launch Memphis, Wolf River Angels, Seed Hatchery, UpStart and Memphis Venture Mentors, Launch Your City, has graduated out of the Emerge Memphis accelerator. Launch Your City was situated in Emerge Memphis where they grew the Launch Pad co-working space and successfully put on the first two sessions of Seed Hatchery.
Launch Your City has hosted several 48 Hour Launch events in the Emerge facility, with it’s most recent event focusing on women entrepreneurship.
With all the positive growth and Launch Your City serving as the catalyst for entrepreneurial growth at Emerge, the incubator’s Board of Director’s, asked Launch Your City’s Co-President, Eric Matthews to serve as interim executive director over the last year.
That one year stint ends today and Mathews will transition back into his full time role as Co-President of Launch Your City along with Andre Fowlkes. While the organization had one of it’s best years to date, Mathews and Fowlkes weren’t able to work as closely as they had in years past, with Mathews at the helm of Emerge.
“Eric and I haven’t been able to work as closely together for a year” Fowlkes to nibletz.com Both Co-Presidents have a laundry list of things they want to tackle in 2013 to help enrich the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Mathews will vacate the Executive Director’s office at the end of the day today, roll up his sleeves and return to co-working in the launch pad.
There’s no time to rest in between job transitions. Fowlkes and Mathews, along with the Launch Your City team and community supporters, are launching the next class of Seed Hatchery later on this evening. In addition they will be helping out with everywherelse.co The Startup Conference through the weekend. As Winter turns to spring the Launch Your City team has a full plate at home and on the road. The organization is planning a working tour of Silicon Valley with some of the startups that have gone through their ecosystem. They are also planning a trip to Washington DC and New York while simultaneously planning events around Memphis In May, including Investor Day for Seed Hatchery.
“We felt like if we fumble the ball regarding the opportunities in front of us, it would not only be a detriment to us but to partners like EmergeMemphis. We’re an important client and feeder to Emerge, and we’re poised to grow our capacity 50 percent to 100 percent in the next year.” Mathews told Andy Meek of the Memphis Daily News
As for Emerge Memphis, Mathews, speaking to us from the Executive Directors office in front of a 14 foot back drop of Memphis Grizzlies ‘ All Star Zac Randolph, says that Emerge has filled to capacity, bringing on over 20 new high growth potential client companies to occupy the space that also includes mentorship opportunities, and other startup resources.
The Emerge Memphis Board has hired local aviation entrepreneur and former CEO of Pinnacle Airlines Phil Trenary, to consult while they find a permanent Executive Director.
As an incubator, by design Emerge Memphis is supposed to house startups and growing small businesses for a short time until they’re ready to graduate to the next phase. With that in mind, Mathews and Fowlkes will relocate Launch Your City into their own space.
“Really, this is a testament to incubation. It’s a good story for incubation and entrepreneurship,” Mathews said of the impending move to the Memphis Daily News. “This has been personal to me. I’ve dedicated a lot of time to it. And it’s been a spectacular year if you look at the past 12 months.”