Creative Marketing in the Ubiquitous World of Advertising For Startups

ProdigiArts, Guest Post, Startups, Advertising

Sometimes companies get ideas; good ideas. They discover ideas about who they are, what they want to accomplish in the world, and how they can solve some problem that no one has found the answer to just yet. The issue is, they aren’t the only ones. That’s where advertising comes in.

Advertising takes on many forms and uses many media. But, it always has the simple objective to communicate, capture, compel, and move audiences to action. In the past, this translated to the purchase of a product/service. Today, marketing specialists extend that definition to an ongoing engagement with their brand through social media, subscriptions, or online sharing.

Each of us knows the plethora of advertisements that plague our home pages, browsers and selected blogs, and how agencies spend insurmountable funds to market to users everywhere. With this onslaught of advertisements, companies must carefully decide how they are going to meet audiences in memorable and lasting ways that make them stand apart from their competitors. Retention and engagement have always been the major goals of advertising; but with the persistence of ads into every level of the lives of consumers via television, social media, and innumerable web pages, companies now find themselves in a world in which they must consistently re-evaluate how to accomplish those objectives. One way that organizations solve this problem is through the incorporation of creative and non-traditional mediums into their marketing, like animation.



Jon Collins of the VFX studio Framestore recently said in an interview: “If you can keep a viewer in a world and stimulate those senses, they will not only engage more deeply with your brand, but their recollection of that positive experience will sustain for far longer.”

However, there is a danger in creating a world that is overly stimulating to the viewer, because they end up rejecting that vibrancy in an effort to maintain a kind of visual homeostasis. Advertisements must also be tempered with a strong and carefully crafted design that appeals to people’s sense of balance, color schemes, character associations, etc, without turning them off to your brand.

While there is no scientific formula for accomplishing this task, creative specialists use techniques like focusing on one subject while blurring out the background, using particular color patterns, or utilizing symmetry to balance out an environment. The reason for this meticulous approach to curating content for viewers is the same reason that athletes train for months on end for a brief moment in the spotlight. Sometimes a brand has only one opportunity to interact with an audience member and communicate what it is and why it is worthy of their attention. And audiences are a fickle sort. With the accessibility to perhaps hundreds of alternative products or services, brands must make that one interaction a meaningful one that the viewer will remember long after the video has ended.

Part of why we gravitate towards animation as a medium is because you have the ability to communicate something as complex as sustainable business practices or a commitment to ethical animal treatment (as FedEx and Chipotle both did this past year) through imagined worlds and characters that take the viewer into a beautifully crafted narrative. While you can control things like lighting, environment, and subjects while shooting in video to a certain degree, animation can create worlds and characters beyond what is only in front of us. This allows us to control things like lighting, texture, movement, and time that we would not have as much control over if we filmed subjects through a camera. All in all, video and animation are not in competition with one another, for both are tools to be utilized for the creative dissemination of messages.

At the core of who we are as human beings is the desire for meaning and significance. Advertisers try to cultivate that kind of experience in a brief interaction that connects audiences with a brand that will last long after the meeting has ended. While the time and effort that companies spend towards this endeavor is great, the hard sought after relationship with the customer is truly the golden egg.

Check out Prodigi Arts at


If you’re serious about email ditch Mailbox for this Austin startup today.

Southland Kicks Off With Emmy Lou Harris, Rodney Crowell And A Party With SouthernAlpha

Southland, Southern Alpha, startups, Tennessee, Launch Tennessee

The Southland conference officially kicks off Thursday morning at 9am but the pre-festivities started Wednesday night in historic downtown Nashville.

Investors and VIP’s from as far away as Vancouver were treated to a swank VIP party at the legendary Ryman Auditorium to kick off the two day conference celebrating startups, culture and technology. Baker Donelson’s Emerging Technologies Practice Lead, Chris Sloan said it was “the most amazing investor party I’ve ever been to” Why? Because Launch Tennessee, the producers of the conference, were able to get local national country stars Emmy Lou Harris and Rodney Crowell to dazzle the crowd with an intimate performance.

Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock getting into an exciting discussion with one of the hundreds of entrepreneurs at Southland

Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock getting into an exciting discussion with one of the hundreds of entrepreneurs at Southland

While that party was going on, event attendees who arrived Wednesday evening were treated to a roof top party at the Rock Bottom Brewery hosted by our cousins at SouthernAlpha. Southern Alpha’s Walker Duncan, Kelly Boothe and Dave Ledgerwood were meeting and greeting startup founders, entrepreneurs, startup support organizations and investors from up and down the east coast.  Even 500 Startups partner and founder of Paul Singh, was on hand, with his lovely wife Suki mingling with the crowd, talking up startups and what can do for founders and investors.

We bumped into Kim Munzo, founder of Florida based Aspiredu and the winner of $25,000 best in village award at The Startup Conference. Munzo made the trek from Tampa Florida to see what the Southland buzz was about and to update us about the progress their educational analytic startup has made since winning the crown at our conference.

Steve Buhrman the CEO and founder of am>venture backed (we are also backed by am>ventures) WannaDo gave us a sneak back of a bad ass upgrade to their event discovery app and assured us that they will be adding new metropolitan areas rapidly.

chrisOur Memphis startup community was in full force. On the hot and muggy night people kept saying Memphis brought the heat, and that we did. Pam Cooper (Boosterville), Brittany Fitzpatrick (MentorMe), Richard and Richard (ScrewPulp), Charleson Bell (Bionanovations) and Allan Daisley (Memphis Bioworks), shut the party down (as usual).

If Tuesday evening was any indication of what to expect from Southland this is going to be one epic conference. Stay tuned for more Southland coverage here at the voice of startups everywhere else.


Carlton Crothers Named President/CEO At EmergeMemphis

EmergeMemphis, Memphis startup, Carlton Crothers

EmergeMemphis, the incubator and technology hub in downtown Memphis, has named Carlton Crothers as the new President and CEO.  Crothers has 14 years experience in cultivating, developing, and bringing early stage technologies to market.

Most recently Crothers was a Principal at Innovation Ecosystem Design based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. According to his LinkedIn profile, the private company provides successful innovation ecosystem solutions. Before Texas, Crothers was the CEO of Technology Incubation and Acceleration as part of the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC SmartZone).

In his position in Michigan, Crothers oversaw 54,000 square feet of office space housing 19 companies with over 170 employees. Those companies created over 500 spinoff jobs with $68.3 million invested in a rural community of 12,000.

“Our organization’s mission is to provide value-added services to our members that will positively impact their growth, accelerate the successful development of member companies, springboard high technology education programs, and recruit new companies and talent to Memphis,” Scott Fountain, chairman of EmergeMemphis and senior Vice President/Chief Development Officer of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said in a press release. “Our board is thrilled to attract Carlton to Memphis, especially given his proven track record of job creation.”

“The measurable goals of EmergeMemphis generate wealth and economic stimulus into the Mid-South economy,” Steve Bares President and Executive Director of Memphis Bioworks said in a statement. “In addition, they seek to assist emerging businesses that are not residents in the building through our many programs aimed at assisting entrepreneurs succeed.”

Eric Mathews, Co-President at Start Co, who also served as the most recent Interim Director at EmergeMemphis, said, ” I am excited in welcoming Crothers to our growing Memphis entrepreneurial ecosystem. With EmergeMemphis, Bioworks, and Start Co operating on all cylinders, Memphis will grow its leadership role in technology, entrepreneurship, and job growth across the southeast”

Mathews’ organization, Launch Your City (recently renamed Start Co), “graduated” out of the EmergeMemphis incubator earlier this year.

EmergeMemphis is a business and technology incubator with the goal of helping high-growth start-ups and early stage companies become self-sustaining.  They do this by strategically aligning entrepreneurs with various resources, a compelling environment, and mentors that help ensure the success of the participating companies.  Emerge operates as a 501-c-3, but plays a unique and critical roll bridging the public and private sectors. EmergeMemphis was formed in 2001 and serves as an incubator for high-growth companies.  While this often means technology-based business models, Emerge also seeks companies across a wide range of industries and models. Their renovated, historic property in downtown Memphis includes 35,000 square feet of tenant space.  Today, 37 companies as well as FedEx’s Innovation Lab, are residents at Emerge.

Memphis startup organization, Launch Your City,rebrands as Start Co


LaunchTn Reveals All 50 Startups In The Southland Startup Village, 17 From Nashville

LaunchTn, Launch Tennessee, startups, Southland, startup villageLaunch Tennessee the private/public partnership designed to support 9 accelerator regions for startups in entrepreneurship across Tennessee is highlighting the entire south east region, it’s culture, technology and startups at the upcoming Southland Conference in Nashville in two weeks.

Of course the day and a half long conference, being held at The Cannery Ballroom and Mercy Lounge in Nashville’s historic Cannery Row District, is going to feature some great keynotes, like a fireside chat with Sarah Lacy, author, technology writer and founder of Pando Daily interviewing Gary Swart the founder of oDesk. The next 30 hours after that are packed full of great talks, performances, pitches and an exhibition Startup Village.

For their Startup Village, Launch Tennessee used an application and vetting process. Originally, startups that submitted had to have raised or made at least $250,000 that was quickly rescinded based on the work of startups statewide going through or just recently completing accelerator programs.

With that requirement out of the way, Launch Tennessee took a hard look at just about every state in the Southeast from Virginia to  Florida and of course as far west as Tennessee to fill the booths of the Startup Village.

Over 11 states are represented from a mix of technology spaces including social, mobile, media, health tech, ed tech, social entrepreneurship and even consumer packaged goods. Nashville had a whopping 17 startups make the startup village.

Here’s the entire list, congratulations to all:

Company Name City State About
American Songspace Nashville TN American Songspace is an online platform for songwriters.
Angel Eye Little Rock AR Angel Eye is a camera that allows parents to see their kids in the neonatal ICU unit from their mobile device or computer.
ArchiveSocial Durham NC ArchiveSocial archives businesses’ social media data.
AspirEDU Tampa FL AspirEDU is educational analytics software with performance metrics used by education administrators and teachers.
AudiencePoint Chattanooga TN AudiencePoint provides smart email marketing/connection to social media.
Banyan Chattanooga TN Banyan is software for scientists to collaborate.
Beam Technologies Louisville KY Beam Technologies makes the first connected toothbrush with sensor embedded in the brush.
BioNanovations Nashville TN BioNanovations provides a device that allows you to monitor the progression of bacteria in cultures.
Cardagin Networks, Inc. Nashville TN Cardagin Networks provides a customized mobile-enabled customer loyalty program for large and small businesses. Nashville TN helps companies effectively use multiple social media marketing platforms via their application and consulting work.
Consensus Point, Inc. Nashville TN Consensus Point provides crowd-sourced prediction software.
Creative Allies Asheville NC Creative Allies is a crowdsourced merchandise design business used by musicians.
Distil Networks Arlington VA Distil is a content protector network/cloud-based intelligent gatekeeper.
Do 5 Things Knoxville TN Do 5 Things is a marketing optimization platform.
Everly Memphis TN Everly makes drink flavor packets.
Evermind, Inc. Nashville TN Evermind is a consumer-friendly senior monitoring system.
Facedeals Nashville GA FaceDeals allows users to check in to a location on Facebook through facial recognition scanning.
Fuelzee Nashville FL Fuelzee is a product development stage app that allows users to identify cheap gas and rewards associated with gas and then check in to specific gas stations to redeem these awards.
Gamemaster Greenville SC Gamemaster is a scavenger hunt business platform.
Gastke Inc. Greeneville SC Gastke is a cloud-based accounting software.
iCitizen Nashville TN iCitizen is a social media platform connecting constituents to local leaders.
Kufikia Memphis TN Kufikia is a code school for experienced programmers.
LeanKit, Inc Franklin TN LeanKit is a workflow IT system for large businesses.
Maxx Tech d/b/aBarMaxx, LLC Fort Lauderdale FL Maxx Tech is a liquor inventory management system that works on mobile devices.
NextGxDx Nashville TN NextGxDx is an online marketplace for genetic testing.
Oqulus Gainesville FL Oqulus is a medical imaging analysis company for detecting eyesight related issues for diabetics.
OverDog, Inc. Nashville TN OverDog connects fans with athletes via video games.
PatientFocus Nashville TN PatientFocus is a health care billing company. Nashville TN allows users to easily create and share single web pages.
PowWowHR Atlanta GA PowWowHR provides online benefits administration, including HR & payroll.
PushLocal Natchez MS PushLocal is an application that allows you to send daily specials to your followers.
Quickcue Chattanooga TN Quickcue is an app that handles a restaurant waitlist, reservation system and table notifications.
RedeApp Louisville KY RedeApp is a mobile messaging service for large companies to send secure messages to various audiences, including employees.
RidePost Inc Greeneville SC RidePost is an online transportation company.
Sagent Partners, LLC Nashville TN Sagent Partners is a vendor-buyer procurement matchmaking service.
ScrewPulp Memphis TN Screwpulp is a platform for online publication for independent authors.
Sideqik Atlanta GA Sideqik is a web platform that allows marketing teams of different companies to cross-promote their products or services and track how many leads are coming to their Sidequik designed landing page.
Skuid Chattanooga TN Skuid is a tool that layers on top to simplify user experience and improve user interface.
splitsecnd Nashville TN splitsecnd is a plug-in crash detection device.
Streamweaver Nashville TN Streamweaver is a mobile video app capable of split screens.
The Royalty Exchange Raleigh NC The Royalty Exchange is a marketplace to buy and sell royalties from movies, music, etc.
Variable, Inc. Chattanooga TN Variable is an expert technology and network security consultant.
Vatex Explorations LLC Cocoa Beach FL Vatex Explorations provides blister packs with chips embedded providing data via GPS system to know when the medication was opened and how frequently.
Vendor Registry Knoxville TN Vendor Registry is an online portal connecting vendors and buyers that matches vendors and buyers by type of service.
Verdeeco Atlanta GA Verdeeco is a smart grid analytics company offering big data solutions for utilities.
viaCycle Atlanta GA ViaCycle is a bike sharing system.
VIPAAR Birmingham AL VIPAAR is remote presence software.
VoiceHIT New Orleans LA VoiceHIT is an emerging electronic health records (EHR) and clinical documentation software provider with a mission to use technology to drive improvements in care quality, coordination and collaboration.
World Housing Solution Inc. Orlando FL World Housing Solutions provides reusable, energy efficient housing structures.
Yellow Jacket, LLC Baton Rouge LA Yellow Jacket is a stun gun iPhone case.

Source: VentureNashville.

Check out ScrewPulp one of the three startups selected from Memphis Tennessee.


Bob Metcalfe, Inventor Of The Ethernet, To Keynote Chattanooga’s GigTank Demo Day

Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet, 3Com, Chattanooga starutp, GigTankWe weren’t kidding yesterday when we said that Chattanooga was a happening place for startups and tech. Yesterday we reported that Chattanooga was the 7th city to add the Kauffman Foundation’s new, 1 Million Cups, weekly morning networking and startup events.

Today, Chattanooga news comes to us by way of our friends at SouthernAlpha. It was announced earlier this week that Bob Metcalfe, would be the keynote speaker for Chattanooga accelerator, GigTank’s, Demo Day on August 6th. The GigTank Demo Day kicks off a month of Demo Days for Tennessee accelerators. GigTank, JumpStart Foundry (Nashville) and the ZeroTo510 accelerator (Memphis) all graduated on consecutive weeks in August.

For those of you that don’t know, Bob Metcalfe was the person who invented ethernet. For those of you not familiar with ethernet (man I’m feeling old here), it’s the “cat 5 cord” that plugs into your computer when you “hardline” yes we are well aware that there are actually computer users out there that have never been “plugged into” the internet.

Ethernet was created 40 years ago and recently celebrated it’s 40th anniversary at an event in Mountain View California.

It’s only fitting that the inventor of ethernet keynote the GigTank’s demo day. GigTank is an accelerator that was built on top of Chattanooga’s 1gb ethernet. Despite what some may believe, Chattanooga was the first city with 1gb ethernet to residents and businesses, a year before Kansas City turned the light on.

I am looking forward to being in Chattanooga … [for] GIGTANK Demo Day,” Metcalfe said in an email. “Are we not all engaged in gigafying the Internet?”

Metcalfe created ethernet as part of the infamous Xerox PARC lab (Paolo Alto Research Center), this is the same facility where the Xerox technology that was allegedly stolen by both Apple and Microsoft, was created. That story was chronicled in the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley.

In 1979 Metcalfe founded 3Com which eventually purchased US Robotics, the world’s leading manufacturer of external and internal modems. US Robotics is also the company that created the first Palm Pilots, although the 3Com brand took the Palm project over after buying US Robotics.

Metcalfe now serves as the Professor of Innovation at University of Texas, Austin.

You can check out the great startups in the GigTank and Bob Metcalfe at GigTank Demo Day, here’s a link to request an invite.

Speaking of Tennessee here are the first 20 startups selected for the Startup Village at Southland.

Kauffman Foudation’s Million Cups Now Brewing In Chattanooga

1 Million Cups, Kauffman Foundation, Chattanooga, Startup,startup newsWhile many know Chattanooga, Tennessee for it’s choo choo, the city has actually been on the cutting edge of a lot of things in the startup and technology space. First off, regardless of what anyone says, Chattanooga was the first city in the country to offer 1gb ethernet to residents and businesses city wide. They actually rolled out “the gig” two years ago, a year ahead of Google in Kansas City.

Last year, Chattanooga hosted the first ever startup accelerator focused on “the gig” and appropriately named it the “Gig Tank”. They have a great co-working space called co-lab and a very engaged startup community. In fact they’ve held startup events in Chattanooga attracting some of the biggest Silicon Valley names like Paul Singh.

Now Chattanooga has teamed up with the Kansas City based Kauffman Foundation to bring their 1 Million Cups program to the city. Chattanooga will mark the 7th city nationwide to implement the weekly morning gathering program that is building startups over coffee and conversation.

1 Million Cups began in April 2012 in Kansas City, the hometown of its founding organization, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Foundation leaders intend to expand the 1 Million Cups network to 20 cities by the end of 2013. To support the growth in its partner cities, the Kauffman Foundation also introduces today an enhanced website for the program and microsites for each participating city to share information with local followers.

“We’re thrilled to add Chattanooga to the 1 Million Cups family, because this city is making big strides in entrepreneurship,” said Nate Olson, a Kauffman Foundation associate and co-founder of 1 Million Cups. “Great ideas are found everywhere, and we’re excited to see the startups and community forming in Chattanooga.”

The 1 Million Cups program started in Chattanooga this past Wednesday and featured Chattanooga Whiskey Co., which has had an exciting month. Legislation signed May 16 by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam cleared the way for the company to manufacture its product in the city, and a week later the startup successfully concluded a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign.

Chattanooga’s 1 Million Cups program is being spearheaded by Bill Brock, computational engineer at SimCenter Enterprises and managing director of engage 3D, Andrew Holliday co-founder of Harvest Creative and Allie O’Connell manager of the GigTank accelerator.

“When visiting Kansas City this spring, we were struck by 1 Million Cups’ success in harnessing the energy of the city’s entrepreneurs,” Brock and O’Connell said. “We’re confident the simplicity of this program will resonate with Chattanooga’s growing startup ecosystem and become a weekly ritual for our innovators and entrepreneurs to connect.”

Chattanooga joins Kansas City; Des Moines, Iowa; Houston; St. Louis; Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Iowa; and Reno, Nev. in offering 1 Million Cups locally. Each Wednesday morning in each city, 1 Million Cups gives two early-stage startups the opportunity to present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers, researchers, builders, makers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes and then fields audience questions for another 20 minutes.

Interested in attending 1 Million Cups in Chattanooga click here. Want to check it out in another city, click here.

Tennessee is preparing for this huge startup and cultural conference 


Start Co Is Bringing NewMe Accelerator Tour To Memphis June 28-30

NewMe Accelerator, Memphis startup,Start CoThe NewMe accelerator program is a critically acclaimed accelerator in San Francisco that specifically targets women and minority startups and founders. They launched their Silicon Valley program in June of 2011, and recently announced an abbreviated “pop up” accelerator tour, coming to cities across the country.

The NewMe pop accelerator will make it’s way to Memphis June 28-30 and be housed at the FedEx Institue of Technology, on the campus of the University of Memphis.

The three-night event June 28-30 features one-on-one coaching from NewME experts, a two-part workshop titled “The Art of the Pitch” that will provide the secrets to a perfect pitch and standing out among other founders. The weekend culminates with “Demo Day,” a night where startups will network with key players in Memphis’ tech scene, special guests from Silicon Valley, and ultimately pitch their idea to a panel of judges that consists of local and Silicon Valley investors.

They’ve already held the pop up program in Miami and Washington DC. In fact, Zoobean, the Washington DC pop up winner, has closed a $500,000 seed round led by Mitch Kapor.

In addition to Memphis Tennessee, the NewMe Popup accelerator will also be held in Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Durham, Austin, New York, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Oakland.

Participants in the NewMe popup accelerator in Memphis, or on any other city stop will get one-on-one coaching from Silicon Valley business leaders, hands on workshops, and the opportunity to pitch their idea to local and Valley-based investors with the chance to win $45,000 worth of prizes from our sponsors and the opportunity to participate in the NewME Accelerator in San Francisco.

“We’re excited about NewME’s mission and the important work they are doing to accelerate entrepreneurs across the country. Our mission with Google for Entrepreneurs is to grow entrepreneurial communities and equip them with the resources and technology they need to tackle big ideas and build amazing companies,” said Mary Grove, Director of Global Entrepreneurship Outreach at Google one of the key sponsors for the NewMe Accelerator. “We’re truly excited to be teaming up with NewME to bring this series to Memphis and can’t wait to see the big ideas that come from the teams here.”

Start Co. is eager to welcome NewME to Memphis. “We’re excited that Memphis was  selected for this exclusive opportunity,” said co-president and CEO Eric Mathews. “It’s a privilege to participate as their local community partner.”

You can apply and find out more about  NewMe here and Start Co here.

Are you working on your pitch deck? Check out this Pop!


Memphis’ Startup WorkForPie Selected For Southland For Kufikia

WorkForPie, Kufikia, Memphis startup, Nashville, SouthlandCliff McKinney and Brad Montgomery, the Memphis based startup team behind WorkForPie have been working on a new product called Kufikia for the past few months. McKinney explained to nibletz that Kufikia loosely means “to achieve” with that they have come up with a learning platform for advanced software developers.

With a new innovative approach, combining cohort based learning, typically found in an accelerator program, with mentoring, and early stage job placement, they were able to get selected as one of the first 20 startups in the Startup Village at the Southland conference in Nashville Tennessee next month. We revealed the entire list of 20 startups earlier today.

Kufikia participants will get the “3 S’s” out of the program according to McKinney. Those three S’s are; structure (a 9 week long curriculum), study buddies (cohorts of 10 students going through the program together), and support coming from the platforms sponsors. Each cohort will have three company sponsors that will alternate in three week intervals throughout the course of the program.

McKinney and Montgomery plan on starting the first cohort in late June. For the first program they are targeting participants in Silicon Valley, the Pacific Northwest, New York and Nashville. Actually four cohorts will run simultaneously. Although this is an online program they want the students and company resources to be in close proximity to each other.

Kufikia has already attracted some heavyweight sponsors for their platform, which they aren’t identifying just yet.

The sponsors will benefit by working closely with the students in the program and hopefully converting them to new employees. McKinney says that most companies spend upwards of $15,000 providing internships to potential employees that may not work out. By working with the students over the nine week period the company sponsors will develop relationships with them and hopefully hire them on.

The sponsors participating will have jobs to fill, and hopefully with those students. McKinney and Montgomery are making a bold bet on the success of the program. Sponsors are under an agreement to provide mentoring and coaching to the cohort but don’t make a financial commitment to Kufikia until they actually hire someone.

Both Montgomery and McKinney are looking forward to showing off this new product to the attendees at Southland including over 41 venture capital and angel firms that have committed to attend.

Find out more about Kufikia here.

Check out this awesome guest post by McKinney here: Are accelerators everywhere else better at producing groundbreaking innovation?


Memphis’ Bad Ass Startup Chick Brittany Fitzpatrick Pitches MentorMe

MentorMe,Brittany Fitzpatrick,Seed Hatchery,startup,memphis startupThe day of reckoning is upon us and it appears that Bad Ass Startup Chick Brittany Fitzpatrick’s nerves have calmed a bit. After working tirelessly on a startup she originally pitched at the women’s 48 hour launch in Decemeber, Fitzpatrick is ready to show the world her answer to many of mentoring’s problems.

Community service and helping people have been what Brittany Fitzpatrick’s life’s work have been about. But what makes this Memphian even more amazing is that she left a position with one of the most prestigious, well known brands in the non-profit space, Ronald McDonald House Charities, to start something of her own, again in community service.

As the communications coordinator for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis, Brittany took the passion and drive she’s had since high school and through college at Howard University and Memphis University, and combined it with the tools available in recent day to double the groups social media reach. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis works with the most well known children’s research facility in the world, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Over the last six years,  Brittany has been a mentor and helped other mentor’s in a variety of programs. Through her work with Ronald McDonald House Charities and other stops along the way, she found that mentorship was a great thing, but flawed in many ways.

When she first pitched the idea for her startup “Mentor Me” back in December at a women focused 48 Hour Launch, she revealed that most mentor orgranizations spend more money re-placing mentors and mentees than they do setting up original pairs. Brittanny quickly realized if someone could fix the initial matching proces than these programs could focus on their original goals and save a lot of money.

That’s where her startup Mentor Me comes in. Mentor Me is a mentor and mentee online matching service that uses a variety of information given from both parties and an algorithm to make more successful matches. While Brittany is hesitant about using the verbage “e-harmony for mentor”, at the core that’s what it is and that’s why it’s going to be so successful.

But the biggest factor in the success of Mentor Me is going to be a combination of the technology and the founder. Brittany is a dynamic young woman. Back in December, the prize for the 48 Hour Launch competition was a startup village booth at When Brittany came in second place she decided to crowdfund the people in the audience so that she too could have a booth for her startup. Within minutes her mission was successful.

After working for three months in the Seed Hatchery startup accelerator, Fitzpatrick unveiled MentorMe to the public at large Thursday in Memphis. Check out her pitch below:

But the biggest factor in the success of Mentor Me is going to be a combination of the technology and the founder. Brittany is a dynamic young woman. Back in December, the prize for the 48 Hour Launch competition was a startup village booth at When Brittany came in second place she decided to crowdfund the people in the audience so that she too could have a booth for her startup. Within minutes her mission was successful.

Find out more about Mentor me here at





2 Memphis Tech & Startup Ninjas Turn Farmer With BetterFed [SeedHatchery]

betterfedThe story about how Scott Finney and his scientific outsourcing startup, IncreaseIf, pivoted to become BetterFed is a story that wouldn’t even fit here on the pages of nibletz. It’s actually a classic story of believing in the founder though and that’s what the team that vetted Seed Hatchery startups did. (disclosure I was on that team).

We knew that Scott Finney had a very well versed background in engineering. A graduate of Auburn University, and a regular attendee of the local Startup Meetup, Finney has had a slew of great ideas. IncreaseIf may not have been one of those, but his passion and technical expertise would drive him to his ultimate destiny which is BetterFed.

BetterFed is a startup that bridges farmers and local growers with people too busy to get to the farmers market but still want the freshness, benefits and healthy alternatives that come from real home grown food. To get from IncreaseIf to BetterFed, took a lot of pivoting, until Finney just blew everything up and solicited the help of Seed Hatchery alum Kenn Gibbs.  Gibbs had taken his own edutainment startup, Knoco, through last year’s Seed Hatchery program.

At first Gibbs wasn’t sure if he would join Finney on the BetterFed journey. He was already knee deep in mentoring and offering technical advice to the other cohort teams. However without much poking and proding, Gibbs came around and now both young men are so into BetterFed that they created Twitter handles FarmerFinn and FarmerKenn. They’ve also been talking about opening up their own farm and becoming growersthemselves.

We got a chance to talk to Finney just before he went onstage here’s what he said:

What’s your startup, what do you do?
BetterFed connects customers to local food sources. We provide weekly food subscriptions that best fit your families eating habits.

Why did you apply to Seed Hatchery?

I was looking to get my MBA sometime soon. Speaking with some of the alum, I heard the benefits of Seed Hatchery outweighing a classroom experience.

What were you expecting?
I was expecting to be a technical co-founder for a team and ended up being a lone founder for the first month of the cohort.

Did you get what you were expecting?

Yes, I knew I was going to be forced out of my comfort zone, but didn’t know how much until now.

What was your big “A Ha Moment”?

The importance of taking action and realizing you can plan and assume all you want, but you won’t learn anything until you take action.

What are two big things you learned during the Accelerator Process?

Get a product out to your customers as soon as you can, and tell everyone about what you’re working on because you never know who can make an introduction to a valuable relationship.

What’s one thing you learned about yourself during the accelerator process?

The program required me to use skill sets I did not believe I had. In the past I would have let others handle sales and marketing, but I’m completely involved in those avenues.

What are you hoping for after Investor day?

We’re looking to continue our customer discovery to validate all that we’ve learned in the past couple weeks.

Tell us one of your mentors and what you learned from him or her?

Sarah Baker is a PR and communication expert and she’s helped us focus our message to our target audience.
And now check out their pitch video.
Find out more at  

We’ve got more Seed Hatchery startup stories for you here. 


The Big Day Is Here For Memphis Startup ScrewPulp

screwpulpLast week we were pleased to bring you the story of ScrewPulp’s launch. The new self publishing platform is helping authors and publishers with much needed traction and engagement through a different model.

Publishers/authors sign up for ScrewPulp which helps them market their books by giving away the first 25 copies in exchange for a social media mention, review or rating. From there, as books gain popularity they increase in price by $1.00 per level. This format gives authors/publishers, much needed exposure and the benefit of having ratings and reviews built in to their profile.

Publishers hold all the rights to their books. ScrewPulp takes a small percentage and leaves the author/publisher with no less than 75%. They only ask that submitted works stay on the site for 90 days.

Screw Pulp founder Richard Billings launched the startup at 48 Hour Launch in June of last year. From there he went on to take the top prize at Launch Memphis’ Global Entrepreneurship Week event, which included pitching in front of Federal Court Judge, John Fowlkes.  The Seed Hatchery accelerator was the next natural step for the team.

We’ve chronicled the life of ScrewPulp from that very first pitch in June, consequently the same 48 Hour Launch event that attracted Nibletz to Memphis, through demo day. Check out more Screwpulp coverage here and watch Billings’ pitch video here:


Check out more of our Seed Hatchery coverage here. 


Musistic Debuts At Seed Hatchery Demo Day, Finally A GitHub For Musicians

musisticWhat do you get when you cross two musicians and two recording studio employees in Memphis one of the earliest cities in the world with a globally musical pulse? Musistic.

The Musistic team is made up of Justin Olita, Vince Rogers, Brian Wentzloff and Rachel Hurley (who joined them after leaving the soundstache team). The four of them together are pioneering a new collaborative music platform that allows musicians to collaborate in a meaningful way, similar to how programmers collaborate on GitHub.

Users can find others to collaborate on a song or album together via the Musistic platform. From there each musician can post their parts and tracks for the others to “pull down” and record on top of. The best part is that the Musistic platform is DAW friendly across many types of popular software.

Gone are the days when musicians need to upload enormous email attachments or figure out which drop box, or other cloud account has enough space for their project.

Using Musistic they can easily find the parts they need, re-record, edit and get them back up for the collaborators to continue working on. This isa welcomed tool in the music community and it’s made from a team that is rich in their musical background.

To date they’ve secured a creative capital investment from Loaded For Bear equal to $100,000 per year for five years. They are also working on strategic partnerships with the Memphis Music Foundation and the Folk Alliance International.  It also helps that Hurley, who leads marketing and business development, has deep relationships with hundreds of Memphis musicians.

To get a better idea of what Musistic is and where it’s going, check out the pitch video below.

You can find out more at

We’ve got more Seed Hatchery coverage here.


Star & Micey’s Nick Redmond Pitches Soundstache At Seed Hatchery Investor Day

nicksoundstacheMemphians, and for that matter a lot of folks in Tennessee are familiar with the name Nick Redmond. Nick is the frontman for the very popular indie band, Star & Micey. It was through touring, singing, performing and engaging with fans that Redmond had this great idea for a startup and Soundstache was born.

Through fellow Memphian Rachel Hurley who is knee deep in the Memphis music scene through working with the Poplar Lounge and other Memphis music spots, and through being active in the Memphis startup community, Redmond got the opportunity to apply for Seed Hatchery.

Hurley says that it was actually at famous movie director and local Memphian, Craig Brewer’s birthday party where Redmond pitched the idea for an interactive app that worked both online and off line and connected fans to musicians. Soundstache is a geo-caching app/game that allows fans to search for “staches” that bands put out for them to find. They could be in plain sight or maybe tucked under a tree, in a set of stairs or attached to a sign post.

Bands plant staches for fans to find and the app directs them to it.

Never afraid a challenge, just days into the Seed Hatchery program Redmond decided to try SoundStache out at one of the biggest playgrounds in the music world, SXSW and there it was met a ton of positivity. Fans loved the exclusive nature of the prizes they were winning.  Speaking of which, bands can give away whatever they want, a used drum stick, concert tickets, cd’s, demos whatever.

Most people know that indie music fans, real indie music fans not fake ass hipsters, go all in on their favorite bands and support them anyway they can. Soundstache gets them off the couch and out from behind the macbook, onto the street looking for “staches”.

In between his hard touring schedule Redmond just went through the Seed Hatchery accelerator program. Here’s their investor day pitch video.

Sign up for soundstache at

Here are more SeedHatchery stories at The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else.


Indiana Couple Pitches Their Startup, Boosterville, At Seed Hatchery Demo Day

boostervilleAttracting great talent to an accelerator that doesn’t have the name Techstars or YCombinator in it can be a difficult task. Attracting great talent that’s already had success in the startup space can be even more daunting. That’s what happened in the case of Indiana startup Boosterville.

I actually met Pam Cooper the CEO and co-founder of Boosterville, while it was still called Sodbuster, on Brad Feld’s Hacker News alternative site, the startup hub. Pam and I quickly became friends. It was then I learned that she was a little more “seasoned” than other founders, having started a very successful small business in Indiana. Her quick wit and thought provoking questions made it easy to interact with her on an online platform.

Pam decided that despite a failed attempt at Indianapolis startup conference “Powder Keg” her and her co-founder/CTO husband, Tom Cooper, would make the trek to Memphis for The Startup Conference. At the same time we were accepting applications for Seed Hatchery and I quickly introduced her to the organizations leader, Eric Mathews, and they got in.

We learned through the vetting process that Tom was actually the founding CTO of question and answer site Cha-Cha. He also has a long resume of engineering work at several successful startups and companies. The Cooper’s have done well. They’ve got kids in college, a rather large home in Indiana, oh and Tom has his own plane as well. So why come all the way to Memphis for an accelerator?Great question, the answer: For the accelerator.

From day one both Pam and Tom dove head first into the curriculum, learning, sharing and development that is offered through the Seed Hatchery program.  They took criticism like the best of them, often times from leaders and mentors that didn’t have even a fraction of the startup experience that Tom had. Both Cooper’s have said over and over again how much they’ve learned here in Memphis.

“I really didn’t know what to expect, so we went for it and Seed Hatchery was the best thing we’ve done for our company” Tom told us in an interview.

During the accelerator the coopers went through a name change, a huge pivot and even worked hand in hand with MBA students for discovery, and to help refine their product.

Boosterville combines digital wallet with loyalty and rewards and all for the benefit of schools and non profits. Using Dwolla, another midwest startup, as their mobile wallet conduit, users sign up for a school they want to donate to. From there they can see a list of merchants in their community that use the Boosterville platform. When they make a purchase at one of the establishments in the program, they check out using their phone, the merchant gets paid, the school gets a donation and Boosterville takes a small cut.

“Putting children who are now grown, through school I’ve seen my share of wrapping paper and World’s Finest Chocolate Bars”, Pam loves to tell anyone who will listen. Of course we all agree.

The company is a great mesh of Pam’s community minded nature and business savvy, with Tom’s over three decades of programming experience.

What’s next for Boosterville, well while Tom has an open invitation to return full time to his engineering job in Indiana, they are going to continue to raise money and bring Boosterville to live.

Check out their investor day pitch video below:


Find out more about Boosterville here at

We’ve got more Seed Hatchery coverage here.