Memphis Native Kimberly Bryant Named To 25 Most Influential African Americans In Technology List

Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code,BlackGirlsCode,startup,entrepreneur,Memphis


Business Insider published a great list this morning of the 25 most influential African American’s in technology.

We were very pleased to find that native Memphian Kimberly Bryant, the founder and creator of Black Girls Code, was ranked number 19 on such an important list.

Kimberly Bryant is an award winning social entrepreneur, technology junkie, an engineer by trade and a native Memphian. She relocated to Silicon Valley and now she’s launched a program that’s rolling out across the country. That program, Black Girls Code, promotes teaching coding and development to young African American Girls.

Bryant describes the mission for Black Girls Code on her website as:

“to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.”

Like many others, Bryant believes there’s a “dearth” of African American women in science, technology, engineering and math professions. While some may say it’s because there’s a lack of interest, Bryant knows that it’s more like a lack of access and exposure to STEM topics. The Black Girls Code program is about making STEM topics accessible to African American girls and exposing them at a young age. It’s also done in such a way that it’s fun and positive.

Bryant has held programs through Black Girls Code in cities all over the country and some around the world. Black Girls Code has had events in San Francisco, Chicago, Oakland, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and even in Johannesburg. Her most recent event was this past Saturday in Atlanta where they taught kids how to develop their own apps using Google’s App Inventor.

Black Girls Code in Memphis debuted back in January at an Open House, they also had booth space at The Startup Conference. The weekend following that huge startup event Black Girls Code Memphis held their inaugural event which was met with great success.

Here is the complete list:

1. John Thompson, CEO Virtual Instruments
2. Shellye Archambeau, CEO MetricStream
3. David Drummond, SVP, Chief Legal Officer, Google
4. Ken Coleman, Chairman MIPS Technologies Inc
5. Kirk McDonald, President PubMatic
6. Lisa Lambert, VP and Managing Director of Software & Service, Intel Capital
7. Malik Ducard, Director of Content Partnerships, YouTube
8. Ime Archibong, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Facebook
9. Ty Ahmad-Taylor, Head of Smart TV, Samsung
10. Erik Moore, Founder and Managing Partner, Base Ventures
11. Tristan Walker, Entrepreneur In Residence, Andreessen Horowitz
12. Kanyi Maqubela, Partner, Collaborative Fund
13. Charles Hudson, Partner at SoftTech VC
14. Michael Siebel, & SocialCam
15. Brian Weston, Analyst, Union Square Ventures
16. Angela Benton, Founder & CEO NewMe Accelerator
17. Tony Guada, CEO and co-founder Bitcasa
18. Jon Gosier, Founder & CEO Metalayer
19. Kimberly Bryant, Founder, BlackGirlsCode
20. Wayne Sutton, Founder & CEO, PitchTo
21. Majora Carter, Founder, Sustainable South Bronx, Startup Box
22. Don Charlton, CEO, Resumator
23. Hamet Watt, Co-Founder MoviePass
24. Stacy Spikes, Co-Founder, MoviePass
25. Will Lucas, Founder & CEO Creadio 

Now see 3 things every new startup should do.

Memphis’ Biggest Entrepreneurial Success Story Turns 40

FedEx,Fred Smith,Entrepreneur,Memphis,Memphis startup

(photo: FedEx Facebook)

In 1970 Frederick Wallace Smith embarked on a journey that would change the way that people do business. Smith purchased controlling interest in an aircraft maintenance company called Ark Aviation Sales. In 1971 he started trading used jets and on June 18, 1971 he founded Federal Express.  He used a $4 million dollar inheritance (about $25 million today) and raised $91 million dollars in venture capital.

Along the way Smith was criticized because many though his idea about merging ground transportation and aviation to deliver packages overnight was well, crazy. Of course many present day entrepreneurs have been in the same boat.

In 1973 (40 years ago), he began offering overnight delivery services in 25 cities using a fleet of 14 Falcon 20 (DA-20) jets. The foundation for the way FedEx operates today began in 1973 in a model similar to bank clearinghouses. Packages would be brought to Memphis Tennessee and then re-routed out to their destination.

Today, FedEx Express serves 220 countries and territories around the world, and their main hub is still in Memphis Tennessee.

At age 69 Smith is still alive and well and is still at the helm of FedEx which is innovating in several other logistical spaces, while dealing with the disruption in even overnight delivery caused by new ways of communicating (the internet).  Sensor products, cloud based services and even taking over the merged FedEx Kinko’s which are now just FedEx Office stores, are helping FedEx continue to deliver on the bottom line.

In his spare time what does Smith do? He serves on boards, like Startup America. Smith is a great friend to entrepreneurs and startup ecosystems at home and across the country.

FedEx is just beginning to celebrate getting “over the hill” and of course they’re doing it with jet power.

Happy Birthday.

Jonesin for more high growth tech news from the South, Click here. 

Ready For Weed Startups? Conference Coming To New York

Marijuana,Cannabis startups, New York, startup,investor,entrepreneur,eventWith two states adopting laws around the recreational use of marijuana and more states adopting laws for medical marijuana it’s just a matter of time before weed startups start cropping up (no pun intended).  Cannabis industry trade publication has announced a business seminar for investors and entrepreneurs eager to learn about the business of marijuana.

The event will be held on March 14th at The Lofts At Prince (177 Prince Street Penthouse in New York City). The seminar runs from 6:00pm until 10:15pm and features a panel of industry experts and time for networking.

Chris Walsh, Editor of MJJ Business Daily; Tripp Keber, Medical Marijuana Inc; Jessica Billingsley co-founder, MJ Freeway Software Solutions; and Eric Williams, President, CT Medical Cannabis Alliance, will all speak on the latest trends and industry data.

There will also be four sessions:

Session #1. New Financial & Business Benchmark Data for the Cannabis Industry

Session #2. Investing Advisory on the Cannabis Industry

Session #3. Typical Cannabis Business Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Session #4. Tri-State Area Cannabis Business Opportunities & Regulatory Outlook

MJJ Business Daily was launched in 2011 with offices in Denver Colorado and Providence Rhode Island.

Tickets for the event are $149 in advance and $199 at the door. MJJ Business Daily warns that the event is for serious investors and entrepreneurs and not for patients or consumers.

For more information or tickets visit this site.

Entrepreneurs, Are You Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution? [Infographic]

A new year, a new you. It’s such a commonplace mentality once January rolls around, but how many of us have already lost momentum and broken our resolutions? The first month of 2013 is almost over, and it’s around the time co-workers, friends, and family stop asking about your resolutions, causing us to push them to the back burner ourselves. But all is not lost. It’s still important to set goals, even if you know you won’t always stick to them perfectly or achieve them within a year’s time. This infographic by OnlineEducation provides some interesting facts and figures about goal setting, including tips that could be helpful when it comes to keeping your resolutions this year.

New Years resolution, entrepreneur, guest post

For example, they suggest writing your goals down. Having clear and documented objectives made individuals 10 times more likely to achieve them. And yet, statistics indicate that only about one in five individuals actually write down their New Year’s goals. But also remember to pace yourself, trying to making too many changes too quickly could backfire or create only short-lived results. Additionally, make sure to re-evaluate your goals and ensure they are for you alone, and not dependent on other people. This makes them much more attainable, and more rewarding as well. Above all, know that if you have lapsed a bit, you are not the only one. It’s not too late to get back on track for the rest of 2013!

Startup Weekend To Ring Opening Bell Friday


Startup Weekend was founded in Boulder Colorado in 2007, by Andrew Hyde. What we now know as the 54 hour hackathon style, team startup weekend event started out with a different model. When Hyde created Startup Weekend the goal was to bring a group together to work on one idea or concept all weekend.

That model evolved into what we know today as Startup Weekend and the thousands of clones out there. In 2009 Marc Nager and Clint Nelsen acquired Startup Weekend and made it an official 501c3 non-profit organization.

The following year they received major backing from the Kauffman Foundation.

Today Startup weekend has hosted events across 100 countries and 400 cities. Startup Weekend events are serious business for their hacker, entrepreneur and founder participants. In fact missile attacks couldn’t even thwart this Israeli Startup Weekend (at first).

Startup Weekend has also hosted global contests pitting participants in several cities and countries against each other. The Global Startup Battle is in its second year and took place last month as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Mega Startup Weekend is also another event that highlights the collective efforts of entrepreneurs at Startup Weekend events.

Startup Weekend will celebrate the creation of 100,000 entrepreneurs in their 3 years of existence in the current format. To mark the occasion Nager and Nelsen will ring the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning.

According to GeekWire Startup Weekend has raised $75 million dollars for entrepreneurship and created thousands of jobs.


Startup Weekend can be found here

Here’s nibletz coverage of Startup Weekend

Check out this giant startup event

Memphis Prepares For Transformation To Risk City For Global Entrepreneurship Week

Next week thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs, startup founders, developers, eco-system partners and stake holders will participate in events across the globe as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. In fact, GEW officially kicks off later tonight as over 100 different cities get fired up over Startup Weekend.

Tennessee has a variety of activities going on across the state. One of Tennessee’s major metropolitan areas is transforming their city.

Memphis will turn itself into Risk City beginning Monday. Memphis has always been a city that turns adversity into opportunity and embraces risk as a path to progress. Just take a look at companies like FedEx, Holiday Inn and AutoZone. All three pioneers in their industry and when you look at them in the time and place they were founded, potential investors thought the entrepreneurs behind these Memphis based companies were nuts.

The same thing can be said about the blues and it’s off shoot, rock and roll music, which is often credited with starting in Memphis Tennessee.

In talking with a crazy conservative intern of sorts in Memphis it was mutually agreed upon that risk and aversion to risk were what separated the “startup founder entrepreneurs” and the “lets open a dry cleaner, entrepreneurs”. It’s that risk that is this years global entrepreneurship week theme in Memphis.

Risk City, Memphis, Global Entrepreneurship Week, GEW, Startup,Startups,entrepreneur,eventsDon’t get me wrong, Memphis has had it’s share of of big risks, not pan out in the end. That’s why there’s a gigantic pyramid in the middle of the city, and an entire island that’s all but a ghost town these days. However new risk takers, entrepreneurs and startup founders are going to be the ones to reclaim the city.

To that end, the folks at LaunchMemphis has put together some great programming for all of Memphis to see what the startup and entrepreneurial culture is like downtown.  Below are some of the activities going on in Memphis. The highlight of the week is “field day”, the Amazing Risk and a huge party all happening Friday night at Minglewood Hall in Memphis.

Also, with Risk City and Global Entrepreneurship Week kicking off, the applications for the 2013 class of Seed Hatchery are now open as well.

Pitch Perfect
Monday, November 12 from 2:00-5:00pm in the Launchpad
For those actively moving forward with their startups – like those involved with Office Hours, BOOSTcamp, 48 Hour Launch or the Launchpad – we will provide a panel of diverse experts to provide feedback on your latest pitch. Accompanying visuals like PowerPoint are encouraged.

Memphis Startup Meetup
Monday, November 12 at 6:00pm in the Launchpad
The Memphis Startup Meetup group offers a special GEW edition of their monthly meetup for anyone interested in and involved with a startup company- entrepreneurs, developers, geeks, tech enthusiasts, professionals.

Mentor Mixer
Tuesday, November 13 from 5:30-7:00pm at Alchemy
It takes a village to grow a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. We invite you to a casual cocktail event to learn more about the benefits of sharing your time, insights, experience and leadership with our founders and their startups.

High Octane Office Hours
Thursday, November 15 from 9:00am-3:00pm in the Launchpad
Memphis area business leaders join us in the Launchpad for an exclusive, high-powered set of one-to-one Office Hours for high growth potential startup companies. Like Pitch Perfect, these sessions are for those actively moving forward through our platform and process.

Friday, November 16 from 11:00am-1:00pm at Minglewood Hall
Similar to speed dating, LaunchMemphis introduces an event for those with fresh, bold ideas ready for some creative customer discovery. You get two minutes to pitch, then three minutes for feedback from business and community leaders. When the bell rings, you’re off to the next table!

Field Day
Friday, November 16 from 9:00am-4:00pm at Minglewood Hall
Co-working facilitates conversation, collaboration and impromptu synergies- we hope your startup or organization will bring a team to our inaugural GEW Field Day. Wifi will be available, and food trucks will be around for lunch!

Field Day Mixer and Amazing Risk Finals
Friday, November 16 from 4:00pm-6:00pm

Risk City Soiree
Friday, November 16 at 8:00pm at Minglewood Hall
$5 cover, cash at door or
Join us at Minglewood Hall to conclude Memphis’ biggest Global Entrepreneurship Week to date, with our biggest party to date! As if a full week of activities fueling entrepreneurship and growing our innovation ecosystem wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, entertainment includes:

Finally as part of Risk City and Global Entrepreneurship week in Memphis. Anyone who attends any of the events above and brings a friend can get a FREE ticket to “ The Startup Conference” just find an official Launch Memphis employee or volunteer and tell them you want your free ticket to “ The Startup Conference” and introduce them to your friend and you’ve got it.


Launch Memphis

No one covers high growth technology in the South East, like we do

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New Mexico Joins Startup America Partnership With Startup New Mexico

New Mexico marks the latest state to join the Startup America Partnership with their region Startup New Mexico. Startup New Mexico launched on Wednesday evening at an event at the Embassy Suites Downtown Hotel in Albuquerque. New Mexico has a growing ecosystem of startups covering technology, web startups, mobile and tangible products. Now, those entrepreneurs and startups in New Mexico can take advantage of the over 90 member benefits Startup America offers to it’s 9500+ and growing membership. Joining Startup New Mexico and Startup America is free.

“Focusing on high-growth startups is a smart strategy for New Mexico to grow its economy,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “Startup New Mexico provides a state-wide network to help the entrepreneurs building the next great success story to access the opportunities and resources unique to the state.”

There is a hotbed of startup activity in the southwest spanning from southern California including LA’s “Silicon Beach”, through New Mexico, Las Vegas and the southern parts of Texas.

“Given its unique business, research and cultural environment, New Mexico is poised to unleash its potential to become a national leader in startup creation, science & technology commercialization, economic growth, and job creation,” said John Mierzwa, Co-Chairman of the Startup New Mexico team.

Loraine Upham, Startup New Mexico Leadership Team member notes, “As host to the two largest National Laboratories continually generating innovative new technologies and solutions, and as owner of the second largest Sovereign Wealth Fund in the U.S., New Mexico is a cauldron of economic growth potential. Entrepreneurs are the catalysts that can leverage these terrific resources into jobs and value creation. Startup New Mexico can help bring it all together.”


Here’s Startup New Mexico on the web

Join the Startup America partnership here at it’s free

If you’re a startup “everywhere else” you need to make sure to get here.

Startup America Quarterly Survey Shows Growing Faith In Economy & More

The Startup America Partnership released the results for their first quarterly optimism survey. The survey is being conducted quarterly in conjunction with global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

The survey results from this quarter were released on the heels of two major mini conferences Startup America partnered with StartupRockon to host at the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention. Both events highlighted the role that startups play in the U.S. economy.

The results of the survey echoed the importance and highlighted the resurgence of faith in the US economy from the membership of Startup America.  The fact that so many entrepreneurs have faith in the direction the country is going, restores confidence all around.  Nearly 50% of the survey respondents indicated they were more confident now, about the U.S. economy.

With unemployment at a rate of 8.1% right now in the United States, the most encouraging find in the Optimism Survey was that 85% of Startup America members plan on hiring in the next 12 months. This speaks to the core of the Startup America mission to serve as a resource, and organization for high growth potential startups that will ultimately add more jobs to the economy.

Out of the 85% of Startup America members that said they would be hiring in the next 12 months 42% said they would add between 3-10 employees. 11% said they would hire ten or more employees. This supports data from the Kauffman Foundation that’s said between 1980-2005 companies that were less than five years old accounted for nearly all of the net job growth in the U.S.

“As young companies grow and generate revenue they hire more employees, creating more job opportunities,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “Our members are comprised of amazing startups from every region in the country and we encourage everyone to connect with startups in their local community in order to meet the real heroes of the economy.”

The Optimism survey will be conducted quarterly to have a pulse on where startups stand in regard to the economy.


Startup America Optimism survey page is here

Here’s the PDF with the raw data

Here’s more Startup News from


St.Louis Preparing For Super Entrepreneur & Startup Event Venture Draft 8/10-8/11

Brandon Williams, through his Brandon Williams Economic Development Corporation, is planning an amazing event for St. Louis called Venture Draft. We love St. Louis, their thriving tech and startup community is starting to catch on like wildfire and in fact they’ve moved from the 49th city in the US to start a new business to 6th in just one year. That’s amazing.

What else is amazing? How about the line up of speakers, investors, and entrepreneurs that Williams has assembled for the event going on at St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch Auditorium next week on the 10th and 11th.

Williams, who is an accomplished professional athlete, having played on a variety of NFL football teams including the St. Louis Rams, has tackled (you see what I did there), the task of helping to spread and enrich the world of startups and entrepreneurship in St. Louis. Williams has assembled Venture Draft to be the crossroads between professional athletes and celebrities and the tech and venture community.  All the while, making sure an event of this size and nature happened right in his hometown.

“The venture community is always trying to keep up with new technologies while professional athletes are looking for ways to leverage their playing days for more efficient and effective post-sports careers,” says Brandon Williams, co founder of BWEDC and former wide-receiver for the St. Louis Rams. “We understand the needs of both sectors and developed a platform to address them.”

Our good friend Gable Lozano is taking a quick break during a coast to coast fundraising trip to speak at Venture Draft. Also, FUBU founder and ABC Shark Tank investor Daymond John will be there. Successful startup founders like Henry Wong a partner at; Maurice Lopes, CEO & CoFounder at EarlyShares, and Seth Burgett CEO at Yurbuds are just some of the great speakers slated for next weekends event.

Judy Sindecuse, CEO of locally based Capital Innovators, and even William Crowder from Philly based DreamIt Ventures will represent some of the best accelerators/incubators in the country (and everywhere else) during the event.

For more information or to sign up go here to this link

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Memphis Startups: Launch Memphis Holding 48 Hour Launch Event This Weekend

This weekend if you’re in the Memphis area and an entrepreneur you should probably go ahead and skip the heat and humidity and head indoors to EmergeMemphis (516 Tennessee Street) to Launch Memphis 48 hour launch event.

The event takes the format of a typical startup weekend but your time is actually shaved down six hours.

Friday will start off with a 2 minute pitch contest for ideas that entrepreneurs have.From there teams will be put together to launch these new ideas and the teams will have until Sunday evening at 7pm to build their idea, test their idea and present it to the crowd.

This event will be great for the startup community in Memphis and for entrepreneurs to test out ideas. As with the 54 hour startup weekend events across the world, some entrepreneurs take ideas that they aren’t 100% sure on and flesh them out. We’ve seen some great startups born out of a weekend’s worth of work.

More after the break
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Washington DC Startups: Scott Case Speaking At TechCocktail Event

Our good friends at TechCocktail are bringing one of their great session events to Washington DC on May 24th.

The event called “Relationships Matter: Harnessing The Power of Your Network To Build Your Startup”  will take place Thursday May 24th from 6:30pm-9:00pm. The location for the event is top secret right now, to ensure that people don’t try to just walk up and crash the party.

Scott Case, the founding CTO of Priceline, CEO of StartupAmerica and the hardest traveling man in the startup community will be speaking.  If there’s one person in the startup community that knows about the power of relationships its Case. The Startup America Partnership thrives on relationships built  at the local and then national level.

The other speaker is Rohit Bhargava. Bhargava is a Senior Vice President with Ogilvy one of the largest advertising and marketing agencies in the world. More than that though, Bhargava is an established writer.

Bhargava’s first book called “Personality Not Included” was about how to develop and share a story and personality for a company. His next book, Likeonomics, is all about how we rely on relationships and do business with those we like.

This is sure to be a great event. Tickets are limited so head on over to Eventbrite before it’s too late


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Chicago: Daymond John To Speak At Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference May 23-25

FUBU founder and ABC’s Shark Tank, shark and investor, Daymond John will be speaking at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s conference in Chicago later this month. The conference is put on in conjunction with Nationwide insurance and over 1200 entrepreneurs, business owners, startup founders as well  local and national business leaders.

John joins the likes of Gina Neely from Downhome with the Neely’s, Kim Coles, and national radio personality Michael Baisden. There is a complete list available here.

The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference covers just about every aspect of business life. They are also holding the “Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition”, Small Business Successs Bootcamp, and “Equity Date With An Angel” which John will help kick off.

In addition to running his clothing empire and appearing on Shark Tank, Daymond John is a nationally known and respected speaker on all topics having to do with business, entrepreneurship and startups. He was recently the featured guest in a town hall meeting for high school students studying business across the country. This event was held in a Google Hangout setting, one of the largest Google Hangouts to date. Google hosted John at their New York office so that he could participate in the event.

More after the break
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Startup Indiana Launches To A Packed House

(photo: startupamerica)

If the packed house at Wednesday nights Startup Indiana kickoff is any indication of things to come, we’ll be reporting a lot on Indiana. 350 entrepreneurs, founders, community members, supporters and investors turned out for the party celebrating the latest Startup America partnership.

“Entrepreneurs in Indiana are diverse and dynamic, and we all come from different backgrounds–with unique experiences and expertise,” said Matt Hunckler, Startup Indiana champion. “Startup Indiana will serve a crucial role in connecting the dots between industries, redefining business models, and disrupting the status quo.”

Startup America CEO, who’s trying to beat the nibletz team in travel miles, Scott Case was on hand for the festivities:

“I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand Indiana’s amazing startup scene when I came out for the Super Bowl,” said Case. “I’m incredibly excited to see the local startups, large companies and entrepreneurial leaders come together though Startup Indiana to make it an even better place to start and grow a company and encourage all startups in the state to join today.”

Startup America and Startup Indiana urge entrepreneurs, startup founders, and investors to join Startup America. It’s a free nationwide resource. This year Startup America is committed to bringing as many localities across the country with a startup scene into the partnership. Down the road Startup America will be able to offer benefits to startups and entrepreneurs across the country with the clout of America’s largest startup organization behind it.


To Join Startup Indiana click here

For More on Startup America click here

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Startup Weekend Heads To Madison Wisconsin

While most people intone with the startup scene are well aware of “startup weekend”, the 54 hour hackathon style startup marathon, people in Wisconsin have never had an event quite like this. That’s why entrepreneurs and startup types are heading to Madison WI this weekend, the home of their first ever startup weekend.

“We want to foster and encourage people who are doing startup companies and get more people involved,” said Forrest Woolworth, one of the organizers of the event and brand director at Per Blue,told “We want to continue to make Madison known as an awesome place to start a company.”

According to there have been over 500 official “startup weekends” with over 45,000 participants to date. There have also been “unofficial” and similar events structured around the same model, like Hack Omaha. Great things have come out of startup weekends all over the country and all over the world. This first event in Madison will let entrepreneurs from a state widely known for cheese and the Green Bay Packers show off their tech scene.

Startup Weekend Madison will be held this Friday through Sunday at Madison College West Campus 302. S. Gammon Road in Madison.

“Younger startups are now growing to become a cornerstone of the Madison economy,” Mayor Paul Soglin said.

Madison’s startup weekend is part of Capital Entrepreneur’s Week which kicks off tomorrow with speakers, mentors, bootcamps and more for local entrepreneurs.