Editor's note: I'm excited to share this guest post by Cliff McKinney with you guys. Cliff is one of the founders of Work for Pie and a survivor of both the 48 Hour Launch and Seed Hatchery entrepreneurial bootcamps. Here, he details his experience in starting a new business in Memphis and offers advice to anyone wanting to do the same.
For the past five years or so, Launch Your City has been working to ensure that Memphis’s entrepreneurial heritage isn’t something that we talk about in the past tense. My name is Cliff McKinney, and I'm proud to be a product of their efforts.
My involvement started a year and a half ago with Launch Memphis and their 48 Hour Launch event. 48 Hour Launch is a basically an entrepreneurial marathon. You walk in on Friday afternoon, pitch your idea to a room full of like-minded individuals, and then enlist them to help you turn that idea into something real, all in the space of 48 hours.
48 Hour Launch was the place where my entrepreneurial dreams started to become reality. It was there that I met Eric Mathews, my cofounder Brad Montgomery, and many more of the people who would eventually become my friends and advisors. It was there that the seeds of our company, Work for Pie, were sewn.
Shortly after the event wrapped, Brad and I were invited to participate in Seed Hatchery, a startup accelerator that is also under the Launch Your City umbrella. Seed Hatchery has all the intensity of a 48 Hour Launch, but it’s three months long. The chosen companies get a lot of great advice from business leaders in Memphis and beyond, and at the end, they give you money ($15,000 in seed money). It’s an amazing, exhausting, intense experience, and it helped us to transform Work for Pie from a promising idea to a viable business.
It’s now been a year since our Seed Hatchery experience, and we’re stronger than ever. Work for Pie isn’t yet spoken of in the same light as FedEx or Piggly Wiggly, but we’re well on our way. We recently raised a significant amount of seed capital which has given us the opportunity to do what we love, full time, for the foreseeable future. It wouldn’t have been possible without Launch Memphis, Seed Hatchery, and Launch Your City.
If all of this sounds like something that might interest you, Get your feet wet with one of the Memtech meetups or the Startup Meetup (hosted by yours truly). They are great ways to meet people, connect, and get all the advice you need to get started in entrepreneurship.
Cliff McKinney is one of the founders of Work for Pie, an employment network for web developers.