Memphis is a little bit closer to Silicon Valley this week. The Everywhere Else Startup Conference, which celebrates entrepreneurs from places that aren't coastal technology hubs – is at the Cook Convention Center through Tuesday.
Everywhere Else has three days of panels about entrepreneurship and startup technology, experienced speakers and the opportunity to connect with new techonology companies and investors.
I wandered through the Startup Village this afternoon to check out some of the companies that have made the trip to Memphis. There are a lot of companies, but here are five that I think have the potential to make it big:
Have you ever wanted to try out a food truck, but have a hard time finding out where they're going to be, what they serve or what their specials are? Truckily is designed to connect customers to their favorite meals on wheels through a location-based app that shows where trucks are, where they're going to be, and what's on the menu without forcing customers to check a dozen Twitter or Facebook accounts to find food.
You have a bucket list, I have a bucket list, and Wannado has everyone's bucket list. The site is a social bucket list maker that allows you to list the things you want to do, see the things your friends want to do, and maybe make some new friends who have the same goals as you. One of the best things about Wannado is that it encourages its users to actually do the things on their lists by providing them with nearby opportunities (for example, if you want to learn to speak Spanish, Wannado provides you with a list of classes).
I'm a big fan of Need Registry, and not just because it's based in Memphis. Chris West launched Need Registry after being diagnosed with cancer and realizing that his friends really wanted to help, but didn't know how (and that he didn't know how to ask). Need Registry allows users to create wedding registry-style lists of the things that they really need while they're going through hard times: home healthcare, transportation, prescription co-pay, dog sitting, lawn care, etc. Friends and family donate to the registries and Need Registry allows the users to pay vendors directly with the donated funds for the services that they need the most.
Backstitch is a Detroit-based social media dashboard startup. Their service takes all of the networks that you use all the time – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Groupon, Woot – and allows you to use them and narrow your feeds into the things you really want to see all from one web dashboard. So, if you only want to see travel deals on flights to Vegas or want to avoid all of your weird cousin's politically charged Facebook rants, Backstich allows you to do that.
If you work with a lot of images, you'll want to check out Sizzlepig. It uses DropBox to allows users to resize, crop and touch up entire folders full of images without scripts.
Everywhere Else runs through tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Cook Convention Center. Tickets start are $60.