Now the work begins.
Now that this year's eight 48Hour Launch upstarts have made their pitches to a standing-room only crowd at green|spaces on Main Street.
Now that their nerves are settled and they have the next two days to stop talking and start making, designing, brainstorming and building.
Lisa Richardson, lead presenter for East Point Tech: A Digital Arts & Learning Center, settled into the back of the room just prior to pitch time, 6:30 p.m. Friday.
She came from Atlanta with her idea to launch a “hacker school and co-working community dedicated to empowering low-income single moms and ex-offenders with economic self-sufficiency.”
“Let's sit somewhere quiet,” she whispered.
She was excited and nervous. It was her first Launch presentation.
Jonathan Susman, lead presenter for Remote Audio Mixing, a “mechanism for accessing and manipulating multi-track audio recordings via any mobile device, and a methodology for increasing collaboration/instruction from professional educators, regardless of location,” also gave his first entrepreneurial pitch Friday evening.
“I think it went well,” he said.
For the next two days, Richardson, Susman and six others will try to develop their ideas and plans into bare bones businesses, emerging Sunday afternoon with a product to give clients and a usable business model and plan.
On Sunday, Co.Lab officials will deem one project the overall winner and give its lead presenter $2,000, 500 Amazon Web Services points, 27 hours of consulting services and a brand positioning and identity package.
Second and third place also come with winnings.
Mike Bradshaw, executive director of Co.Lab and a 48-hour Launch mentor, doesn't have a favorite yet, although he is mentoring one presenter.
Eight contestants is “a nice number,” said Bradshaw, because they're “going to get a lot of personal attention over the next 48 hours.”
The next 48 hours. This weekend is part sprint and part marathon.
And all throttle.
For these eight contestants, in some degree, the entire future hinges on the next two days.
The clock is ticking.
Alex Green joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 after completing the paper's six-month, general assignment reporter internship. Alex grew up in Dayton, Tenn., which is also where he studied journalism at Bryan College. He graduated from Rhea County High School in 2008. During college, Alex covered the city of Graysville and the town of Spring City for The Herald-News. As editor-in-chief of Bryan College's student news group, Triangle, Alex reported on ...