Night one of 48Hour Launch in the books

Night one of 48Hour Launch in the books

March 28th, 2014 by Alex Green in Business Around the Region

Rachel McCrickard, a member of the 36 University group, speaks with James Holland at the 48Hour Launch event at Co. Lab on Friday, March 28, 2014, in Chattanooga. At the Launch, people with ideas for a startup company get together, form teams and work all weekend on a plan to turn their idea into a real company. Writer:

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

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.