Women-owned businesses get a boost at The Company Lab's first all-female 48-Hour Launch

Women-owned businesses get a boost at The Company Lab's first all-female 48-Hour Launch

April 8th, 2013 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

Mary Grace Stocker, who is trying to start a business known as EMCI to personalize city attractions, presents her plan during the 48Hour Launch Chattanooga event. 48Hour Launch took place Sunday afternoon at Church on the Main. Teams had 48 hours to create a business model and showcase it in front of a crowd and a panel of judges.

Photo by Connor Choate /Times Free Press.

Nine fledgling businesses competed for the top spots in The Company Lab's first all-female 48-Hour Launch.

Judges chose two winners Sunday night: The Whiskey Women, which targets marketing, advertisements and information at female whiskey drinkers, and Mama's Got Mail, a monthly gift subscription for moms.

The weekendlong competition is aimed at boosting entrepreneurship in Chattanooga by helping leaders turn an idea into a full-fledged business plan in just 48 hours. The winners walked away with more than $10,000 in prize money and services.

The Whiskey Women founder Rachel McCrickard said she used the weekend to refine her business plan and build a website from scratch.

"Whiskey Women has really evolved this weekend," she said. "We had such an amazing team who were excited about the concept."

The weekend condenses planning that usually takes months into just a few hours, said Enoch Elwell, program director for the Company Lab.

"It's a chance to put your stake in the ground and turn that dream of yours into a workable business," he said.

Mama's Got Mail founder Shannon Rinckey said the event gave her access to branding, legal and financial expertise that she otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford. She added that the weekend boosted her confidence and drive.

"It's been just in my head until now," she said. "So people hearing my idea and getting on board is so encouraging."

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at sbradbury@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.