48-hour event to birth startup

48-hour event to birth startup

April 9th, 2011 in Business Around the Region

In the second-floor gym of the old Industrial YMCA, 20 entrepreneurs turned the basketball court into an arena of new business ideas Friday night.

By Sunday night, one of the competitors in the "48-hour launch" will earn $5,000 to help turn his idea into a profitable venture.

"Launch now and sleep later" is the theme for the weekend.

Like the pickup basketball games once played in the 72-year-old YMCA building, those pitching their business ideas Friday tried to lure others who might help provide the software, marketing or business plan to help build their fortune.

Aaron Welch is working to launch his endofwaiting.com smart phone application to help better connect hungry consumers with restaurateurs. The app allows would-be diners to get quicker or more predictable times for service and gives restaurants access to more customers.

"We're going to test this at the Terminal on Saturday so we could use some marketing people to help us pitch this idea," Welch told more than 50 participants of the 48-hour launch.

Other entrepreneurs are working on ideas ranging from promoting paintings and story characters to developing smart phone applications for business inventory controls.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, entrepreneurs and the teams they have assembled over the weekend will demonstrate their prototypes. A similar weekend business launch program in late 2009 attracted about a dozen presenters of which a handful yielded workable business plans by the end of the weekend.

"We think there are some great potential ideas here, but more than anything this helps build excitement and awareness about entrepreneurship in Chattanooga," said Sheldon Grizzle, founder of The Company Lab and organizer of the event.

The event is sponsored by Delegator.com and the Lyndhurst Foundation is helping to underwrite the grant for the most successful idea.


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