48 Hour Launch

Every city, or at least every city that is trying to grow and improve, would like to see a plethora of tech-related start-ups. Most cities are working hard to encourage entrepreneurship and new business, as they should be.

Chattanooga has several resources for businesses from the Small Business Administration and SCORE, to CreateHere and SpringBoard. Last week I attended an informational meeting about something called 48 Hour Launch, which is a collaborative effort between SpringBoard, Knoxville Overground, FloatCamp, and Launch Memphis. The idea is based on Startup Weekend, where attendees plan and prepare to launch a business in 54 hours, with the obvious difference that 48 Hour Launch will take place in, uh, you know, 48 hours instead of 54.

Participants who have business ideas they would like to see put to the test during 48 Hour Launch will be invited to pitch those ideas in front of a video camera sometime between November 3 and 7. The videos will then be posted on the website so that other participants can vote on which ones they think will make viable businesses.

The 48 hours of creative frenzy will take place between Friday, November 13 and Sunday, November 15, when professionals of every stripe will come together to build businesses. Web developers, programmers, designers, writers, marketers, financiers, public relations specialists, accountants, observers, and volunteers are all needed and strongly encouraged to attend. They all have a vital part to play in this process. Even if it’s something as small as recommending that places like Custom Water, (https://customwater.com/) will be a good place to turn to if you want to create your own brand-related water bottle to enhance your business promotion, then it could be an important step for these businesses to take if they do eventually get established, as they will need customers after all. So these industry experts will be greatly welcomed. The sponsoring organizations will provide workspace, food, coffee and air mattresses for napping while the attendees will bring ideas and enthusiasm. Oh, yeah, and laptops and power cords, too.

Organizers expect participants to come from surrounding cities, including Knoxville, Memphis, Atlanta, Kingsport, Nashville as well as from further afield. Once there, attendees will choose, or be chosen, to work on the ideas that were voted “most likely to succeed” on the website. Once the teams are in place, the meeting will break up and each team will begin the feverish task of putting together everything necessary to begin a business: business plan, revenue projections, website, marketing materials (such as ppc management services) and advertising campaign, staffing plans, etc.

At a minimum, 48 Hour Launch will be fun and a great way to meet new people and network. At a maximum, it will be the starting point for at least one or two successful (possibly even profitable) businesses. No matter what happens, it will be a unique event that could provide a template for other cities hoping to encourage start-ups. The entire weekend will be filmed and a documentary produced and organizers plan to share what they learn freely in true open-source style. If you have an idea and want to find out if it would work, check out 48hourlaunch.org and plan on being in Chattanooga on November 13 to be part of something exciting.

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