Small Startups to Seek Big Funding at Investor Day

For this year’s Seed Hatchery participants, the grunt work is nearly over — or at least the boot camp part of the local startup accelerator program, because the real heavy lifting is just around the corner.

And next up on that corner to startup success is Investor Day on May 16, when representatives from this year’s Seed Hatchery cohort will pitch their companies before an audience of entrepreneurs, mentors, supporters and most importantly, angel investors. The immediate goal for these six companies is to receive funding on top of the $15,000 already awarded to each Seed Hatchery startup. Long-term, each company is looking to establish a sustainable business model that generates revenue and creates jobs.

Ideally, the companies and future jobs will remain in Memphis, but even if Seed Hatchery startups eventually relocate to other cities, the effect on the Memphis entrepreneurial ecosystem can’t be overstated.

That’s because one key to attracting a steady flow of creative professionals to Memphis and convincing them to remain here is to provide a nurturing foundation for creative pursuits. And the more recognition Memphis gains as a city that supports early-stage startups, the more likely it is that entrepreneurs will consider launching and locating companies here.

Since its formation in 2011, Seed Hatchery has offered a compelling argument in favor of the Bluff City as a launchpad for startups and the program’s popularity serves as proof that there are plenty of folks who would welcome the chance to start something fresh here.

So, what’s your role?

If you’re an angel investor or venture capitalist looking to check some promising tech startups, make plans to attend Investor Day from 2 to 5 p.m. on May 16 at Malco Studio on the Square, 2105 Court.

And if you’re not?

Then perhaps you’d like to contribute time as a mentor, or offer business expertise during a workshop, or maybe you’ve got other ideas about how to support our entrepreneurial ecosystem. By all means bring those suggestions with you and drop by for some of the presentations on Investor Day and meet some of the brightest emerging talent in our city.

There’s no cost to attend, but organizers need to know how many to expect and seating is limited, so reserve your spot by visiting

If you’re en early-stage entrepreneur or a small-business owner who needs help navigating online platforms, then check out the Social Media Lab offered from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, located in room 326 at the FedEx Institute of Technology, 365 Innovation, at the University of Memphis.

Call 901-678-5266 for more information.

To check out some of the best creative campaigns around, plan to attend the PRSA Memphis meeting from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the University Club, 1346 Central.

Admission is free for PRSA members, $15 for students, $25 for guests and includes lunch. Reservations required. To learn more, visit

On Thursday, the Society of Entrepreneurs will host “Culture and Community Involvement” featuring keynote presenter Mike Edwards, chief operating officer of Paragon National Bank.

The lunch program will be at Jim’s Place, 518 S. Perkins, from noon to 1 p.m. Cost is $25 and reservations are required.  Visit or e-mail

And if you know a minority business professional who deserves recognition, send nominations for the Memphis Black Business Association’s BENNY Awards. For details, visit

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