Start Co. Joins Global Accelerator Network

Congrats to local startup accelerator Start Co., which has been accepted for membership in the Global Accelerator Network, no small honor for the Memphis organization that’s making great strides in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

From its origin several years ago as LaunchMemphis, through its iteration as LaunchYourCity and now as Start Co., the organization’s leaders have worked tirelessly to promote entrepreneurship in the Bluff City and to offer quality programming and mentoring opportunities for fledgling business leaders.

This latest development speaks volumes about the quality of the Start Co. organizational group and is a solid promotion for continued growth in entrepreneurial endeavors in Memphis.

Here’s more from Start Co.:

Start Co., a venture development organization that focuses on building startup companies and their founders, today announced its membership in Global Accelerator Network (GAN) to the benefit of the entrepreneurs participating in it’s three accelerators: Upstart, Sparkgap, and Seed Hatchery.  GAN is an alliance that includes dozens of the strongest and most successful independent startup accelerators from across the United States and around the world. The GAN was originally championed by Techstars and was created as part of the White House’s Startup America Initiative.

“We’ve been impressed with the Start Co. programs and management team over the last year and are ecstatic to have them in the network. Their accelerator programs embody the values, ethos and high quality of the Global Accelerator Network,” said Patrick Riley, Executive Director of the Global Accelerator Network.  “Start Co. has already done much to fuel the burgeoning Memphis startup community. With the addition of the Upstart program for women-led startups and the Sparkgap program drawing on Memphis’s logistics industry expertise, there is no doubt this is just the beginning of what will be a thriving startup community in Memphis.”

Upstart, Seed Hatchery, and the soon-to-launch Sparkgap each provide $15,000 in funding coupled with mentorship, modeling, and a healthy dose of motivation to both develop founders and their scalable, technology-powered startups.  Upstart invests in women-led startups exclusively.  Sparkgap will focus on innovations in the logistics arena playing to the strengths of Memphis logistics partners.  Seed Hatchery, one of the first cohort accelerators to operate in the Southeast, focuses on information technology. The programs are all based in Memphis, a new hotbed of entrepreneurial activity in high-growth technology startups.  Start Co. and its accelerators turn concepts into business models and raw talent into successful entrepreneurs.

“The benefits that Start Co. and its accelerator programs will receive from being part of the Global Accelerator Network include enhancing our methodologies and leveraging their vision and expertise to further elevate our entrepreneurs into becoming successful business leaders,” said Eric Mathews, Founder and CEO of Start Co. “We are thrilled to partner with the world’s leading network of accelerators and look forward to improving our efficacy in building impact-driven companies quicker and better.”

Upstart most recently concluded its inaugural program with Demo Day in October 2013. Though only five teams were selected for investment, the accelerator fueled outreach experiences that touched more than 1,000 people and transformed the demographic landscape of the Memphis entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Applications are now open for Upstart, Sparkgap and Seed Hatchery. Entrepreneurs seeking to be a part of the 2014 cohort for any of these accelerators can find details to apply at www.neverstop.co/gan. Sparkgap will host its inaugural cohort in 2014.

About Start Co.
Start Co. is a nationally recognized non-profit (501c3) serving as the nexus of public-private efforts to accelerate the success of diverse entrepreneurs and their high growth companies while enhancing the Memphis’ startup ecosystem that supports them. Start Co. partners include archer>malmoBaker DonelsonThe Marston Group and Mosaik Solutions.  More information can be found at www.neverstop.co.

About the Global Accelerator Network
The Global Accelerator Network consists of over 50 of the top startup accelerators from around the world including TechStarsMuckerLabsStartupBootcamp and Flat6Labs. All accelerators in the Network utilize a mentorship-based, short-term model with terms that are extremely favorable to entrepreneurs. The Network started alongside the White House’s Startup America Initiative and continues to provide networking opportunities, training, special perks and ongoing support for its members and their entrepreneurs.

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