Memphis Startup Weekend: Women's Edition (Men welcome too)

    Friday, November 7 - 9, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Memphis Startup Weekend: Women's Edition (Men welcome too)

Friday, November 7 - 9, 2014

Friday, November 7 - 9, 2014
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Start Co.
88 Union Ave, 2nd Floor
Memphis, TN 38103

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Entrepreneurial Women & Men come together to pitch their ideas & build new startups


Friday November 7th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue, get checked in and grab some Rendezvous BBQ!

6:05 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

7:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

7:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 8th

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee & get to work!

9:00 am
Customer Discovery Workshop
*Optional* Learn how to validate your idea!

9:30 am
Business Model Canvas Workshop
*Optional* Design a business model using the Business Model Canvas

10:00 am
Pitch Deck Workshop
*Optional* Prepare your pitch deck for Sunday

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Mentor Meetings
Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm

7:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 9th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Continue Building! Mentors will be available for Pitch Deck Reviews

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Finishing Touches

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Laurie Tucker

Laurie A. Tucker has served as a primary champion of the FedEx brand and customer loyalty, guiding the company’s marketing strategy to position FedEx as one of the world’s most respected and valued brands. As Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing, she was responsible for all aspects of Customer Marketing, Retail and FedEx Office Marketing, and Global Brand Management and Brand Engagement. Through her leadership FedEx has been consistently ranked on FORTUNE magazine “World’s Most Admired Companies” and MilwardBrown Optimor “100 Most Valuable Global Brands.” Tucker has successfully led FedEx through rebranding initiatives and critical go-to-market strategies including positioning the company as a powerhouse in e-commerce though automation and online solutions. Through her vision FedEx pioneered enterprise-wide digital access that today allows customers around the globe to connect to over 220 economic markets worldwide. Through her leadership FedEx has produced award-winning advertising and secured prestigious sports sponsorships that effectively reinforce the reliability, speed and global reach that characterizes FedEx. A passionate advocate of personal development, Tucker applies inspired leadership, innovation and analytics to create outstanding results in corporate programming and team performance. She is committed to ongoing professional development and through her leadership continuously elevates the FedEx People Service Profit philosophy. Tucker joined FedEx in 1978 and throughout her career has held leadership positions in Customer Service, Finance, IT and Marketing. In 2009 and 2011 PINK magazine recognized Tucker as one of the “Top Women in Business.” She is the recipient of the Women’s Project of New York “Woman of Achievement” award and has been ranked on BtoB magazine “Best Marketer” and “Who’s Who in BtoB” since 2005. Tucker currently serves on the Board of Directors for Iron Mountain, Inc., the University of Memphis Board of Visitors, Fogelman College of Business and Economics Executive Advisory Board and The Blues Foundation. In addition she serves as the executive chair for FedEx March of Dimes and is a member of the United Way Alexis de Tocqueville Society. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Tucker earned her bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Memphis.

Event Judges

Meg Crosby
Principal at PeopleCap Advisors

Meg is a founding Principal of PeopleCap Advisors, a boutique firm specializing in helping companies strengthen their organizational performance through their people. She began her career in Human Resources at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York where she ran the Investment Banking Analyst Program and was responsible for the recruiting and training of undergraduates. In 2000, Meg moved to Los Angeles to work for a software development start-up, Applied Semantics, as the Director of HR. In 2003, the small start-up was acquired by Google. At Google, Meg worked closely with colleagues in Corporate Development to develop a cross functional team whose focus was to integrate Google’s corporate acquisitions globally. A native Memphian, Meg returned to the city in 2006 to wed Scott Crosby, an attorney with Burch Porter and Johnson. Meg left Google in 2008 after the birth of their son, Tom. Since returning to Memphis, Meg has been an enthusiastic community volunteer and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and as a member of the Boards of Rhodes College, The Church Health Center, Memphis Challenge and AdVance Memphis.

Melanie Hannock
Senior VP, Marketing ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Melanee leads the Brand Strategy, Marketing Operations and Interactive Groups for the Marketing division, providing leadership on St., more than 20 microsites, online promotional activity and emerging programs like social media and mobile devices. Since joining ALSAC in May 2007, she has built and continues to lead a team of interactive professionals who have worked holistically with operations and fundraising teams to grow online revenue 200% in a four-year time span. Melanee has more than 20 years as a marketing professional with significant consumer marketing and interactive gaming experience. Throughout her career, she has worked on top-tier brands such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Disney, Atari and Hasbro Interactive and led marketing teams handling multi-million dollar integrated campaigns.

Coaches and Mentors

Naomi Bata
SVP, Chief PR Officer

Naomi leads the PR department at archer>malmo and provides senior counsel to all clients. Her background includes strategic planning, media strategy development and execution, content creation issues management. She’s represented a variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 organizations to startups and in industries ranging from health care, financial services, manufacturing and auto as well as the food services industry, hospitality and retail sectors. She’s an experienced media trainer, and mentors technology startups about public relations messaging and positioning. Her teams have won awards from PRSA (Golden Trumpet and VOX), Sabre, PR Week, and others.

Audrey Jones
Project Manager/Business Systems Analyst Business Intelligence AutoZone

Audrey is a native Memphian who has worked with numerous corporations such as Fannie Mae, CSC, and TekSystems. Currently, she serves as the President and CEO of Business Intelligently, Inc where she co-founded the application Kids360, which ensures child safely through a mobile application. With her startup, she secured and received her first round of seed funding through Start Co. within the first year of development. Audrey serves as the R&D Technical Director for SoGiv and leads the “SoGiv Code” initiative where she teaches children to “Blog for a Cause” all while building a program to create tech based job placement for a women’s shelter here in Memphis.

Tameesha Desangles
Founder & CEO of

Tameesha is the Founder & CEO of - a collaborative commerce platform where brides and their bridesmaids can shop together for everything they see. Before, she worked in Ecommerce for great companies like AutoZone, Southwest Airlines Vacations and HanesBrands Inc. In her spare time you'll find her adventure traveling with her husband, 3 sons and 2 dogs.

Emily Brackstone
Attorney at Baker Donelson

Emily is an associate in the Memphis office of Baker Donelson where she concentrates her practice in the areas of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and health law. Emily represents both early-stage and established companies in various business matters through all phases of a company's life cycle. She assists companies in structuring and forming business entities.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Memphis Startup Weekend: Women's Edition (Men welcome too) team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.



Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Memphis is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Brit
  • Eric
  • Hillary
  • Mara
  • Katie


Holly Knowlman
Founder & Editor, Stupid Magazine

Holly is the founder and editor of Stupid Magazine: A print-first media company about pop music. Alongside building Stupid, Holly curates a weekly newsletter about media business models, is a writer at TWG and and faffs about on Medium sometimes.

With a background in PR and community management, her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, Mashable, Huffington Post, TNW, Poynter and on CBC’s Spark. Her music industry experience includes work for publicity agencies, artists, promoters, and major music festivals NXNE and WayHome. She is an advisor to #Paid (the best platform for connecting brands with social media influencers) and Small Rooms, Canada’s leading podcast for technology entrepreneurs.

Event Blog

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