Rachel Hurley has been embedded in the music industry for years, as a journalist, promoter and otherwise champion. Last year she not only launched Kangaroo but also attended a LaunchMemphis 48 Hour Launch weekend. And now she and Nick Redmond of Star & Micey are now part of our 2013 cohort with Soundstache! We love her take on launching a startup company, originally posted to MemphisConnect, and want to share some key points (read the full post here):
…Now, to some, this probably seems like a complete fluke. But as someone who has worked with bands for the last ten years, it has always been pretty clear to me that “start-ups” are exactly what they are. They are small businesses with a scalable product. So, really, I have spent the last ten years working with start-ups. Some are still around, some are not, some have worked hard independently so that they could make it to investor day and sign with a record label, others have decided to keep all of their shares and stay private entities.
But how did I cross over into the start-up world from the music industry to start a technology company and spend the last three days at the biggest start-up conference in the world outside of California?
There are quite a number of local entrepreneurs in Memphis, and a number of companies, including Launch Your City, Upstart Memphis, and Emerge Memphis, whose business it is to connect these people and curate experiences that allow them to grow their ideas into feasible businesses. Many of these people have been working on their start-up ideas for years…
I have participated in two 48 Hour Launch weekends held at Emerge Memphis and attended many events over the years that introduced me to the Memphis start-up “scene.” I’ve listened to a couple hundred people pitch their technology ideas to a room full of developers, designers, lawyers, serial entrepreneurs, and dreamers – all waiting to be tapped to be asked to join the group that plans to build the next Instagram.
As a music publicist, I have been sent literally thousands of pitches about bands who are going to be the next Mumford & Sons…
And so when I was hanging out with Nick at Craig Brewer’s birthday party a few months back and he pitched me his idea for a GPS application that musicians could use to exchange “staches” with each other, I jumped in head first and told him that I wanted to take his baby out for a stroll and show it off – ‘cause I thought it was pretty darn cute.
Because of my connections in the local “scene” I already knew about Seed Hatchery and when I saw a link posted on Facebook about the application process, I knew that we would be a good fit and we applied. We were among 60 applicants from all across the country. Six teams were chosen to be a part of their 90 day business accelerator program and be given an investment of $15,000 in order to push us to the next level. We give them 90 days and they give us peer pressure, collective intelligence, accountability, mentorship, service providers, expectations, pitch perfection, ecosystem growth and most importantly, community.
So, were we given this opportunity because I knew someone? ABSOLUTELY.
I had committed many years of time and effort to be a part of something bigger than myself, I networked, I did what I said I was going to do, I worked hard, and most importantly, I helped others. I am exactly the type of person they were looking for and I was lucky – but as Oprah says, “luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”
Check back for part 2 of this post- what Rachel has already learned from fellow co-founders in Seed Hatchery 2013!