Mission Memphis Day 12: LaunchMemphis

The Experience

One of the goals I had for Mission Memphis was to show the wide range of volunteer opportunities in our community. In general, I think many people have specific ideas about what constitutes a typical experience for a volunteer. I want to challenge those perceptions.

If you ask entrepreneurs where to turn for start up resources in Memphis, they’ll likely point you to LaunchMemphis. This organization focuses on cultivating young start ups and developing an entrepreneurial community in Memphis in order to help new businesses succeed. Before you’re ready for a small-business incubator, before you’re ready to seek investors, this is where you can go to get started.

In addition, it just so happens that this is Global Entrepreneurship Week, which means that LaunchMemphis is buzzing with even more activity than usual (see their calendar of events for the full list). During my time at LaunchMemphis this week, I had the opportunity to attend Pitch Perfect, where budding entrepreneurs revealed their business plans and prototypes to a diverse panel of experts. Each presenter left the room with actionable suggestions – what to keep, what to change, but most importantly, how to improve.

While I was there, I saw one presentation in particular that caught my eye from a volunteer and service perspective. An organization called Need Registry provides a service for those who could use some help from family and friends while they’re going through a tough time. It enables friends and families to donate money or services (think house cleaning or yard care) so the recipient can focus on recovering and healing.

I would venture to say that no experience with LaunchMemphis is ever the same. If you’re looking for a dynamic environment with ever-changing options, this is the place to be. This approach might sound a little overwhelming and the entrepreneurial world can seem daunting if you’re just becoming familiar with it; however, LaunchMemphis is currently at work on their own prototype – revamping the volunteer experience. CEO and President of LaunchMemphis, Eric Mathews, knows that volunteering with this group may seem intimidating, but he wants to make it accessible: “We’re in the process of building a new volunteer program so that everyone feels welcome to contribute and become involved with LaunchMemphis”.  In addition, Andre Fowlkes, Co-President indicated that they’re working towards building and cultivating a core group of volunteers to help fuel LaunchMemphis.

How to Help

Volunteer at LaunchMemphis:

  • Volunteer at events
  • Help with fundraising efforts
  • Become a mentor. If you’ve gained experience in the business world or through your own entrepreneurial ventures, you might be the perfect fit for their Memphis Venture Mentors Platform
  • Be an ambassador. Be part of an informal marketing team to carry the message into the community.
  • Participant in events (ex: 48 Hour Launch)
  • Be their champion. This is for those looking to help LaunchMemphis build their connections.

Donate to LaunchMemphis:

  • Donate the traditional way
  • Provide in-kind donations for the LaunchPad
  • Connect them with angel investors

Take advantage of their events and programs:

For more information about donating or volunteering with LaunchMemphis, contact Eric Mathews eric@launchmemphis.com

Maybe you want to know more about volunteering with this organization or volunteering in general, but you aren’t quite ready to jump in. If so, email me at sarah.petschonek@gmail.com. Thinking about helping is the first step!

What comes after the 30 Days of Mission Memphis?  Volunteer Bound! I’m traveling across the country to promote volunteerism and I want to take you with me!


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