Geek Level: All Levels

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

48 Hour Launch: Women's Edition on December 7-9

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 8:11 AM

As part of the new Upstart Memphis initiative focused on fueling women's innovation and entrepreneurship, LaunchMemphis and Upstart Memphis present a special edition of the signature 48 Hour Launch. Entrepreneurs, developers and diverse professionals converge to launch innovative concepts and build the companies of tomorrow.

Are you a woman with an innovative idea and an entrepreneurial streak? You have two minutes on Friday night to pitch your concept and inspire the crowd. If successful you’ll get to publicly introduce your new company on Sunday evening.

More interested in applying your professional skills toward a goal that fuels economic development and elevates creative talent? Then vote for your favorite pitch, join a team and dive into development. Startups need marketers, lawyers, accountants, graphic designers, developers, and UX specialists. In short, they need you.

Please note: while we're kickstarting women's owned businesses, we invite men and women of all skills and backgrounds to be part of the teams that build these companies of tomorrow.

On Sunday evening each proud albeit exhausted team will present its business to the community. For every 20 attendees we create opportunity for another startup to be built. And the more entrepreneurs we recruit, the higher the chances of discovering bold, audacious ideas with high growth potential.

More than community engagement, this event fosters true community investment. Where else for only 48 hours and $40 can you:

- Launch brand new tech-supported companies, contributing toward our local innovation economy and creating jobs;
- Learn by doing, experiencing firsthand entrepreneurial principles that can be applied to any endeavor or work environment;
- Connect with like-minded and talented professionals, developing your network;
- Play an active role in Memphis’ entrepreneurial community, volunteering your current skills while learning new ones;
- Eat and drink well, including all meals and copious amounts of coffee and Red Bull; and
- Be a part of something this collaborative, creative and cool?!

So what are you waiting for? Register today for the one and only 48 Hour Launch, and get ready to spend your weekend doing something extraordinary- building both companies and community.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Litigation Technology: Court Services Brings Tech to the Courtroom

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM

While the legal field still does most things based on time-honored decorum, today's juries expect technological sophistication in the courtroom.

Technology has permeated every part of our society, so juries expect the presentation of cases to be as sophisticated and up-to-date as their smart phones.

Bringing technology into modern litigation gives a modern jury the chance to see and absorb a much more interactive set of data.

Savvy lawyers can easily integrate PowerPoint presentations and other multimedia into their case, but a steadily growing field is in litigation technology support.

Litigation technology is a game-changer, leveling the playing field between the sides of cases. From a graphic timeline of events to the ability to see video testimony concisely and effectively, it can be a persuasive and powerful tool.

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And of course, sometimes courtroom facilities themselves can be a problem.

While Memphis' Federal courthouse has full technology integration with state-of-the-art equipment like touchscreens, laptop inputs at attorney and witness stands and document cameras, the Shelby County courthouse offers much less technology. Court Services provides a full courtroom set-up with projectors, screens, monitors, document cameras, and necessary cabling.

While the rules of civil procedure remain unchanged, litigators need to bridge the gap between tradition and technology.

That's what we do at Court Services Inc.

Lynsey Mitchell is president of Court Services Inc., a litigation technology team and a member of Oculus Litigation Technology Group, both based in Memphis serving clients nationwide.

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's Geek Week!

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Where once the term "geek" was relegated to derogatory cafeteria lingo, in 2012, this word has been reclaimed. Instead of pocket protectors, we proudly sport smart phones and tablets. Instead of (or in addition to) arguing Star Wars versus Star Trek, we debate Apple versus Android. And instead of social exclusion, we look around to find that we're all becoming geeks in one way or another.

Memphis Geek Week is all about recognizing the geeks around us and sharing our collective knowledge. Tech geeks, film geeks, web geeks - Memphis is full of experts and eager learners. By pooling our wealth of resources, we can promote awareness, adoption, and advancement of new technology to the betterment of our community.

We want to spark a conversation. How can we benefit the latest gadgets and networks? How can they aide our businesses and relationships? How can they help us make lasting, positive differences for our families and neighborhoods? And what is the impact of these technologies on our privacy and security? By answering these questions, Memphis can become a bigger push-pin in the technological map.

The week after Memphis Geek Week is, befittingly, Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov 12-18), which focuses on turning great ideas into great businesses. It dovetails perfectly onto the end of Geek Week, which we hope will spark the kind of creative ideas which are necessary to maintain the thriving startup scene in our community.

Most of all, we want to highlight the wealth of geekery right here in the Mid-South. And there's so much of it, Memphis Geek Week doesn't actually fit in a week! From November 1 through 10, we're
encouraging businesses and organizations, no matter their focus, to celebrate all the geeks in their field. They'll be joining these other events that are already sure to raise some noise about technological innovation in Memphis!


Friday, November 2

IndieMemphis Innovation

Microsoft: Windows 8 on the Square & more

48 Hour Hack "Pitch" / HighTech Happy Hour

Saturday, November 3

TechCamp Memphis & Tech Expo

48 Hour Hackathon

Sunday, November 4

48 Hour Hack Presentation/Awards

Monday, November 5

Memphis Python User Group Memphis GEEK week edition

Memphis Gives Special Geek Week Edition

Tuesday, November 6

• Be a good GEEK and go vote :-)

Wednesday, November 7

Interactive Expedition Local SEO / GEEK Week!

Staying Ahead of the Curve - Bartlett Chamber

• MemTech Lunch - Memphis GEEK Week Edition

Friday, November 9

• Media! Event (GEEKmemphis, SOE, LaunchMemphis)

Power of Habit — In-Synk Book Review: GEEK week!

MidSouth Makers GEEK week open house

Saturday, November 10

• Special GM & LM event

Be sure to visit Memphis Geek Week for the latest geeky updates. We hope you'll add an event of your own to this line-up of great geeky events, and put the Geek Week badge up on your website!

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Dave Barger is a University of Memphis graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, who spent time in the Navy and working for major corporations, Barger understands the operating nuances of Corporate America, as well as the impact of "the voice of the customer" coupled with contemporary technologies on any organization.

Now, he has become a recognized resource in Memphis in web strategy and tech community development. Deemed a "Digital guru" by The Commercial Appeal, he shares his vision of business in the world of Web 2.0 with entrepreneurs and established companies all over the Memphis area and beyond. Since 2007, he has shared that vision on social media and contemporary web topics with over thousands of professionals in 6 states in about 70 presentations.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

From Idea To New Start Up In Only 48 Hours

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Monday mornings can always be an interesting time. Co-workers greet each other with the typical “So, what did you do this weekend?” Many will talk about various events they attended or watched on TV like the kids’ soccer match or the game between two football rivals. Others will talk about a home project they worked on or a short trip they took, while some will just state how they did nothing. So maybe it was nice to break the Monday morning mold when my answer to the water cooler question was “I started a new tech start up.”

On the evening of Friday, October 12th, a group of locals gathered at Emerge Memphis in downtown Memphis to pitch new business ideas to a community of programmers, graphic artists, marketers, and other business experts for LaunchMemphis’ 48 Hour Launch. The goal was simple — pick a couple of the ideas and over the course of the next two days build them into potential new businesses. I was amongst eight other potential new start up CEOs to pitch an idea. After presenting your idea, it would be up to the community to pick the ideas that would be worked on. The only problem was you only had 2 minutes to pitch your idea to the packed room. At the end of two minutes a blow horn would go off and
you were done.

Complicating my pitch was that my idea had no name and was already hard enough to explain in five minutes because it didn’t exist anywhere in the world, so two minutes was going to be a challenge. This would mean I had to get to the point fast. Many call this an “elevator pitch” because you should be able to tell another person the whole story by the time the two of you complete an elevator ride together.

So here was my elevator pitch —

Continue reading »

Monday, October 22, 2012

TechCamp on November 3rd

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

When was the last time someone called you a geek? And more importantly, how did you react?

In grade school I was a nerd, a dork, a geek. I had it coming: I wore glasses AND got good grades. Tough combination when you're nine years old.

But when I got a phone call late last year and the voice on the other end called me a geek, it wasn't an insult. I was being invited to be part of the founding board of GEEKmemphis, an organization dedicated to promoting the awareness and adoption of technology in the Memphis community.

In other words, we want to make everyone a geek. Including you.

And here's how we're going to do it: TechCamp Memphis. It's a one-day educational event on November 3rd for technology users at all levels. And I mean ALL levels. Whatever your interests, however tech savvy you are (or aren't), TechCamp has something to offer you:

• Are you a developer scratching your head about microframeworks in PHP? We've got a session for you.
• Are you a small business owner trying to figure out how to use social media to boost your business? Then you'll love our Online Marketing curriculum.
• Are you a student considering a career as a programmer? We've got a whole 101-level developer track with your name on it.

We've got instructor-led sessions, panel discussions, networking opportunities, a business expo... if it's technology-related, you'll find it at TechCamp.

As with any non-profit event, TechCamp is a labor of love. It's required countless hours of planning and organizing, the support of several generous sponsors, and a groundswell of interest from the community to validate our efforts. But our successes so far have reminded us why we're doing this in the first place:

For ourselves. Because when you have a passion for something — whether it's sports or food or technology or whatever else — there's no greater joy than sharing your enthusiasm with others. That's why over a dozen Memphians have volunteered their time as presenters to share their expertise with others.

For our fellow geeks. Because Memphis has a thriving tech-oriented community that benefits from opportunities to trade knowledge, share experiences, and build connections. Behind every argument over preferred programming languages, operating systems, social media platforms, etc., is a shared love of technology. We bring that common ground to the forefront.

For non-geeks. Because we know there's an inner geek in everyone just waiting to come out at the right time. For some, that time is when they get that first glimpse of code and grasp the possibilities of writing their own programs; for others, it's when they start to see the "big picture" in online marketing and realize the vast potential for building relationships with their customers; for others still, it's realizing that they now have the tools to share all those great ideas or short stories or photos with the world. And frankly, for others it's just a matter of no longer feeling intimidated by technology.

And finally, for our city. Because we recognize that Memphis is teeming with incredible talent, passion, and energy — and access to technology translates into new avenues for all those wonderful attributes to be expressed.

So put us on your calendar for November 3rd. We've got a full day of fun presentations, great food, smart people, and some cool door prizes to boot. I hope to see you there... and I hope you don't mind if I call you a geek!

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Tom Logue is Vice President of Message Factors, a Memphis-based marketing research firm. You can follow Tom on Twitter at @TomBLogue. While you're at it, why not follow @TechCampMemphis and @GEEKmemphis too?

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