Friday, January 11, 2013

Black Girls CODE Comes to Memphis

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Black Girls CODE is a nonprofit based in San Francisco whose vision is to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. As described by founder Kimberly Bryant, a Memphis native and Vanderbilt alumna:

When I was first introduced to computer programming, as a freshman in Electrical Engineering, Fortran and Pascal were the popular languages for newbies in computing and the Apple Macintosh was the new kid on the block. I remember being excited by the prospects, and looked forward to embarking on a rich and rewarding career after college.

But I also recall, as I pursued my studies, feeling culturally isolated: few of my classmates looked like me. While we shared similar aspirations and many good times, there’s much to be said for making any challenging journey with people of the same cultural background.

Much has changed since my college days, but there’s still a dearth of African-American women in science, technology, engineering and math professions, an absence that cannot be explained by, say, a lack of interest in these fields. Lack of access and lack of exposure to STEM topics are the likelier culprits.

Kimberly Bryant
  • Kimberly Bryant

So how did Kimberly become the change she wanted to see? By launching Black Girls CODE, and providing hands-on opportunities through workshops and after-school programs for girls to learn technical skills like video game design and mobile app development. BGC recently earned a first place Award Laureate in the 2012 Innovation in Philanthropy Awards.

Now Kimberly is bringing program home to Memphis, with the help of local champions Pamela W. Kelly, Meka Egwuekwe, Dominique Anderson, Tonya Meeks and Brenda Buckman. On February 16 they will host Black Girls CODE: Build a Webpage in a Day Memphis, a day-long workshop hosted by Rhodes College. Girls from ages 10-17 are encouraged to sign up and enjoy a fun and educational way to start heading toward — or creating — the jobs of tomorrow.

And here is where you come in: girls can apply for need-based scholarships, but for those to be available we ask that you support BGC and select the “sponsor a girl” ticket option here.

Also they need volunteers! Certainly those with relevant web developer skills are encouraged to step forward, but no matter your technical skills the organizers need event volunteers (including pre- and post-event). You can fill out a volunteer application online, but you are also invited to a Black Girls CODE Memphis launch reception at EmergeMemphis (516 Tennessee St.) on January 15 from 6-8pm. The event is free but please RSVP online here.

blackgirlscode.jpg

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I need a developer. Can you introduce me?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Many people walk in our doors with ideas they believe will change the world and make them rich. The problem they invariably have is that they can't build it. 95% of these potential founders have an idea for an mobile app or web app and they want the LaunchYourCity team to play matchmaker to a developer. These potential founders don't realize that the developer probably has his own awesome ideas. Why would he switch from developing his ideas to developing yours? These potential founders will get no where fast with developers because they have ignored the obvious: a developer is your first investor.

Like all investments you need to earn the right to ask!

Here is the typical scenario. A non-technical founder approaches a potential technical co-founder with just an idea. These potential founders usually have very little skin in the game. They haven't invested a ton of their own time, but expect a developer to contribute 100s of hours. They haven't even dipped into their own funds to get something mocked up or designed. These potential founders have not invested energy into determining who the customer is, understanding their buying behaviors, or even determine if they would want the app and pay for it. The outcome is always the same. The developer says no and gets annoyed with wannabe entrepreneurs and gets turned off to the startup world.

This is a very bad outcome for our entire community. It could all be avoided.

Imagine going to a technical co-founder and saying the following:

"I have been working to validate an idea for a new app over the past couple of weeks. I didn't know if this was a good idea so I talked to 50 customers and found out that not only was it good, but also determined what the minimum features would be to satisfy the customer. Because I wanted to continue to make progress, I taught myself to code a little bit. With a logo that I paid a local designer to polish up for me, I was able to get a one page website up and running articulating the features of the future app. I also was able to code the website to capture email addresses from future customers. I created a blog to talk about the industry and my perspective on the changes coming. I got a lot of feedback and interest from the blog — one post has been viewed 10,000 times and has 56 comments. I started to market a bit to garner interest and I didn't get 1,000 email signups — I got over 5,000 people to give me their email address. Because I figured out how to market more effectively, I get about 100 signups day now on the website and I'm only spending $10 a day on ads. I went ahead and contracted with a designer to get some wire frames done and some screen mock ups. I showed them to some of the customers who signed up and they gave me feedback to refine the app. I'm currently working on a new set of mocks ups with the designer. Along the way I reached out to the CMO of a big local bank and he agreed to mentor me and my future team as we startup. I think I'll get another rock star mentor to commit next week. I did all this in just 60 days. I'm looking for a technical co-founder that believes in me and how we can change the world. I think you would be a great co-founder. Will you join me?"

Please?
  • Please?

Guess what a technical co-founder will say after hearing this pitch?

People invest in execution, not ideas. If you’re willing to do the work you will have no problems getting the right talent on the bus. Prove that you are a worthy founder by doing the leg work before going to a technical co-founder and you will find many people jumping on board.

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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Investing in Digital Word-of-Mouth

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 9:29 AM

I recently took my car to a local repair center for the first time. My first visit was generally the same as with others except that I noticed that they seemed more interested in customer care. I was especially intrigued when I received follow up emails after my first visit welcoming me as a new customer and another asking me to provide feedback on the visit. They even offered a ‘refer a friend’ promo with $10 off my next visit. As a new customer and user of many digital channels, I found this to be a very convenient way to promote this business and get something of value in return. I’ll most likely take my car there again and tell my friends about them.

wordofmouth.jpg

It makes a lot of sense for local service providers, especially those highly dependent upon word-of-mouth, to use digital marketing tools to grow their business and stay competitive. And a lot of small and midsized businesses are learning how to gain benefit in shifting marketing efforts from traditional to digital marketing in a big way. There are several reasons for this.

Consumers are increasingly influenced by and want to do business through a wide variety of channels including the in-person storefront, as well as digital channels such as the website, email or social networks. According to a recent BIA/Kelsey study on local commerce, small businesses are marketing to their customers across 5 to 6 digital channels on average, and the number of online channels used for advertising by the average small business has nearly doubled in the past five years. More than half (52 percent) of small businesses now use Facebook and 25 percent use email for marketing.

Also, trends show local consumers continue to trust word-of-mouth, such as a recommendation from someone they know, much more so than traditional advertising. According to Nielsen’s recent Global Trust in Advertising Survey (PDF), almost all (92 percent) of consumers trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. And most (78 percent) trust online reviews, while only 47 percent believe traditional broadcast and print ads.

And consumers are increasing using digital word-of-mouth to promote small businesses they like. This is especially important as most local business recommendations occur by way of word of mouth. A recent Local Consumer Review study by BrightLocal found that that 8 out of 10 people have recommended local businesses to friends, family, co-workers or other acquaintances, and most people (65 percent) that do business locally will recommend a business which provides professional and reliable service. 32 percent of them use Facebook to recommend businesses.

To get the most out of an investment in digital tools for word-of-mouth marketing, here’s a few quick tips. First, know and understand who your target customers are and connect that to your business strategy. Second, hire a digital marketing consultant to find the best tools that match your strategy and customer. These local professionals can help navigate the vast landscape of new tools that are available and provide consultation and training to put them to use for the best investment return.

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.

Capture.JPG

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.

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 Video Games That Made Me A Sports Fan

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Two nights ago, after Alabama scored a touchdown to take the lead on LSU with 51 seconds remaining, I found myself literally running around my house and leaping for joy, whispering (because our six month-old was asleep) all sorts of jubilant curse words. My wife, who was asleep on the couch for entire second half, woke up and muttered something to the effect of, “Good God, Will. Calm down.”

I care about sports far more than anyone should care about ultimately irrelevant contests between teams of people I will likely never meet. Right about the time my wife was asking me why on Earth I had woken her up, I started to wonder how I had gotten this way. Why do I care so much? What has made me such a passionate sports fan?

Well, there are lots of things—weekend trips to visit family in Tuscaloosa, the place of my mother's birth all throughout my childhood, watching UNC games with my father and hearing him scream obscenities at Duke, playing sports since I was old enough to carry a bat, to name a few. Also, though, my sports fan experience has been greatly enhanced by my growing up during the video game generation. I didn't just watch games on TV, or read about them in the paper; I was actually playing them. Indoors. With my favorite players.

While I don't consider myself a gamer, I have certainly spent far more hours in front of a TV with a controller in my hand than anyone should. When talking about my sports video game experience, a few titles stand out more than others. These are the five games that inflamed my passion for sports and, in addition to all of the other reasons, made me the sports fan I am today.

Tecmo Bowl/Tecmo Super Bowl (NES):

tecmobowl.jpg

Whenever someone compiles any list of the greatest sports video games ever, said list is dead to me if one of these games is not in the top 3 at least. Bo Jackson, Lawrence Taylor, and Cap Boso are sports game legends. These 3 are literally unstoppable in the original Tecmo Bowl. Tecmo Super Bowl featured an expanded playbook and NFL licensing, which meant that you could actually play as your favorite team. It also featured a full season mode and full statistics, which at the time was absolutely mind-blowing. Seriously, these are the best sports games of all time. It's not negotiable.

Baseball Stars (NES):

baseball_stars.gif

While RBI Baseball gets a lot of deserved love for early baseball games, I would argue that Baseball Stars was more addicting. RBI Baseball had a lot of charm, mostly because of the morbidly obese players and the fact that space for names was short; you'd end up with player names like Clmns (Roger Clemens) and Glrga (for Andres Galarraga). However, Baseball Stars was easily the best baseball game in the early Nintendo years. Slick fielding, full season mode, team creation, and the fact that you could play as Frankenstein and Dracula make this game superior to RBI Baseball.

Tecmo Super NBA Basketball (Super NES):

Tecmo_Super_NBA_Basketball.gif

I spent God knows how many hours in my middle school years playing this game. There are lots of reasons this game stands out, but the main one is Michael Jordan. You could play with Michael Jordan. Easily the most memorable basketball game from my childhood. Because you could play with Michael Jordan.

NCAA Football '98 (Playstation):

ncaa9811-88738_320w.jpg

This game got me through my freshman year of college and probably contributed to my sub-standard GPA. This was the first college game to feature a Dynasty Mode that allowed the player to take control of teams for multiple seasons and recruit. This was right during the heyday of Mack Brown's tenure at UNC, and it absolutely infuriated friends that I crushed with the Heels. They couldn't stand it that I was playing with a basketball school.

MLB 2000 (Playstation):

MLB_2000-PSX-NTSC-US.jpg

Let's just say that Spring Training Mode—the mode where you create a player from scratch and take his career through the minor leagues to the majors—gave me a little bit more hope than I should have about how easy a career in baseball was. My created player always was a huge contributor on MLB teams, while I never made it out of Single-A. I guess that's why I live vicariously through video games.

Without these games, I probably still would have run around my house like a joyful idiot on Saturday night. My love of college football runs deep. Without these games, though, I doubt I would have considered a career in sports media. Games have an ability to immerse us in a world that we have no hope of being a part of normally. These five gave me an escape. What are the games that made you a sports fan? How big of an idiot am I for leaving your favorite game off this list? Let me know!

Will Askew has more than a decade of experience in sports media. You can follow him on Twitter @waskew for his thoughts on sports, history, politics, and whatever else strikes his fancy. He has a patient wife of over two years and a lovely six month old baby boy named William, who will also care way too much about sports.

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!

MemphisGEEKweek_new.png

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!

techcamp_logo.JPG

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?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tal Frankfurt's Top Online Apps

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Hey, my name is Tal Frankfurt and I am the Founder and CEO of Cloud for Good, a Memphis based company that works with organizations to create and implement strategic solutions based on cloud technology. We specialize in Salesforce.com and Google Apps implementations.

I will explain what the cloud is and why you should consider it in my next blog post. Today, I want to share with you some of the applications I use on a daily bases to manage both my life and business. Here are some of my favorite online applications:

• Google Online Tools: At Cloud for Good we use Gmail for all our email communications, Google Calendar for all of our meetings, Google Docs and Spreadsheets when we need to collaborate on documents, and Google Hangouts for our staff meetings (our team is spread across 8 states and Google Hangout allows us to see each other every day!).
Salesforce: We are all about Salesforce! Salesforce is one of the most powerful cloud databases available on the market today. Our clients are using it to cultivate donors, manage volunteers, track events, students, trees, cats, and more. Best of all, The Salesforce Foundation donates 10 free enterprise licenses to nonprofit organizations.
SlideShare — This is a great tool that enables you (and your team) to share your presentations online.
Evernote — It helps me remember things, find things, and access them from anywhere at any time.
Dropbox might make you want to get rid of your USB! It is the easiest way to store, sync, and, share files online. It makes online storage and sharing of files dead simple — as simple as dragging files into specially market local folders.
Mozy — All the important information in your life/business is now stored on a computer. Whether it is photos, music, business documents, or financial records, everything is digital. Mozy offers a great “backup to the cloud’ service that will help you sleep at night because you will know that your digital life will always be there when you need it.
Doodle and Tungle.me — both tools let you easily schedule meetings and other appointments.
Rapportive brings social media to your email, is a little browser plugin that provides you with information about the people you talk to via email. This app changed the way I interact with people!
Remember the Milk is a great personal task manager. It allows you to create “to-do” lists in the easiest manner possible as well as being able to access those lists from pretty much anywhere. If you need to share tasks, projects, and files, check out do.com.


There are many more great online tools out there. What do you use? Please share with us in your comments.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What's Your Favorite App? (And a List of our Faves)

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 12:30 PM

We asked a group of Memphis’ most tech savvy to share their latest app obsessions, and why they’re wowed. You definitely want to check out these recommendations, and please add your own in the comments below.

smartphone-collection.jpg
  • http://www.iconshock.com/

Kyle Sandler of Nibletz introduced me to my own app du jour: Voxer, a free “all in one messenger” for Apple and Android that lets you send audio, text, photos and location to selected recipients. The audio messages are key: Voxer turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie, and is a nearly hands-free alternative to texting for those “don’t forget to pick up coffee” messages.

Tal Frankfurt, Cloud for Good
@cloud4good
Dropbox provides cloud-based storage for documents, photos and other files. Your account can connect to all of your devices - including iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire - so it’s easy to access all my files from anywhere at any time.

Rachel Hurley, Kangaroo
@rachelanthecity
The app that I really can not live without is Feedly. It's a reader that makes it super easy to share content. It's one of those apps that you are almost scared to tell people about because it gives you such an edge. It works with iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle and Firefox. And its free!

Brad Montgomery, Work for Pie
@bkmontgomery
Zombies, Run! ($7.99, iOS, Android, Windows mobile) is THE most awesome running app, EVER. It turns your run or workout into a zombie apocalypse game.

Trish Kalbas-Schmidt, University of Memphis Crews Venture Lab
@crewsventurelab
This is old school but one of my favorites is TurboScan. You can create PDFs of by taking pictures of documents with your phone. In a world where we still do need hard copies or at least PDFs of documents it comes in pretty handy! It was $1.99 and I use it all the time.

James Kegel, GeekBlog.tv
@geekblogtv
My favorite app is AirDroid. It is free from the Google Play store, and allows me to use my droid from my browser. You can send text messages, install apps, and do just about anything without touching your phone.

Cheryl Hurley, The Stylist Quo
@thestylistquo
Right now my obsession is with Keek, a social network for short video uploads. I'm trying to develop an early following before it explodes. It's free, and available for iPhone and Android; you can also upload via webcam.

Carrie Brown-Smith, University of Memphis Journalism Department
@brizzyc
I couldn't live without Delicious or Evernote for productivity to store and tag useful articles, research, and information so that I can find it later.

Kenn Gibbs, The Knowledge Co.
@kenngibbs
As much of a tech junkie as I am, I just started using a password manager and really like LastPass. It's $12 a year to keep all your passwords secure on any OS. There are other free options out there, but I liked the higher security (I'm a little paranoid), and I can easy go between my Mac, Windows, and Linux machines.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nibletz: Ridin' Dirty

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Nibletz is a young digital media company that provides the “voice of startups everywhere else.” In this case, "everywhere else" means tech-based companies located outside of the famed Silicon Valley.

You’ll learn much more about them in weeks to come, but the short version is that co-founder Kyle Sandler visited Memphis this past June for our 48 Hour Launch weekend, and was so impressed with our entrepreneurial energy and with our city that by August he and co-founder Cameron Wright agreed to make Memphis the official Nibletz HQ.

And there’s more: on February 10-12, 2013 Nibletz is hosting their inaugural EverywhereElse.co The Startup Conference at The Peabody Hotel. Focused on startup companies outside of the Valley and NYC, the conference is expected to draw 1000+ entrepreneurs, tech companies, investors and startup media giants from around the country for three days of keynotes, panels, expos, a Startup Village- and killer parties!

Today Nibletz publicly announced their teaser round of keynote and panel speakers. And seriously- it’s big! Check out their video announcement, or scroll below for details:

Startup America CEO and founding CTO of Priceline Scott Case will keynote at the event. Grammy award winning hip hop artist and startup investor Chamillionaire will also speak as will MC Hammer, serial entrepreneur and the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status.

The conference is sponsored by Baker Donelson, .co, Startup America, LaunchTennessee and LaunchMemphis. If interested in a single ticket or startup booth, please visit everywhereelse.co for details.

Everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference will continue to announce speakers over the next two months. And we’ll continue to share the news here at Ones and Zeros!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Luddite to Tech-Evangelist: One Woman's Journey

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Hello. My name is Elizabeth Lemmonds, and I’m a reformed Luddite.

And now I spend my days working with some of Memphis’ top innovators, tech-based entrepreneurs and the developer community through my work with LaunchMemphis, Seed Hatchery and EmergeMemphis.

To be fair, when I started college mainstream technology included clunky word processors and answering machines. "Computer Literacy" - a class which taught you to send an email - was a required Gen Ed course.

By contrast, my daughter Ripley just moved into her dorm with a laptop, Netflix and an iPhone. `

When I finally had my moment of conversion, I didn’t accept technology grudgingly; I dove in with ferocity.

In short, it finally dawned upon me that technology is neutral. Technology is a tool. And perhaps more significantly, technology facilitates access. Access to information, goods, services, resources and people.

And access breeds opportunity.

Technology can level the playing field, putting global resources at the fingertips of students or providing a microphone to nonprofits, artists and startup companies who were formerly lost in the blitz of high-dollar advertising and marketing campaigns.

Of course, like any other tool technology can be used for less-noble purposes like disseminating mundane breakfast updates, cat photos, and incessant political tirades.

But it also helps us share baby pictures with far-away friends and family members, engage with elected officials, discover new products and services, streamline our ubiquitous multitasking, and meet soul-mates. In recent months, technology-driven services like Twitter have amplified social outcry and driven political revolutions.

This is a but a sampling of reasons that excite me about this opportunity between LaunchMemphis and the Memphis Flyer to launch Ones and Zeros.

Among other things, we envision Ones and Zeros becoming a platform for spotlighting the leading edge innovation that is happening right here in Memphis.

For example, Paytopia, a startup company from our Seed Hatchery business accelerator, is launching an online payment system that requires no credit card details.

BioNanovations from Zero to 510 (the nation’s first cohort-based medical device accelerator that graduated its inaugural class in August) is using nanotechnology to identify strains of bacterial infections in groundbreaking time.

Work for Pie has proclaimed the death of the traditional job board for developers, and deserves credit for its demise.

The University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology houses interdisciplinary research like the Institute for Intelligent Systems where studies include artificial intelligence systems.

Memphis Bioworks Foundation is a nonprofit that supports and expands our bioscience industry in the areas of biomedical, biologistics and bioagriculture.

The Medical Education and Research Institute (MERI) trains medical professionals and first responders through remarkably lifelike anatomical simulators that can cry, bleed, give birth, and die.

FedEx SenseAwareSM earned CIO Rob Carter a spot on Fast Company’s list of Most Creative People in Business with its near real-time tracking of a package’s location, temperature and humidity readings.

And then there is the Power Center Academy in Hickory Hill, a Memphis City Charter School providing 6th-9th grade students a curriculum anchored in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and technology. And the North Memphis Community Technology Center, a nonprofit passionate about improving lives through technology accessibility and literacy.

The above stories - and more that you’ll see here in the coming months - serve to reinforce my recovery from luddite to tech-evangelist and my loyalty to this community as my City of Choice.

Make no mistake, the future is here. In Memphis.

LaunchMemphis is proud to play a role in that future, and excited to bring you along for the ride with Ones & Zeros.

LaunchMemlogo.jpg

Welcome to Ones & Zeros!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Welcome to Ones & Zeros, the Flyer's new tech blog.

We've partnered with Launch Memphis to create original content about the ways Technology (capital T) affects our lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Our plan is to offer coverage of news and announcements, a calendar of events, and guest columnists writing about their areas of expertise.

We hope this digital space can become a touchstone for Memphians interested in the evolving technologies that continue to shape the way we work and play in the Bluff City.

Young or old, sysadmin or n00b, we hope this blog will have something for everyone.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

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