Launch MemphisAside from being a lot of fun, it turns out LaunchMemphis’ 2008 inaugural season was a huge financial success.  LaunchMemphis kicked off in May 2008 with a well-attended Tech Fuel event.  Things have only gone up since then, with several events having been hosted already, and many more on the horizon.

The best news, however, comes from a recently published LaunchMemphis financial report for 2008.  The program, since its inception, has taken $16k in investment capital and produced nearly $500k in economic impact, all right here in Memphis.

This success is attributed to a host of factors.  Among them is a very dedicated group of founders dedicated to the growth of Memphis’ entrepreneurial community. Eric Mathews, Dave Barger, Harry Brown, Sridhar Sunkara, Chris Allen, Anna Ivey, Gwin Scott, Douglas Scarboro, Marc Diaz, and Lori Turner have all dedicated immense time and effort into seeing this program accomplish all that it has.

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LaunchMemphis also owes a great deal of success to its sponsorship base which has consistently provided funding and resources that have helped maximize the programs potential.  FedEx Institute of Technology, Bosco’s Brewing Company, Memphis Regional Chamber, Center City Commission, Sun Microsystems, JumpBox, Cadre5, Flying Circle, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, Naked Lion Brewing Company, Starbucks Coffee, Domino’s Pizza, Neely’s Bar-B-Que, Innova, Mercury Technology Labs, Impact Memphis, Red Bull, Open Road Technologies, Small Business Chamber, Red Bull, LunaWeb, and Rendezvous BBQ, all played a crucial role in events over the past year.

Visit the 2009 schedule for upcoming LaunchMemphis events and links to more information.

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September is poised to be a HUGE month for the Social Media and Tech community in Memphis!  Within the next two weeks, Launch Memphis is putting Memphis on the map by hosting three major events featuring innovation and online celebrity.

First on the agenda will be the Sarah Lacy TechFuel event on September 18.  The high-profile blogger and author of Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0 is returning to her hometown of Memphis on her way through her User Generated Book Tour.  This will be a great night for bloggers, techies, and anyone just looking to network and learn.  Best thing is… it’s free.

On the 22nd, just four days after Sarah hits Memphis, Geoff Livingston stops by for a night with the Memphis locals.  Geoff is one of the premier “blogging gurus” on the web and the author of Now is Gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs.  He has also received some well deserved praise from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post for his work in Social Media.

Last, but most assuredly not least, is the Innovators Luncheon with the Leadership Academy on September 25th at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.  The theme is “Innovators,” and will feature a panel discussion by some of Memphis’ most established and promising entrepreneurs.

You can get details and RSVP information on all these events on the Launch Memphis site.

This is also a great time to get involved in the planning process for Barcamp Memphis!  The un-conference is set to be held on November 8th, but planning meetings have already been underway.  There are chances to make your voice heard by suggesting speakers, topics, and, of course, getting your name out there by donating to the all-important swag arsenal.  Visit the Barcamp Memphis wiki to get involved!