Following two full days of startup development, three teams of local entrepreneurs have emerged as the winners of 48Hour Launch: The Learning Edition, an annual business launching competition hosted by The Company Lab. This year, the program challenged participants to start companies or organizations that advance education and workforce development.
The first place prize went to Jonathan Susman, founder of Adagio – an online mixing application that allows music educators and students to collaborate remotely. Jean-Marie Lawrence came in second place for launching Access-U, a nonprofit that helps high schoolers with disabilities connect with the post-secondary institutions that are best able to meet their needs. The third place honorees were Kendal Shipley and Chris Green with 36 University, a research-based ACT prep provider that helps students translate success in the classroom to success on the test.
More than 150 people turned out to support 48Hour Launch: The Learning Edition, which ran continuously from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The competition supported nine startup teams and culminated with a public Demo Night, where the entrepreneurs presented their work to a local audience and took questions from a panel of judges. At the end of the experience, the two highest scoring teams walked away with cash prizes – $2,000 for first place and $500 for second place. All three winners received packages of free business services to support their new companies.
Mike Bradshaw, executive director of CO.LAB, congratulated this year’s teams and contributors for making The Learning Edition a shared success for everyone involved.
“48Hour Launch creates game-changing relationships that spark new companies and grow our entrepreneurial community,” he said. “This year, The Learning Edition cast new light on what those connections can do for our area. Over the last two days, we saw educators and businesspeople combine their skills and perspectives in some very meaningful ways. They established deeper insights into the problems they were trying to solve, and they launched companies that meet important needs in the process. This is collaboration in its richest form, and we believe the opportunities it inspired will have a lasting impact on our community.”
About the winners
First Place: Adagio // Led by Jonathan Susman
Adagio is an online mixing application that allows music educators and students to collaborate remotely. Based on code developed by the UTC Computer Science Department, this engaging software revolutionizes the way instructors manage curriculum and offers a new mechanism for improving student performance and compositional skills. Using Adagio, music students at every level of expertise can connect with instructors online, access curriculum, record practice sessions, receive instructor feedback and share their performances via social networks. To bring this resource to local musicians, Adagio is partnering with the Chattanooga Public Library and Barger Elementary School to establish a creative music lab on the second floor of the downtown library, which will serve as a testing ground and demo site for the application.
Second Place: Access-U // Led by Jean-Marie Lawrence
Access-U is a nonprofit that connects high school juniors and seniors with physical disabilities to colleges that are best able to meet their needs. The organization focuses on the whole student, taking into account the individual’s academic, social and physical needs. Access-U makes information about relevant post-secondary education resources more readily available to students with physical disabilities, allowing them to search for the best options more conveniently
Third Place: 36 University // Led by Kendal Shipley and Chris Green
36 University is a research-based ACT prep provider that helps students translate success in the classroom to success on the test. The company offers a full ACT training program online, using short, infographic-oriented videos to teach ACT-specific curriculum. Designed to be accessible to students from all backgrounds and geographies, the program is available online at www.36university.com for only $10 a month.
About the finalists
CO.STARTERS Youth // Led by Rebekah Marr [Participated but did not compete for prize]
CO.STARTERS Youth is a program that helps teens explore their passions through generating, testing and launching ideas. The program is arranged as a flexible, modular toolkit adaptable to a variety of settings, both inside and outside the classroom. Using a simple, clear and intuitive process, CO.STARTERS Youth allows teens to dream big, but start small with life-appropriate ventures.
ED.Q // Led by Lakweshia Ewing
ED.Q is a tri-focused, multi-functional mobile application platform for the 21st century school experience. This transformative digital product provides relevant resources that simplify the lives of educators, parents and service providers everywhere.
Eduity // Led by Greg Laudeman
Eduity is a social platform that connects talented individuals with employers at events called Job Carnivals. Unlike traditional job fairs, Job Carnivals offer skills-based competitions and games that allow job-seekers to showcase their abilities while enabling companies to vet talent at the same time. Eduity helps organizations host these events by providing a complete package of software and services for building their own community talent networks.
EvCite // Led by Trey Joyner
EvCite is an ecosystem of applications that supports teachers and empowers students to meet Common Core standards. With evidence-based learning as its central methodology, this toolkit encourages students to defend their understandings by using multiple sources that support their claims.
InternChips // Led by Tekelia Kelly
InternChips is an internship database that matches high school students with companies offering career-related job experience. The platform also provides career and technical training resources to assure students are ready for work. InternChips serves both companies and students, enhancing workforce preparedness by connecting employers and future job-seekers earlier in the skill-building process.
The US Code Corps // Lisa Richardson
The US Code Corps is an accelerated learning program that helps veterans become software developers. This four-month process is designed to be a talent source for companies and to provide hope and a satisfying career for those who have served.