Four women receive funding to start businesses in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Four women receive funding to start businesses in Memphis

One of the recipients is Kelli Meade. She is the founder of GemPhones. One of the recipients is Kelli Meade. She is the founder of GemPhones.
Meade and three others will receive funding Meade and three others will receive funding

(WMC-TV) - Four lucky women received funding Thursday from a Memphis company to launch their business in the Bluff City.

Start Co, a program unique to Memphis, is launching an all-women's startup accelerator program.

The four women were given $15,000 in funding, and now they are about to begin an intensive program.

"It's a boot camp alright, it's 90 days where we're basically taking an MBA program and condensing it into this three month program," said Mara Lewis, an entrepreneur at Start Co.

One of the recipients is Kelli Meade. She is the founder of GemPhones.

"We are high fashion, high quality, customizable ear phone so that you can wear your ear phones as jewelry. We are the 'new look of sound,' " said Meade.

Meade and three others will receive funding, mentoring and learns skills to better their business plan.

"I just love the atmosphere, the kinda sorority feel, where the same fears that I have, other woman are having, the other obstacles ... But then the success that we want to achieve is the same that the other woman have," said Meade.

Lewis wants Memphis to be a place for women in technology.

"And any type of industry who want to start companies, build, businesses this is becoming the ecosystem, the place to do it," said Lewis.

The ultimate goal is to empower woman across the Mid-south, and the nation to dream big, one startup at a time.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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