Every year, hundreds of new businesses open in Memphis. Some take the place of old companies that have closed while others spring up simply from the imagination of someone just like yourself. They have a dream and a passion for their line of work so they do everything in their power to hit the ground running. Of course, some of these startups have stronger staying power than others. Here are just a few of the top Memphis-based startups to watch not just for 2019 but in the years to come.
GPS tracking for any kind of freight or service vehicle is extremely important. It helps management stay on top of vehicle locations, which boosts productivity, makes it easier to send out replacement vehicles when needed, and helps companies stay on top of maintenance. LB Technology works with all kinds of vehicles. It doesn’t matter if it is a delivery van or a shipping truck. The company provides GPS tracking and also ELD, or electronic logging devices, for all vehicle types.
QuikFix is another startup helping put college students to work. However, unlike Scholars, they take more of a Craigslist approach (remember Craigslist?). Rather than orchestrating internships, QuickFix launched in 2017 with one vision in mind: to help support the college experience by providing students a way to earn money that doesn’t interfere with academic or extracurricular schedules. There’s no charge to post a job, postings are only viewed by local college students, and last-minute bookings are not a problem. Anyone can get help with odd jobs and chores around their home or business.
To effectively build a bridge to the next generation, current business leaders have got to provide students from top colleges the real-world experience they need to prepare them for the job market. Why did the three founders of Scholars decide to take this on? As is the case with many startups, they decided to solve a problem they had experienced themselves—fruitless and futile internships. Launched in 2019, Scholars connects businesses with students for remote internship work. Their mission is clear: give students an opportunity to start building their professional network while still in school. To register, businesses simply input the skills they’re looking for, set an hourly rate, sit back, and let the algorithm work its magic. They’ll receive a group of matching profiles from which favorites can be selected. Services include blog writing, social media management, data entry, graphic design, research, and much more…
2019’s 3rd place Startup of the Year winner is none other than Memphis-based Second Keys. They also show that sometimes the best startups have years of experience behind them. The folks here have more than 25 years of experience in property management and 20 years in technology and software development. Their goal: create tools that make life easier for property managers, owners, and tenants alike. 68% of renters say that the primary reason they leave a property is poor customer service, and a majority of those indicate that maintenance is the top issue. Second Keys helps optimize daily operations, making maintenance—both repairs and preventive—far more manageable.
Here is a company that you may not have heard of (unless you work in the medical field). There’s no denying the average hospital stay has grown shorter and shorter. This isn’t always desirable. Whether insurance doesn’t cover an extended stay or the hospital is simply overcrowded, patients are often required to leave the hospital sooner than ever. SOMAVAC Medical manufacturers post-op home care equipment. The material is often used following surgeries and other medical procedures.
Music and Memphis go hand in hand. However, what doesn’t always go hand and hand is music recordings and the listener. Sure, as a music fan, you’ll end up receiving the final product, but often, the final product is of inferior quality. After all, the music produced has to go through a number of channels to reach you. Well, Soundways looks to change that. The company, which is the brainchild of several audio engineers, creates audio software designed to improve the delivery method of sending audio from the recording studio to the listener.
This is another medical company, yet it is a medical company with a twist. It manufacturers a membrane constructed from honey. This membrane is then used in the treatment of wounds, ranging from ulcers to bedsores. It recently received FDA approval and will now go into production.
Founded in 2015 by community and business leaders, Tech 901 facilitates business growth in Memphis in the field of IT. They recruit, train, and develop a pipeline that helps place skilled and semi-skilled workers in open positions. With 6,000 local IT jobs and more openings than applicants, founders saw a clear need to bridge the gap—and find a local solution. They pre-test applicants while removing common obstacles to success like training cost, program length, and location. Tech 901 has already proven that Memphis has a strong—and growing—base of trainable talent. As part of their Global Citizenship initiative, FedEx has partnered with the startup awarding a grant to help fund instructional resources, textbooks, and vouchers for certification testing. Courses range in cost from $180 from $250 and are designed to prepare students for entry-level to higher-level positions of pay, skill, responsibility, and authority.
New businesses offering new opportunities
These are just a few of the Memphis-based startups to watch in 2019 and in years to come. Feel free to visit these startups and to give them your business if you find a product or service that fits your particular needs. By supporting local startups, the money stays in the area, which is a win-win for everyone. And, if you have your own ideas for a future startup, make sure to take notes on what is working for these new business startups.