Nine fledgling businesses competed for the top spots in The Company Lab's first all-female 48-Hour Launch.
Judges chose two winners Sunday night: The Whiskey Women, which targets marketing, advertisements and information at female whiskey drinkers, and Mama's Got Mail, a monthly gift subscription for moms.
The weekendlong competition is aimed at boosting entrepreneurship in Chattanooga by helping leaders turn an idea into a full-fledged business plan in just 48 hours. The winners walked away with more than $10,000 in prize money and services.
The Whiskey Women founder Rachel McCrickard said she used the weekend to refine her business plan and build a website from scratch.
"Whiskey Women has really evolved this weekend," she said. "We had such an amazing team who were excited about the concept."
The weekend condenses planning that usually takes months into just a few hours, said Enoch Elwell, program director for the Company Lab.
"It's a chance to put your stake in the ground and turn that dream of yours into a workable business," he said.
Mama's Got Mail founder Shannon Rinckey said the event gave her access to branding, legal and financial expertise that she otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford. She added that the weekend boosted her confidence and drive.
"It's been just in my head until now," she said. "So people hearing my idea and getting on board is so encouraging."
Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6525.
Shelly Bradbury joined the Times Free Press as a business reporter in January 2013, after starting with the paper as a general assignment intern in July 2012. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint Hill Times. Outside the newsroom, Shelly enjoys ...