In January 2010 I was dreading the imminent empty nest. In January 2011, I’m up to my ears in what I’m pretty sure is the best antidote for the empty nest: a tech startup.
For the past couple of months, in addition to various freelance projects and my regular part-time job, I’ve been involved with a startup called stiqrd. It’s a loyalty program that replaces those messy paper punch cards and bulky plastic cards with a virtual wallet. The name stiqrd comes from the fact that the virtual equivalent of the punch or swipe is done via QR code. I wish I’d thought of the idea, but it’s the brainchild of a trio of brilliant geeky friends who let me come along for the ride and help with marketing. It’s been hard to keep it under my hat and I’m sure my family is tired of the phrase, I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you, so I’m glad the cat is out of the bag.
It also explains why I spend so much time in coffee shops, as my caffeinated beverage of choice is Diet Coke straight up out of the can. I’ve grown partial to Republic Coffee, for the obligatory coffee shop free wifi, comfortable ambiance, great sandwiches (I highly recommend the McKnight) and the fact that at least one of the servers knows to bring me a Diet Coke when I show up for the regular Memphis Tech Coffee gathering.
Our team of six geeks is working with Launch Memphis, a group established to help grow Memphis’ entrepreneurial community. It’s based downtown in the historic South Main Arts District which has become familiar territory to this suburbanite.
If you’re ever worked with me you know I’m not a business person, but this is a great opportunity for me to learn from some folks who deal with startups for a living. Fortunately, Launch Memphis also has a great attorney with an IT background to walk us through all of the fine print. So maybe this time next year I won’t be such a disaster where spreadsheets are concerned.
This weekend the stiqrd team will be at Launch Memphis’ 48-Hour Launch weekend, where we’ll ramp up development on our website and mobile (we’re starting with iPhone and Android) apps.
I’ll be blogging here and on the stiqrd blog the entire weekend, so watch for more. And we’re still working on the site, so if it looks funky from time to time, forgive us.
To learn more about stiqrd: