Whether we’re talking about community-based startups or new businesses with high-growth potential, Memphis entrepreneurs have a friend in the form of Entrepreneurship-Powered Innovation Center, better known as EPICenter Memphis.
The non-profit organization, located in Co-Work Memphis in the heart of the city’s Cooper-Young neighborhood, helps entrepreneurs conceive, launch and scale their businesses.
EPICenter has become a hub of the Greater Memphis entrepreneurial movement by connecting existing entrepreneurs and those who want to launch a business with helpful partner organizations and resources across the region.
When you step into their welcoming, colorful space, you immediately feel the energy and excitement of connectivity and creativity happening in the Bluff City. You’re surrounded not only by the supportive, passionate EPICenter team, but by Memphis creatives from all backgrounds and walks of life, working together to enrich the city by infusing its economy with new business models for a sustainably robust future.
The organization and its partners provide programs, workshops, office hours, networking events, co-working spaces and more to ensure everyone from tech startups to makers and artisans to community based small businesses across a wealth of industries and stages of growth have what they need to prosper. EPICenter also connects Memphis-based entrepreneurs to companies and individuals interested in supporting them as customers, investors or mentors.
Memphis is a city of ideas – from our pioneering place in music history and status as a continuing creative force in that field to our innovation in the fields of healthcare, medical device development, agriculture and logistics.
As Memphians say, we hustle – we grit and we grind. That applies both to our beloved basketball teams and our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Memphis has a gritty and innovative culture, which enables an entrepreneurial movement that’s catalyzing transformational growth here,” said Leslie Smith, president and CEO of EPICenter. “While the history of entrepreneurship runs deep — from Elvis, Sun Studios, and Stax, to Holiday Inn, AutoZone, and FedEx — we’re seeing new technologies in agriculture, logistics, medical devices, home services, and social innovation succeed and grow roots here. Beyond technology, our artists, designers, makers, chefs, musicians, and shopkeepers around Memphis are the heart and soul of our creative small business community. Most importantly, however, Memphis intentionally supports and attracts entrepreneurs who reflect the diversity of our city, and we are a more vibrant and innovative community because of that.”
EPICenter and its partners – which include Start Co., The Memphis Chamber, Memphis BioWorks Foundation and the Black Business Association of Memphis — share a common goal of creating a robust and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Memphis to service the Mid-South region. The organization hopes to help create 500 companies and 1,000 entrepreneurs by 2024, through four core areas of support: idea creation, development, funding and growth.
To date, they’ve served more than 250 entrepreneurs, helped create or incubate at least 116 companies, which have created more than 150 jobs, and helped raise more than $25 million in capital.
EPICenter Memphis will offer a wealth of opportunities for budding local entrepreneurs in 2018. Their 2017 events included angel investment mixers, mixers for entrepreneurs to get to know, collaborate with and support one another, educational sessions called “So You Think You Want To Be An Entrepreneur,” and “Rock Star Office Hours,” which bring in experts in the fields of public relations, social media and accounting for free one-on-one sessions to guide founders.
If you’re considering starting a business and need a launchpad, EPICenter can be your co-pilot. Give them a shout, check out their wealth of workshops and networking opportunities, and get involved in building a brighter, innovative economic future for Memphis. Definitely follow them on Facebook.