Back in 2014, CNN ranked Memphis among the best cities in America in which to launch a startup. A year later, Inc. called Memphis “the edgiest startup hub in the U.S.,” and time has proven them both right.
An entrepreneurial spirit has always been a big part of what makes Memphis tick. Piggly Wiggly—the first grocery chain in America—was founded here in 1916, and our city continues to be a place where new ideas take root and flourish more than a century later. You don’t have to look far to see unique, innovative companies getting their start in Memphis every day. These are a just a few that we really think you should be watching.
This Memphis-based real estate startup has been picking up speed since it was founded in 2015, thanks to a concept that could revolutionize the process of buying and selling your home. HelloHome allows you to avoid costly commissions by connecting you with real estate agents who will sell your home for a flat rate of $3,500 (instead of the traditional 3-percent commission). It also offers a free platform to connect home buyers to real estate agents, providing a more cost-effective option for buyers and sellers alike. Moreover, HelloHome is the first—and, so far, the only—female-founded and female-led real estate tech startup.
Preteckt is using machine learning technology to change the trucking industry. This Memphis startup manufactures hardware that connects to a big rig’s diagnostic port, logs every second of sensor data and transmits this information to the user via a cloud-based service. The ability to detect maintenance problems weeks in advance translates to on-time deliveries for customers and major savings for trucking companies.
Somavac creates medical devices to help people heal at home after surgeries like mastectomies, and they have developed a tool that drastically improves on the current standard of care for at-home, post-op drainage. Dr. Esra Roan left a tenured position as a professor at the University of Memphis to become a first-time entrepreneur, and she’s been incredibly successful. She and her business partner, Josh Herwig, are graduates of ZeroTo510 and have attracted investment from angel investors.
Billed as the “Norton of ad-tech,” Dev/Con Detect is an ad-tech security company that provides “digital revenue protection through patent-protected technology and expert teams.” If that sounds like convoluted cyberspeak, here’s the premise in a nutshell: cybersecurity software that eliminates the kinds of advertising fraud that cost advertisers and publishers billions of dollars every year. It’s not hard to see why Dev/Con Detect has been receiving a lot of attention since it got started in 2016.
Memphis has been a hotbed of musical innovation for decades, from the blues pioneers of the 1920s to the legendary Sun Records era of the ‘50s—and we can’t forget today’s thriving indie scene. Soundways offers musical innovation of another kind, developing technology that changes the way music is recorded, transmitted and heard. Since its founding in 2016, Soundways has been a company led by audio engineers whose only goal is to serve the music.
There are a lot of reasons why Memphis is an alluring destination for anyone looking to start a new business. The spirit of entrepreneurship is woven into the fabric of the city, along with a low cost of living, city initiatives that encourage small business growth and an indefinable “cool” factor that’s impossible to match. Memphis is also one of the cities with the lowest startup costs in America, according to SmartAsset. This all adds up to a city that thrives on new ideas—and we hope yours is next!
For more insights into the Memphis startup scene, check this out!