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10 To Watch: BioNanovations [INFOGRAPHIC]

Each of this year’s 10 companies to watch has an inspirational story to tell. Among them, there’s something for everyone: a classic comeback; an impossible dream made into a reality; sweet success born of perseverance and hard work; trial and error that finally ends in triumph; even a testament to the power of faith.

And although their individual stories are quite different, these 10 Memphis businesses all have at least two things in common. For one, their accomplishments in 2013 were inspirational enough to put them on our annual list. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, all of the following business leaders see their success as an indicator that Memphis continues to grow as a promising place to work and live — a place where great ideas are born.


For President and CEO Charleson Bell of BioNanovations, his vision for a medical device that could diagnose a staph infection in 30 minutes or less started with a leap of faith, supported by his family, friends and faith in God, he said. Following that leap, Memphis played a huge role in the rest of his journey. “When you’re starting a company literally from nothing, it’s important to have a support system of likeminded entrepreneurs. Memphis has that.” Specifically, Bell points to Memphis’ ZeroTo510 accelerator program as one of his biggest influencers. “It unleashed the entrepreneur that was trapped inside me.” He also won the NewME Accelerator PopUp event at the FedEx Institute of Technology in July, allowing him to participate in the 12-week NewME program in Silicon Valley later that fall. This year, Bell plans to keep building his company and awareness of his device. His advice to fellow entrepreneurs: “Talk to people. Share ideas. Ask questions. The feedback will fuel you.”

-- Erinn Figg

Memphis Crossroads Magazine is a quarterly periodical published by the Greater Memphis Chamber. The full-color print publication is distributed four times annually, mailed to over 6,000 member subscribers, and available online for free. Read the latest edition of Memphis Crossroads Magazine anytime online with the digital edition.

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The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 ( or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (