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What's new with the Memphis EPIcenter?

Members of the Memphis entrepreneurial community met together in late July 2014 to officially launch the Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter) collaborative effort and begin the process of building a united system. The EPIcenter concept was announced in March 2014 as a front door to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, where new entrepreneurs can go to be directed to the resources they need. 

The creation of the EPIcenter launched from the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle, who made it one of their “moon missions” to create 1,000 entrepreneurs in 10 years. Representatives from the Chairman’s Circle; Memphis accelerator, capital and incubator programs; women, minority and small business resources; financial institutions and City programs met together to discuss the EPIcenter’s future.

With the goal of 1,000 entrepreneurs in the next 10 years, the EPIcenter plans on bringing 4,500 jobs and $600 million of capital investment to the Memphis community. A goal like that requires the ecosystem to quickly and efficiently answer the question: How do we get these entrepreneurs from this “front door” to the resources they need?

In order to do this, the EPIcenter must be three things:

1. A Single Front Door - The center must be a single entry point not only for entrepreneurs, but the businesses in the community looking to partner and invest. 
2. Point of Coordination - All the different entities must work together, sharing information and resources freely and making sure any efforts are not duplicated. 
3. Center of Accountability - If 1,000 entrepreneurs are going to walk through the door, then accurate reporting and feedback will be required to keep track of successes and resources still needed.

When an entrepreneur knocks on the front door, the EPIcenter can do three things to meet his or her needs. One, send them to existing programming with current organizations. Two, help create new programming with current organizations. Three, create special programming through the EPIcenter or other outside organizations. Once the entrepreneur enters the ecosystem, it’s critical that their information is recorded and feedback is given to the rest of the partners so time and resources are saved, problems are troubleshooted and successes recorded. 

The EPIcenter will follow simple stage based programming:
1. Create: inspiration events, boot camps, mentor training & education programs
2. Develop: accelerators, incubation, mentoring & coaching
3. Fund: educate angels, attract investment, develop funds & mobilize grants
4. Grow: master classes, CEO roundtables & board development

Members of the ecosystem will continue to do what they do best but now have the ability to leverage the partnerships, infrastructure and programs of the EPIcenter. And by registering and improving upon previous results, they can together make Memphis a city of choice for entrepreneurs. 

Next, the EPIcenter will work on creating an ecosystem map of organizational capabilities to share with all the members and establish a system for collaboration and feedback. To see a working list of organizations involved with the EPIcenter, visit the Memphis Office of Resources & Enterprise (MORE) Resource Guide here. 
Posted: 8/20/2014 12:57:59 PM | with 0 comments
Filed under: chairman's, circle, entrepreneurship, epicenter, resources, start-up

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