High Ground News and the EPIcenter
present Tech in the City
, a conversation on tech entrepreneurship in Memphis. Join us on Tuesday, Oct. 6 for a reception at 5:30pm followed by a panel discussion at 6:00pm. Held at the Lester Community Center, the discussion will be monitored by Leslie Smith, President of the EPIcenter. A forward looking conversation, the Tech in the City panel will focus on where Memphis is headed in regards to tech entrepreneurship. Who or what is laying the groundwork for the next wave of innovation? What opportunities and resources are available for tech startups in Memphis, and how do we create new pathways to spur entrepreneurship in the future?
The event is free and open to the public, but please register here
. Space is limited.
Please park in lot Southeast of Lester Community Center, or on Tillman. For more information, please email Amy Hoyt
, Community Engagement for High Ground.
This event is the first in a series of talks to highlight entrepreneurial opportunities in the city.
Mike Blumenthal, Founder of Technology Happens & Member Vantage Point
A third generation Memphian, Mike Blumenthal saw a disconnect between credit unions and their members and founded Technology Happens in May of 2011 to simplify and streamline the internal processes of credit unions. In 2014, Technology Happens earned their first million in revenue and today they employ a staff of 7 and are launching an offshoot company called Member Vantage Point.
Blumenthal is committed to keeping his successful technology business in Memphis and to bring opportunities and job creation to the area. “My roots are deeply dedicated to growing a successful Memphis by bringing back jobs and talent.”
Larry Foster, President and CEO S2 Interactive
S2 Interactive’s passion for making a difference in the fields of training and surgery efficiency stems from its founder – Larry Foster, R.N.. As President and CEO, Larry not only gave birth to the software solutions; he leverages his 27 years of experience as an orthopedic surgical nurse (RN), orthopedic sales rep and manager, and leader in professional education for spine and orthopedic manufacturers to educate our clients on how our solutions can help them overcome the inefficiencies that exist in these areas.
Audrey Jones, Co-Founder of Code Crew
Audrey P. Jones, a Memphis native, is a social entrepreneur with a passion for breathing life into big ideas. For the past 15 years Audrey has built a name for herself in technology with a wide variety of industries and has become known for her keen ability to forge ideas and lead ventures that succeed and better the lives of those they serve. She currently serves as the President and CEO of Business Intelligently, Inc., Academic Instructor and Co-Founder of Code Crew, the Youth Mentoring and Development Chairwoman for the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals and works as a Business Intelligence Project Manager for AutoZone. Previously, Audrey has worked for major corporations such as Fannie Mae, The Family Dollar Stores Inc., Target, CSC and TekSystems.
No matter the firm, project or objective, Audrey’s reputation for providing peerless insight, her expertise in securing seed funding, and her drive to succeed have all played crucial roles in the companies she has started or been a part of.
Kayla Rodriguez, Co-Founder of Sweet Bio
Kayla Rodriguez, MBA is an entrepreneur with a career spanning the retail, tech, and biotech industries. After spending six years at Target Corporation in Minnesota and then earning her MBA at Hult International Business School and completing a certification as a front end web developer in San Francisco, Kayla was chomping at the bit to leverage her diverse experience in the startup world. While in the valley, Kayla launched Kikfli - a video competition app where anyone, anywhere can compete, and SweetBio - the Memphis-based, Zeroto510 alum biotech startup revolutionizing the dental industry.
Since moving full time to SweetBio, Kayla is thrilled to have relocated to Memphis and excited for the future. MBA by design, web developer by heart, entrepreneur by spirit, Kayla lives by her mission to "challenge the norm by aspiring to inspire others."
Leslie Smith, EPIcenter President
Nationally recognized entrepreneurial and business development leader Leslie Smith is president of Memphis' Entrepreneurship-Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter), a collaborative and community-wide strategic initiative led by Memphis Bioworks that is helping entrepreneurs conceive, launch and scale businesses in the Memphis region. In addition to her leadership at EPIcenter, Smith serves as a vice president on the Memphis Bioworks executive team.Smith came to EPIcenter following five years of successful entrepreneurial leadership as President and CEO of TechTown Detroit. As the city’s most established business accelerator and incubator, TechTown provides a powerful connection to a broad network of resources, catalyzing entire communities of entrepreneurs best poised to energize the local economy. At TechTown, Smith led the transformation of Detroit’s economy with innovative business modeling and cutting-edge economic development programs. In her role as president and CEO, she stabilized and scaled enterprise activities with new program design, provocative partnership models and a hub-and-spoke catalyst framework, at the center of which sits TechTown. Previously, she was director of business acceleration for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., overseeing the state’s $300 million investment portfolio.