New EPICenter is likely to make big economic impact

With the launch in August of the Memphis Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (The EPIcenter), the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle plans to stimulate the local economy in big way with the creation of 1,000 entrepreneurs and 500 companies over the next ten years.

"The EPIcenter will impact everyone in this region significantly because growing 500 scalable, high-growth companies in key sectors of Memphis' economy will eventually produce at least 4,500 new jobs and have an economic impact of $600 million,” said David Waddell, chair of the Chairman’s Circle entrepreneurship committee and President and CEO and chief investment officer of Waddell & Associates, Inc. "I have no doubt that a coordinated effort to nurture this high potential pool will produce our future public companies and the master entrepreneurs necessary to reinvigorate our economy and our economic confidence."

The EPIcenter will work with entrepreneurs starting new businesses through existing accelerator, capital and incubator programs like Emerge Memphis, Start Co., Memphis Bioworks Foundation, and Innova and work in conjunction with the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) and the Brookings Regional Economic Development plan.

Bioworks will lead the center.

"By having partnered with virtually every organization focused on idea development, incubation, acceleration and commercialization in the region, we have a great sense of the region’s many innovative strengths and feel confident that there is enough business and development going on in our community to keep everyone busy for many years to come," said Dr. Steven Bares, president and executive director of Memphis Bioworks.

The Chairman’s Circle, a group of more than 100 business leaders, will contribute funding to Bioworks to hire staff that will establish the EPIcenter and to initiate the region’s first logistics accelerator and set the stage for a logistics innovation cluster.

This project is one of five 'moon missions" for the Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle, with each being a strategic vision to transform Memphis.

Bares will head up the EPIcenter (photographed from left above with Chairman's Circle members David Waddell, Leigh Shockey and Richard Smith; and Greater Memphis Chamber Interim President Dexter Muller).

By Michael Waddell
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