Buzz for Memphis' Entrepreneurial Community Hits the WSJ


A defining characteristic of modern Memphis is a sense of hustle, or as our local NBA team, the Memphis Grizzlies have described it, “Grit and Grind.” This ethos, while difficult to nail down, captures the no-nonsense attitude folks in Memphis have toward creating great things. — Patrick Woods

The Wall Street Journal publishes a blog called The Accelerators where national level mentors – like Steve Blank and Brad Feld – provide strategies and insights around entrepreneurship. This week they focused on the question: Can startups be successful anywhere in the U.S.? Then they invited five – “lesser known entrepreneurial hubs” – to respond. Memphis was selected, as was Omaha, Boulder, Portland and Washington, DC.

This is a tremendous testament to Memphis’ growing ecosystem of support for early stage, high growth potential entrepreneurs. Indeed, we’re proud that today’s Accelerators includes posts from our founding CEO Eric Mathews, as well as some of our strongest partners and champions, Meg Crosby, Jan Bouten, Emily Brackstone and Patrick Woods.

To me though, there is something more important we have learned as a country in the past five years: Not only can startups succeed anywhere, but cities can also be deliberate about creating the fertile ground for high growth potential entrepreneurship. The key is entrepreneurial leaders in these communities stepping up to build the infrastructure for their fellow entrepreneurs. — Eric Mathews

We opened our doors in 2008 as a community project where entrepreneurs with bold ideas could take the real steps of starting up; this week we announced our remarkable third Seed Hatchery cohort. And in the past twelve months we have launched platforms that provide mentorship and capital – generating returns on both involvement and investment – to early stage entrepreneurs, and that fuel women’s innovation. Even more lies ahead in 2013.

Memphis has a proud entrepreneurial heritage. Companies like AutoZone, FedEx and Holiday Inn became global icons because they fundamentally changed the way we live. But our team has held strong that another golden age of entrepreneurship will shape our city’s future, driven by creative talent and bringing with it economic growth, job creation, and community transformation.

Today our resolve is strengthened. We invite you to check out the articles linked above and post comments, and help us spread the word. Most importantly we hope you’ll help us continue to grow the village that supports those entrepreneurs willing to bet on their ideas, bet on themselves and bet on Memphis.