MBJ: Memphians start crowdfunding site for African-Americans

MBJ: Memphians start crowdfunding site for African-Americans Almost three years ago, two Memphians founded a crowd-funding platform geared towards African-Americans and the underserved in urban communities. Since then, Urban Fundr has raised about $34,000 for indie films, softball equipment and middle school trips to Washington, D.C., according to its founders. Todd Harris and John Hamilton initially met in 1998 when they were both students at the University of Memphis. Harris, who graduated with a degree in economics, works in the banking industry. Hamilton graduated with a degree in graphic design and went on to get his MBA from Strayer University. … Continue reading MBJ: Memphians start crowdfunding site for African-Americans

MDN: Start Co. Teams Hit Key Business Milestones

MDN: Start Co. Teams Hit Key Business Milestones Six of Start Co.’s alumni teams have hit major business milestones recently. The teams participated in the summer accelerator programs in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as well as participating in post-acceleration activities to continue to build their businesses. • Graph Story, which provides graph databases, applications and solutions as a service, has raised more than $1 million to date and reached break-even. It’s currently working toward its next major round of investment capital. • Cabsolutely, which connects taxi fleets with passengers via a mobile app and digital dispatching, has raised $600,000 to … Continue reading MDN: Start Co. Teams Hit Key Business Milestones

MBJ($): Memphis medical device company gets $725K in seed funding

MBJ($): Memphis medical device company gets $725K in seed funding The device will be available in 2018, pending FDA approval. …. MBJ($): Memphis medical device company gets $725K in seed funding Continue reading MBJ($): Memphis medical device company gets $725K in seed funding

Memphis Magazine: Full Benefizz

Memphis Magazine: Full Benefizz In 2016, customers walking into Otherlands Coffee Bar might have spied a cooler of snazzy-looking carbonated beverages across from the checkout counter. Last year, the drink known as Memfizz was a plucky startup trying to carve out its niche in the Memphis market. Now, with a rebranding under its belt and city-wide availability, the product is looking to expand beyond the borders of the 901. Last night, Benefizz hosted a launch party with its three signature flavors available as mixers at the bar. Each serving of ginger, lemon, and cranberry Benefizz is bottled individually, but its demand … Continue reading Memphis Magazine: Full Benefizz

ICYMI: Next City: Memphis Looks to Medical Manufacturing to Cut Poverty

Next City: Memphis Looks to Medical Manufacturing to Cut Poverty Poverty rates have dropped in Memphis, Tennessee, since the start of the decade, but it’s still one of the poorest large urban areas in the U.S. With 18.4 percent of its 1.3 million residents taking home annual incomes below the federal poverty threshold, it’s second only to Tucson, Arizona, when it comes to lacking opportunity for a living wage. One local industry could help: medical device manufacturing. And the city was just awarded nearly $6 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to help fortify the system of community colleges, … Continue reading ICYMI: Next City: Memphis Looks to Medical Manufacturing to Cut Poverty

MBJ: New Delta fund offers $50,000 to would-be entrepreneurs

MBJ: New Delta fund offers $50,000 to would-be entrepreneurs A new fund aims to provide local entrepreneurs with the same sort of resources they would have in hot spots such as Boston, New York or San Francisco. The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and Winrock International have joined forces to launch a multimillion-dollar investment fund targeting early stage entrepreneurs in eight states. The goal of the Delta I-Fund is to provide entrepreneurs in the Mississippi Delta region the same sort of access to capital, resources, mentors, investors and technical assistance that they would receive in larger markets. “This is about creating … Continue reading MBJ: New Delta fund offers $50,000 to would-be entrepreneurs

LaunchTN: University Venture Challenge Bridging the Gap

LaunchTN: University Venture Challenge Bridging the Gap Tennessee is well stocked with colleges and universities from one end of the state to the other, and all of them are hotbeds of innovation and ideas. However, too often those ideas don’t get the exposure they deserve, because students are busy with the demands of their academic programs to consider bringing their work to the commercial market. To help bridge that gap, many Tennessee schools have created programs to help connect on-campus innovators with mentors and financial backers from the state’s business community. Even so, many of those programs hit roadblocks around … Continue reading LaunchTN: University Venture Challenge Bridging the Gap

MBJ: Chamber export effort’s secondary goal: recruiting manufacturers

MBJ: Chamber export effort’s secondary goal: recruiting manufacturers The Greater Memphis Chamber’s new effort to increase local exports is also expected to create manufacturing interest here at home. The Metro Memphis Export Alliance (MMEA) received federal support Wednesday, Dec. 6, when the Delta Regional Authority announced a $155,000 grant to the group. The funding is part of the Industrial Manufacturing Community Partnership, a nationwide initiative focused on accelerating a manufacturing resurgence and creating new jobs. … Headed by John “Jack” Shelton, the MMEA plans to recruit 200 companies to its training platform. It has a goal of increasing local exports … Continue reading MBJ: Chamber export effort’s secondary goal: recruiting manufacturers

UTHSC: UTHSC Awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Fund Innovative Proof-of-Concept Center, Stimulate Movement of Ideas to Market

UTHSC: UTHSC Awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Fund Innovative Proof-of-Concept Center, Stimulate Movement of Ideas to Market The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has received a nearly $500,000 i6 Challenge Award from the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) to establish a Proof-of-Concept Center at UTHSC in partnership with Memphis Bioworks Foundation. The award was announced recently by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker as part of the EDA’s 2016 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program, which aims to expand commercialization programs across the country. The UTHSC Proof-of-Concept Center will be located in Memphis, a … Continue reading UTHSC: UTHSC Awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Fund Innovative Proof-of-Concept Center, Stimulate Movement of Ideas to Market

HGN: Community centers in South Memphis, New Chicago garner $60,000 in grants

HGN: Community centers in South Memphis, New Chicago garner $60,000 in grants Three local businesses received a combined $60,000 boost to support building improvements and expansions. The finance committee of the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Growth Engine approved the forgivable loans as part of its Inner City Economic Development Loan Program. … Knowledge Quest, a nonprofit that provides resources to families in South Memphis, received a $20,000 ICED loan to fund façade improvements, roof replacement and renovations to the interior and campus walkways. The total project cost is near $30,400. The organization is best known for its extended learning academies and … Continue reading HGN: Community centers in South Memphis, New Chicago garner $60,000 in grants