Welcome to Trep Talk! Trep Talk features some of our city’s compelling entrepreneurs who are boldly building what is uniquely Memphis. The spotlight series is curated by Elizabeth Lemmonds, Director of Talent Programs for the EPIcenter.
Welcome back! We take a bit of a detour from our usual Q&A with local entrepreneurs – worry not, we’ll get back to those soon – in order to talk about some important happenings in the community for those ready to launch their bold ideas.
For those teams in Memphis for the collaborative Summer of Acceleration among EPIcenter, Start Co. and ZeroTo510, Demo Day fast approaches this Thursday! After fifteen weeks of rigorous business building curriculum, mentors and seed investment, teams in a remarkable six programs – B2B tech, women-led tech, logistics, medical device, music innovation and social innovation – will present their business models in rapid-fire pitches at the Halloran Centre.
We covered the Summer of Acceleration on Make Memphis! here, and featured cohort members Soundways and ZoomThru. There is also Homey, a team from Slovenia that gamifies household chores and rewards through their free app. And EPK Page where you can quickly and painlessly create an electronic press kit. And SOMAVAC with their brilliant alternative to post-op drainage tubes. Cast21 with their replacement to traditional plaster casts. One Step Initiative, bringing global education opportunities to underserved students.
And that isn’t even half of the ambitious (one might say game-changing) concepts launching here in Memphis! We will cover more of them in the coming weeks, and I know you’ll be as invigorated as I am to learn about their products and services. And passion.
But as the accelerators gear up to the major milestone of Demo Day, I am going to rewind for a moment… to those of you who are just now contemplating the move forward with your big idea. Because EPIcenter is here to help! We have just piloted a free 90 minute intro workshop called “So You Think You Wanna…” that we’ll be hosting throughout the city.
A key first step for any potential entrepreneur, we cover issues integral to the decision to take that plunge. The workshop covers three core areas: entrepreneurial readiness, business concept strength, and business formation fundamentals.
- How comfortable are you with risk and uncertainty? For how long can your household bills be paid when you go all-in with your business?
- How are you better/cheaper/faster/etc. than existing options? How many potential customers have you spoken with about your concept? What is their feedback? [psst… Speaking to actual customers can be painful, but it’s extremely important! It’s much better to get their feedback when you can incorporate it into a stronger business model prior to launching!]
- Have you looked into federal, state and local legal filings? Are you incorporating costs like internet service, waste management and utilities into your financial models?
Be sure to check the EPIcenter website for more information on these upcoming sessions, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! And if you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
My recurring mantra is that it takes a village to launch a successful and sustainable business. We’re here to be a part of yours!