Second year of program leverages regional strength in logistics technology
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (February 15, 2016) – Applications are now open for the 2016 EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator. The entrepreneurship accelerator program was created to help startups bring innovative logistics products and technologies to market and is sponsored by FedEx.
The accelerator is a 15-week intensive program for innovative startups investigating transportation- or logistics-oriented solutions within areas including:
- Cross-border E-Commerce solutions
- First- and last-mile delivery solutions
- Fleet efficiency
- Data-driven supply chain management, including predictive analytics
- Payment systems
- Location and contextual-based services
- Internet of Things
- Autonomous vehicles
- Smart packaging
The EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator is strategically located in Memphis, Tenn. – America’s distribution hub – home to the world’s second-busiest cargo airport and in close proximity to five Class 1 railroads, the mighty Mississippi River, FedEx World Headquarters, and the I-40/I-55 corridors – making it the ideal place to launch new logistics innovations.
“Coming to Memphis from San Francisco for the EPIcenter accelerator was a no-brainer. It’s one of the best things we’ve done to move our business forward,” said Vijay Harrell, CEO of OneClickShip Logistics and a graduate of the accelerator’s 2015 cohort. “The connection to logistics expertise, potential customers, and mentors were all benefits we couldn’t have found anywhere else.”
Through a competitive application process, up to six companies will be selected for the 2016 cohort and will receive $50,000 in initial seed capital, including $25,000 from Innova, a Memphis-based venture capital firm that has invested in more than 60 early-stage companies and co-founded the ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator with Memphis Bioworks, and a $25,000 match from EPIcenter.
Selected teams will also be immersed in a rigorous business-building curriculum, and will be matched with highly experienced mentors. The accelerator concludes with a public Demo Day. Post-acceleration programs will be available thereafter to help the startups to continue to develop and grow their business. The deadline for submitting applications is March 18, with a targeted cohort start date of May 2.
The accelerator is operated by EPIcenter, a collaborative and community-wide strategic initiative that connects the Memphis region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and coordinates resources from various organizations in the community, such as accelerators, incubators, mentors, investors, networking programs, and technical assistance programs for entrepreneurs. Beyond the accelerator, participants will also have access to expertise and support from the business and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.
“Not only is Memphis a prime location for a logistics accelerator, but also our community’s collaborative approach to entrepreneurship provides an unparalleled development experience for our cohort companies,” said Leslie Lynn Smith, president of EPIcenter.
“FedEx is a proud supporter of the EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator,” said Russ Fleming, vice president, strategy, innovation and product development, FedEx Services. “We are a company committed to innovation, and look forward to helping connect these start-ups with the regional expertise and resources they need to grow.”
More information on applying to the EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator program is available at http://www.epimemphis.com/logistics-accelerator/.
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EPIcenter serves as a central point of contact for the Memphis region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and coordinates resources from various organizations in the community such as accelerators, incubators, mentors, investors, networking programs, and technical assistance programs for entrepreneurs. Together with the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle, Memphis Bioworks, Emerge Memphis, Start Co., and other partners, EPIcenter is pursuing a common goal of creating a robust and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Memphis to service the Mid-South region. For more information, visit epimemphis.com.