Supply Chain and Logistics Accelerator

Bring your logistics innovation to life
in America’s distribution hub

Applications are now open for the 2018 Epicenter Logistics Accelerator.  The logistics accelerator program, strategically located in Memphis, Tenn., sponsored by FedEx, and now recruiting its fourth cohort since 2015, provides funding, programming, and investor and customer networking opportunities to select startups that are commercializing technologies in supply chain and logistics.

Why Memphis?  

Memphis is uniquely positioned as North America’s Distribution Center.  A few examples of the assets and infrastructure that differentiate Memphis as a market and operating base include the following related to ‘rail, river, runway, and road’:

Memphis is one of three U.S. cities served by five of the seven Class 1 railroads in the U.S.

It is also the largest cargo airport in the United States; second largest in the world.

Memphis is home of the FedEx world headquarters.

Memphis is home to 400 trucking companies and the third busiest business trucking corridor.

Which means that we have overnight truck service to more metropolitan markets, and top 100 metropolitan markets, than any other city in the U.S.

Williams Sonoma’s largest distribution center footprint is in Memphis, with three facilities.

Nike has three distribution centers in Memphis and one of them is Nike’s largest (2.8 million sq. ft.).


The Details

Companies with teams of two or more members are invited to apply for the program. We’re looking for companies investigating supply chain- or logistics-oriented software and hardware solutions.  

Exemplary areas of interest include:

First-Mile/Last-Mile Delivery (e.g. ‘crossing the threshold’)

Reducing fuel and labor costs in trucking (trucking accounts for movement of 70% of freight; closer to 90% in the Mid South)

Labor management

Driver recruitment

Autonomous vehicles


Electric trucks

Smart Packaging


Sensor-based logistics

Material handling/automation

Human augmentation

Security (e.g. addressing theft/fraud) and safety

Electronic logging

Truck parking

Data-Driven Supply Chain Management and Predictive Analytics

Internet of Things (IoT)


Location- and contextual-based services

Short-term storage solutions

Improving and optimizing public transportation for employees and employers, such as workers at distribution centers that do not otherwise have transportation

Supply chain solutions for a local/regional network of small businesses, such as artisans and food producers

Through a competitive application process, we are seeking four companies for the Summer of Acceleration 2018 cohort.

During the 100-day accelerator, companies go through an intensive, hands-on program that includes classroom activity, exercises, coaching, networking, and rigorous business model-building based on concepts such as the Business Model Canvas and Lean.

The accelerator is operated by Epicenter in close partnership with Start Co. and Memphis Bioworks. The Summer of Acceleration is an immersive, collaborative experience where these three organizations collectively operate multiple accelerators in one location.

Pre-revenue companies emphasize customer and market validation, refining business models, and seeking proof-of-concept projects. Supply Chain / Logistics specific content is provided Wednesdays and otherwise for particular events as scheduled.

The accelerator includes industry networking events and pitch opportunities, site visits, education regarding the industry and Memphis market, regular CEO roundtables, and case study presentations.

Post-acceleration programming will be available to help companies continue to develop and grow.  Companies entering the program are advised to budget as if they will be in the program full-time through at least November 2018.

Logistics accelerator companies receive the benefit of interdisciplinary creative collisions with new technology companies in other industries, such as medical device and agriculture. Start Co., a member of the Global Accelerator Network that has led accelerator programs for more than 100 startup companies, provides core accelerator programming, while Epicenter leads activities specific to supply chain and logistics.

We believe the two greatest values offered by our accelerator program are the diverse and deep offerings of the Memphis supply chain and logistics industry, and the close, interdisciplinary collaboration within our accelerator ecosystem and community.

The accelerator begins on May 7 in Memphis, and at least one founder will be required to be on site for the duration of the program.

At the end of the program, each team will present its business to investors, business leaders, and community supporters at Memphis Demo Day on August 16, 2018. The 2018 application deadline is April 6.  The weeks leading up to May 7 will go quickly, so be prepared.

Learn More

Start Co:

See the Start Co. Founders’ Tool Kit:

Start Co. Services and Resources:

Memphis Bioworks Foundation:

Other Resources

Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce:


Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Mid-South Chapter:

Memphis World Trade Club:

Mid-South Cargo Security Council:

Transportation Club of Memphis: