(Memphis) A group of business leaders announced Wednesday they plan to bring $650 million and 500 new companies to Memphis over the next ten years by helping entrepreneurs succeed.
The Chamber's Chairman Circle launched a center to help people with big ideas make them happen.
These business leaders believe entrepreneurs are the key to our economic success in Memphis, so they launched a center where they can get all the resources entrepreneurs need to get going.
“The ultimate dream is to really change the world,” said Vidhan Agrawal, co-founder of Urova Medical, Inc.
Agrawall isn’t just a dreamer, he’s a doer.
At just 24 years old, Agrawal invented a medical device that could one day help women suffering from bladder problems lead better lives, but it's going to take millions of dollars to make it happen.
“What were your struggles as an entrepreneur getting it started?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall.
“Really, funding,” said Agrawal.
Wednesday, local business leaders known as the Chamber's Chairman Circle launched a program to make entrepreneurs, like Agrawal, find the resources they need.
“I think it is really necessary to have one face to look at and one person to talk to,” said Agrawal.
“It’s very difficult to do that. You can knock on 104 doors or you can come to the Epicenter and we will expose you to a 104 companies,” said David Waddell, who's with the Chamber’s Chairman Circle.
It's called the Entrepreneur Powered Innovation Center or Epicenter and will link up those with ideas to people with money, like Venture Capitalist Jan Bouten who invested $400,000 in Agrawal’s start-up.
“It was a very unique solution to an existing problem,” Bouten said.
The Chamber's Chairman Circle expects this new center to create 1,000 new entrepreneurs in Memphis over the next ten years as well as 500 companies and at least 4,500 jobs.
It’s what they call a recipe for success for entrepreneurs and our city.
“The most powerful economic engine on the planet is an entrepreneur,” said Waddell. “What we need to ensure our economic future is more of that.”
If you want to learn about the Epicenter, you can go to www.epi-memphis.co.
You can also contact the Memphis Bioworks Foundation at 20 Dudley Street or call (901) 866-1400