Four start-up companies have completed the inaugural EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator, sponsored by FedEx, and the accelerator’s Demo Day was held on Thursday, November 19, at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis.
The event featured the four start-up companies pitching their logistics innovation business ideas to potential investors and business and community supporters (more than 100 attended). The keynote address was given by Russ Fleming, Vice President of Strategy, Innovation and Product Development for FedEx Services. Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, Chief Innovation Officer and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Memphis, and Leslie Lynn Smith, president of EPIcenter, also provided brief remarks, and the event was emceed by Elizabeth Lemmonds, Accelerator Director.
The 2015 participants, which represent a diverse set of logistics technology solutions, are:
- LiLoE, from Washington, D.C., is founded by a U.S. Navy veteran who has created a solution to doorstep delivery of unattended packages.
- L7, of Memphis, Tenn., is an online marketplace for consumer-to-consumer shipping options.
- One Click Ship, from San Francisco, aggregates available shipping options and costs for freight forwarders.
- Thaddeus Medical, founded by a former Mayo Clinic researcher from Rochester, Minn., offers a platform technology that regulates and tracks transport temperatures for biomedical samples, including biologics, lab samples and vaccines.
The companies received $25,000 in initial seed capital from Innova, a Memphis-based venture capital firm that has invested in more than 35 early-stage companies and co-founded the ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator with Memphis Bioworks. The accelerator is operated by EPIcenter, which is executing the Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle entrepreneurial moon mission and which serves as a central point of contact for the Memphis region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem by coordinating resources from various organizations in the community, such as accelerators, incubators, mentors, investors, networking programs, and technical assistance programs for entrepreneurs. Together with its partners, EPIcenter is pursuing a common goal of creating a robust and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Memphis and the Mid-South region.