Organizers have picked 10 finalists to pitch at this week’s Will This Float? competition. The finalists will compete before a panel of three judges and audience members, who will cast votes to determine the winners in three categories: Best Overall, Best Music/Entertainment Idea and Best General Business Idea. Audience members will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite ideas at the end of the event, with their collective feedback weighing in at 25 percent of the final decision.
Memphis Business Journal
A South Carolina-based full-service laboratory testing company is coming to Memphis and could double its footprint in the next 18 months. ARCpoint Labs is opening its first Memphis location in January at 7865 Trinity Road. Maria Stevenson, who will own and run the franchise, says the company is already looking at a second location, possibly in Downtown Memphis. Telehealth has been a growing segment for the company, which can cover an entire family of four for $18 per month. ARCpoint has 100 locations across the U.S. and is expected to reach 275 by 2020.
The Knoxville Mercury
For the folks at DigiTrax Entertainment in South Knoxville, karaoke isn’t just a passion, it’s an obsession. That’s what it takes to bootstrap and build to the country’s largest online karaoke service, according to founder and CEO Joe Vangieri. “It really was true grit and determination,” Vangieri recalls. “We started out of a house, and just this past April we were about to move in here (a storefront in South Knoxville off Chapman Highway). We built this place out ourselves.”
It’s been more than three years since we met student entrepreneur Jake Rheude, and it is clear that the soon-to-graduate MBA student at the University of Tennessee is as focused as ever on the start-up environment. Today, he and two classmates – Dustin Giltnane and John Born – are about a year into a company named Guru Skins. The new venture placed third in an entrepreneurial pitch competition that was part of the 2015 “SEC Symposium.” For Rheude, Guru Skins represents the continuation of a lifetime passion.
High Ground News
The Memphis EPIcenter Logistics Innovations Accelerator, based at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, held its inaugural Demo Day on Nov. 19. “EPIcenter aims to convene and catalyze the entrepreneurial resources provided by our partners around our community. Together with these partners, EPIcenter is pursuing a common goal of creating a robust and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Memphis and the Mid-South region,” explained Leslie Lynn Smith, President of EPIcenter. “The goal of the logistics accelerator is to help entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into high-growth businesses.”
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