- $29 million in funding to pre-seed stage companies
- 1000s of hours of human capital to more than 400 companies
- 3,000 new jobs
In 2010 JumpStart received funding from outside sources to take the lessons learned in Ohio to other parts of the country. Since then they have partnered with 15 other regions to grow local startup ecosystems and create jobs. JumpStart’s approach involves working with local leaders to identify a region’s strengths and build from there.
They have a presence in regions like upstate New York, Baton Rouge, Detroit, and central Georgia.
And, now they’re coming to Memphis.
“After two years of discussions, we’re excited to kick off this collaboration with JumpStart,” co-president of Start Co Andre Fowlkes said in a press release. “Working with JumpStart further supports our mission of relentlessly building companies and founders for the advancement of Memphis’ entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
We write a lot about Memphis here at Nibletz. Part of that is because we’re based here, but it’s also because we believe in the possibilities in this city. Currently the city has a 9.5% unemployment rate, the highest of all metro areas of more than 1 million people. That number is pretty bleak, but entrepreneurs like ones that Start Co helps launch are a bright spot in the city.
Memphis also has a history of racial tension, which probably comes as no surprise. Yet the Fowlkes and co-president Eric Mathews know that to really pull Memphis employment up, everyone needs to engage. With their history in Cleveland, the folks at JumpStart have experience in reaching out to diverse groups of people and encouraging entrepreneurialism.
“2/3 to 3/4 of our talent isn’t even in the game,” said Mike Mozenter, President of JumpStart’s regional consulting arm, at a press luncheon yesterday. “How can that be good for any of us?”
So, how do JumpStart and Start Co plan to grow jobs in Memphis?
Like any good startup, they are still in the customer discovery phase of the project. Over the next few months, they will be talking to local leaders, universities, and entrepreneurs to begin to figure out what Memphis needs. At the end of the discovery phase, they hope to have a 5-year plan that will accelerate Memphis’ growth as a leading startup ecosystem.
The Accelerate Memphis Project hopes to secure at least $50 million in investment capital and another $15 million for technical assistance, support, and pre-seed investment money in the next 5 years.
Memphis and JumpStart are a natural partnership, and both expect great things for Memphis in the coming years.
Mozenter said in a statement: “We chose to work with Start Co because of their track record in supporting high growth technology startups in the Memphis market. Our organizations have complementary missions, and I have been impressed with the resources and support that Start Co offers startups.”