Venture Nashville Connections
By Milt Capps Updated 30 Sept. 2021
Published July 7, 2021
THREE NEW MEMPHIS entrepreneurship initiatives are seeking traction, close-on-the-heels of pioneer Memphis Bioworks Foundation closing its doors.
Memphis Bioworks formally ceased its nonprofit operations in June, after a long drawdown period.
The foundation launched in 2001 with the backing of J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III, who is the entrepreneurial founder and former chairman, CEO and director of AutoZone(NYSE:AZP), as well as a major philanthropist, Grizzlies owner and Memphis advocate.
The foundation's former President and CFO, Brandon Wellford, this week told VNC, "Memphis Bioworks liquidated its real estate holdings and has transferred some of its programs to Epicenter Memphis and made other entities and programs independent from Bioworks. We did not make a formal announcement [of closure] since many of the Bioworks initiatives are continuing to exist" in various forms.
NATURALLY, the batons of Memphis entrepreneurship are being carried forward by others -- many of them allies of long standing.
For example, three Memphis groups now await word regarding whether or not their respective grant applications will earn federal funding via the 2021 Build To Scaleprogram of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (USDOC).