Local center supports entrepreneurial innovators

In an article published today in The Daily Helmsman – the student newspaper at the University of Memphis – reporter Timberly Moore does a fine job of introducing the academic community to the school’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Not even a year into its existence, the CEI is making great strides in promoting entrepreneurship among college students and members of the wider community and already three companies have launched as a result of connections and classes offered at the CEI.

From Moore:

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is offering a new style of education — minus the tuition.

Located on the third floor of The FedEx Institute of Technology building, the CEI assists over one hundred businesses that were founded by current University of Memphis students and community members in their startup process.

The center, which opened in the fall, offers internship and networking opportunities, free business advice, workshops and brainstorming sessions.

The CEI’s reputation is steadily growing, its program manager Kelly Penwell told me recently when I sat in on one of the center’s midday forums on entrepreneurship. Of particular appeal are the regular white board sessions, Penwell said, where anybody with an idea can come and share and receive critical feedback from like-minded participants.

Those sessions that drew a handful of folks in the early days are now regularly attracting standing-room-only crowds. And those numbers are likely to grow as word spreads about the significant work being done by and at the CEI.

As a community resource, CEI is something everyone should be proud of and it’s an endeavor all of us should support. With plenty of free programming and resources for business-minded folks, the CEI offers valuable information and provides inspiration for new generations of entrepreneurs, too.

For an interesting look at the center, check out Moore’s article here: http://www.dailyhelmsman.com/news/um-offers-help-for-entrepreneurs-1.2843987


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