Economic forum focuses on entrepreneurship

Although the 2013 Economic Development Forum is still several weeks away, this year’s installment features some of the most recognized names in Memphis entrepreneurship and with early registration already underway, organizers recommend ordering your tickets now.

The sixth annual event, sponsored by the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum, is slated for Aug. 27-29 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, 22 N. Main. The theme of this year’s program is “Accelerating the Continuum: Advancing the Growth of Business Ecosystems Through Partnerships and National Expansion” and will feature a variety of workshops and seminars, culminating in the CEO/Presidents Roundtable.

Keynote presenters at the main event will be AutoZone founder Joseph R. “Pitt” Hyde III; Kemmons Wilson Jr., vice president of Kemmons Wilson Companies; and Duncan Williams, president of Duncan-Williams Investment Bankers. The program will be moderated by Luke Yancy III, CEO and president of the MMBCC.

As I’ve often heard it said, entrepreneurship is in the DNA of Memphis and these three business pioneers are living proof of innovative thinking and execution. If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to launch a successful entrepreneurial venture and reach sustainability, then get your tickets now.

For details, visit or call 901-525-6512.

If you’re an enterprising entrepreneur, but could use some help with the basics of launching a startup, then be sure to take advantage of the free coaching/mentoring sessions during Office Hours sponsored by Start Co.

The program offers individual mentoring and training from seasoned business professionals and successful entrepreneurs in areas such as business development, finance, funding, management and marketing. Sessions are held from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday at the Launchpad, 66 S. Cooper, but you’ll need to contact organizers beforehand to set up an appointment. For more information, call 901-213-7795.

On Wednesday, check out the Dutch treat Tech Lunch at 11:30 a.m. at Panera, 4530 Poplar. Drop by and meet some of the area’s most tech-savvy creatives and do your part to boost the local technology community.

Creativity of the mind will on the menu Thursday when current and would-be bloggers gather for the monthly WordPress Memphis meeting, 6 p.m. at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee. There’s no charge to attend, but do the organizers a favor and let them know you want to attend so that there will be plenty of seating for everyone. Visit to save your spot.

From 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, the Memphis chapter of national design organization AIGA will host “Cocktails and Creatives” at Boscos in Midtown, 2120 Madison. Attendees will get together to network, discuss the local industry and get a jump-start on your weekend.

The only cost will be whatever you decide to eat and drink, otherwise the conversation and creative connections are free. Feel free to just drop by and stay for as long as you’re able, or to find out more and RSVP, visit

Finally, registration is underway for two upcoming Black Girls Code workshops, which are designed to promote computer science and technology education for young women. The workshops will teach girls how to design mobile apps and because these events have sold out in the past, it’s a good idea to go ahead and reserve your place now.

Cost is $35 per child for the “Summer of Code: The Remix” workshops to be held on Aug. 10 (for girls who are ages 10 to 12) and on Aug. 24 (for girls who are ages 13 to 17) at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Central.

And although the San Francisco-based organization, founded by native Memphian Kimberly Bryant, was originally launched to boost the numbers of minority women in technology-related fields, the programs have expanded and are open to all girls, without regard to race or ethnicity.

Registration for each session begins at 9 a.m., programs run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include lunch

To find out more, send an email to or call 901-484-4203.

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