Startup of the Year Summit to be held in Memphis

Giving entrepreneurs a helping hand

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A major tech start-up convention announced they’re coming to the Bluff City this fall.

Start Co., a venture development group, is looking to find the next great entrepreneur.

Applicants have registered for a chance to win real cash and receive guidance in starting their next great tech start-up.

“It’s a ‘quit your job, come to Memphis’ kind of thing and we get applications from all over the world,” said Eric Mathew, Start Co. founder.

Four years ago, former astro-physics professor Ken Sills was just like these future entrepreneurs.

“The very first one I created in 2014, in my basement up in Toronto, Canada,” said Ken Sills, Preteckt CEO.

His company, Preteckt created a device that detects maintenance problems in diesel trucks and buses months before it happens.

His device is now installed in MATA buses across the city.

When asked why he left Canada to come to Memphis, Sills had a simple answer.

“Memphis is a logistics hub,” said Sills.

And the world is taking notice.

Memphis is attractive for logistics, medical devices and agricultural start-ups.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris is taking notice of the potential impact of tech-start-ups in the Mid-South.

“We need to acknowledge the start-ups that are based here and more likely to focus on problems that are unique to this place,” said Harris.

He pitched the creation of a nearly $1.3 million grant for start-ups during his budget presentation in April.

“And if we want to have the jobs of tomorrow here, we want to create new opportunity here. We have to have people betting on themselves here in Memphis as the place to start-up,” said Mathew.

The Start-Up of the Year Summit will be held in Memphis October 14-16.

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