Breaking the mold

Memphis

Why are ecosystem builders important to the development of entrepreneurship in non-coastal markets — and in the Southeast, in particular?

Louisa
The big entrepreneurial ecosystems on the coasts, like New York, Boston, and Silicon Valley, are the result of decades of infrastructure building, policy making, innovation, and a myriad of other factors.

What are some hurdles you’ve seen for entrepreneurs working in your city, and how are you addressing them?

Louisa
Access to capital is one of the most talked-about challenges for entrepreneurs in my region, and in the many other cities that I visit while speaking and attending convenings of other ecosystem builders. In Memphis we are flooding our ecosystem with not only venture capital, but several different capital solutions that meet the needs of all sorts of entrepreneurs across a large spectrum.

Louisville

What have you witnessed in your market that illustrates the transformative power of entrepreneurship?

Louisa
Before moving to Memphis I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a city that I loved and still enjoy very much — but when I moved to Memphis, I was happy to discover an entrepreneurial landscape that looked much different than the one I had left.

What keeps you in — or attracted you to — your city?

Louisa
For me, Memphis is a hot-bed of opportunity. I personally find it appealing because the cost of housing is accessible — I bought my first house at 28 years old on a single, non-profit income — and because the career opportunities provide a lot of responsibility and growth.

Tampa

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