Crews Center for Entrepreneurship's Seed Fund Invests in Innovative Thinking

August 19, 2015 - The University of Memphis' Crews Center for Entrepreneurship has launched the Crews Center Catalyst (C3) Seed Fund. The fund will incentivize individual student and faculty entrepreneurs to form startup teams for the commercialization of ideas, devices, processes or other intellectual activities.

"The UofM is committed to encouraging innovative and creative thinking," said Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, the UofM's chief innovation officer. "And the Crews Center is the University's hub for turning ideas into the foundation for successful startup companies."

John Bobango (JD '83), chair of the Crews Center advisory council, added, "Establishing the C3 Seed Fund was the natural next step for the Crews Center. We have an outstanding facility that is the nerve center for entrepreneurship on campus. This fund will take entrepreneurship activity at the UofM to another level."

In addition to receiving funding, entrepreneurs will be assigned a mentor and have access to the staff and resources of the Crews Center. Mike Hoffmeyer, director of the Crews Center, said, "The goals for the C3 seed fund are to increase engagement of students and faculty in entrepreneurial activities, and to increase the number of UofM startups teams that are pursuing commercialization projects. We are committed to providing the support the entrepreneurs need to keep their ventures on track."

Plans will be accepted and reviewed by the selection committee on a rolling basis. Awards of up to $3,000 or more will be made to individuals or teams that include at least one current UofM student or faculty member. The size of the awards will vary based on whether the proposed project is an idea that needs further research or a developed business model that has already been vetted.

The Crews Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 2011 through an initial investment by Harriett and Hilliard Crews. The Center encourages and supports a culture of entrepreneurship at the UofM, helping faculty and student entrepreneurs as they focus their passion and commercialize their ideas, research and inventions into the foundations of successful companies.

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey