University of Memphis Selected as Host Site for Department of State Startup Bootcamp

 October 16, 2019 - The University of Memphis Research Park has been selected as one of a handful of research institutions nationally to bring international companies to campus. The program, Global Innovation through Science and Technology, is a U.S. Department of State month-long proof of concept in which CEOs from each company are immersed in a startup bootcamp.

"We are incredibly honored to have been selected by the U.S. Department of State as a host site for the 2019 GIST cohort,” said Ted Townsend, chief economic development and government relations officer for the University of Memphis. “This serves as continued validation of the UMRF Research Park as a strategic, University-based, public-private hub for startup business maturation and recognizes the deep partnerships of the Memphis entrepreneurship ecosystem."

More than 20 sites applied for the program; 10 sites have been selected. The CEOs and startups that will be coming to the University of Memphis are Olzhas Satiyev, WebTotem; Teddy Pejoski, Blueprint; and Bourzhan Shalbayev, Clicklog.

WebTotem is a SaaS platform for monitoring and protecting websites, offering website owners, small businesses and agencies of all sizes security monitoring and protection needs. Blueprint shortens the timeline for building software from months to minutes by using the company’s simple metalanguage, allowing for non-technical users to create complex web applications instantly. ClickLog provides automated dimensioning and optimal plans for loading cargo onto trucks and containers.

“It is exciting to have such innovative companies coming to the University through the GIST program,” Townsend said. “We look forward to having our international friends join us at the University of Memphis Research Park.”

Since 2011, GIST has empowered young innovators through networking, skills building, mentoring and offering access to financing to develop startup solutions that address economic and development challenges. Through competitions, startup bootcamps and interactive online programs, GIST has engaged with science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs in 135 emerging economies around the globe.

VentureWell, a large network of academic institutions, organizations and individuals committed to supporting science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs, supports the GIST program.

“VentureWell is delighted to support the first ever cohort of GIST business incubation companies to the U.S.,” said Heath Naquin, senior global and government liaison officer for VentureWell. “After a rigorous vetting process of more than 600 applicants, 30 innovators were selected to participate in this program. As a part of these efforts to support not only global startups but also support the potential growth of regional ecosystems across the U.S., the GIST Business Incubation program is placing this cohort of innovators within seven carefully selected and curated host ecosystems. We are happy that Memphis was selected as one of the regions to focus these efforts and look forward to the new opportunities for startup growth and talent attraction this unique program can bring to regions across the U.S.”

The University opened the UMRF Research Park in collaboration with the Office of Economic Development and Government Affairs in January 2019 as an innovation hub to attract global talent and enhance the community the University serves.