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February 01, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Silicon Valley accelerator program coming to Memphis

Alchemist Accelerator operates a six-month, equity-based, enterprise venture-focused acceleration program for start-ups, with three cohorts of 20-30 start-ups per class each calendar year. Memphis will host its first non-Silicon Valley hub in the U.S.

Alchemist Accelerator and Epicenter, the Memphis-based entrepreneur center, have announced the launch of the “Memphis Hub Accelerator Program.”

For the San Francisco-based venture-backed initiative focused on accelerating the development of early-stage ventures that create tech-based solutions for other businesses, it is the organization’s first U.S. location outside of Silicon Valley.

“Opening a hub in Memphis demonstrates Alchemist’s intent to democratize access to the concentration of world-class mentors and investors in Silicon Valley for the Memphis region’s promising startups,” said Rachel Chalmers, President of the Alchemist Accelerator. “Together with Epicenter, Alchemist is committed to recruiting and supporting underrepresented founders, including founders of color and women, and bringing our expansive network to Memphis.”

Alchemist operates a six-month, equity-based, enterprise venture-focused acceleration program for start-ups, with three cohorts of 20-30 start-ups per class each calendar year. Ido Sarig, an experienced early-stage startup mentor and coach with global supply chain and connected mobility expertise, will lead the Memphis hub as its Managing Director.

The “Memphis Hub Accelerator Program” will streamline access to Alchemist’s accelerator for firms that are either located in Memphis or that are interested in relocating and/or opening a new office in the region because of potential customers or industries located there. The Memphis Hub will reserve space for and recruit nine start-ups per year (three per class) into Alchemist Accelerator’s global program, and the next two cohorts will start in April and August 2023. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Epicenter will assist Alchemist in recruiting companies for the Memphis Hub, hosting the participants at its downtown incubation space, and providing access to the Memphis community for local resources, potential customers, and networking.

“This program connects Memphis-based founders directly to high-value, Silicon Valley-based resources, like expertise and potential investment capital, that may have previously been inaccessible to founders in our region,” said Jessica Taveau, Epicenter’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our partnership with Alchemist adds capacity in our ecosystem to grow high-tech, high-growth-potential startups, which can have an exponentially positive impact on our regional economy.”

The program is delivered using a hybrid approach, combining access to a global virtual program and in-person cohort-based experience. While the Alchemist Accelerator is virtual, the Memphis Hub start-ups will also regularly convene locally and have the opportunity to work at Epicenter’s downtown office. Memphis Hub participants will also receive specialized programming focused on industry verticals that are of particular relevance to the Memphis region. This in-person programming will allow the Memphis cohort to engage with the local ecosystem, including Memphis-based investors like Ridgeline.

Financial backers of Alchemist include Khosla Ventures, DFJ, Cisco, GE, Next47 (Siemens), and Salesforce.

Companies interested in applying to the “Memphis Hub Accelerator Program” can click here.

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