By Cheryl Hayes
The Crews Center for Entrepreneurship is “the hub of entrepreneurship at the University of Memphis.” It is a great resource for faculty and students who what to develop innovative projects and idea. The Crews Center for Entrepreneurship is also a helpful resource for anyone in the Memphis community who seeks assistance with their current or future startup ideas.
I had the opportunity on November 9th to visit the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship. During my visit at the Center, I met with Mike Hoffmeyer. Mike is the director of the center and he is very knowledgeable in all things startup. I met Mike in the center’s conference room. While waiting for Mike to enter, I noticed a chart was posted on an easel in the far right corner of the room. On the chart was the business model for a startup company. I examined the chart to learn that it was the very same model Dr. Brown presented in JOUR 7100 class.
After about five minutes, Mike entered the conference room to meet with me about a startup idea. I explained to Mike some of the details of my team’s startup idea; for example, I informed Mike of my team’s problem and solution behind our startup idea. Next, we discussed the audience for the startup idea. I noticed that Mike was asking me questions based on the structure of the business model chart. He was quick to provide feedback regarding our customers and offered ideas we should consider for our startup project.
After my meeting with Mike and just before leaving the center, I was given a tour of the facility and man I must say the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship is an attractive space. It has a modern-day tech look. On the main floor was the entrance area, which leads into an atrium area that has information posted for visitors to peruse. Then there is Mike’s office and to the left of Mike’s office is a larger space in the corner where several people were gathered.
To the far east end of the atrium was the conference room to the right and one or two other rooms or offices to the left. At the entrance is a staircase that leads up to the collaboration area. This space is designed for individuals and groups to use to brainstorm. It has several tables, computers, printers, whiteboards for brainstorming and other equipment and supplies needed for group collaborations. Faculty and students can reserve the space at any time to work on their ideas or startups.
I learned a lot during my visit to the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship. It is a great networking resource for myself as well as others who seek input, advice, or entrepreneurial training. Mike is a great listener and can offer great ideas. I encourage anyone interested in starting a business to visit this center.