Given that this week is the Discovery Channel’s annual slate of programming known as Shark Week, here’s a factoid with a local tie:
In 1974, FedEx contributed to the movie “Jaws,” according to the company, by carrying the massive tiger shark from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, where the flick was being filmed.
Start Co., formerly LaunchYourCity Inc., has essentially expanded its footprint out to the West Coast, the organization announced this week.
It’s opened an office in San Francisco to serve as a launch pad from which to “encourage technology talent and startup investors to look into Memphis to grow and prosper.” That office will be led by serial entrepreneur Mara Lewis.
Meanwhile, Start Co. also has added three employees to support the enterprise in Memphis. Hillary Quirk and Rachel Wilhite will serve as community and relationship managers, respectively. Al Pickett will serve as mentorship director.
Start Co. also has announced a partnership with JumpStart Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit venture development organization.
The partnership will attempt to capture data related to creating and developing high-growth ventures, inform the enhancement of entrepreneurial support and identify productive partnerships in Memphis. Mike Mozenter, president of JumpStart’s regional consulting arm, said the group chose to work with Start Co. because of its track record supporting high-growth tech startups in Memphis.
State Sen. Jim Kyle has asked state historians to help with local efforts to save the historic Nineteenth Century Club property on Union Avenue.
Kyle, the Democratic leader of the Senate from Memphis, said he met with representatives from the Tennessee Historical Commission after he received calls from constituents concerned with the fate of the property.
“I trust the judgment of the people who devote their lives to studying the history of Memphis and Tennessee,” Kyle said in a statement issued Tuesday, Aug. 6. “What they are saying is that this is one of the most historically significant residential buildings in the state, and I want to be sure the Tennessee Historical Commission stays abreast of developments in Memphis.”
The historical commission has no power to stop the property’s owner, Union Group LLC, from razing the Nineteenth Century Club building and replacing it with a commercial development, but it awards federal preservation grants and an investment tax credit program that focuses on building rehabilitation.
Last Thursday, two current and two former members of the Nineteenth Century Club won a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Union group from doing any work on the property.
The current and former members of the club had filed a Shelby County Chancery Court suit alleging the sale of the property did not follow the organization’s bylaws and that it violated the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs say the club’s bylaws required all club members – not just the organization’s leadership – to vote on the sale and the state act requires nonprofits disposing of major assets to get approval from the state Attorney General.
The Union Group acquired a demolition permit from the Office of Construction Code Enforcement Tuesday, July 30, and felled a large tree on the back side of the property.
The regal but decaying property on Union was built in 1907 by Rowland Jones, a Memphis lumber king.
In 1926, the 15,813-square-foot house was acquired by the Nineteenth Century Club, a philanthropic women’s organization.
The Union Group acquired the property for $550,000 in January after winning a competitive bidding process, beating out a group that offered $350,000 and wanted to turn the property into a women’s business center. The Nineteenth Century Club plans on donating the sale proceeds to the Children’s Museum of Memphis.
Start Co., the non-profit that acts as a hub for startup activity in Memphis, is announcing a partnership Tuesday, Aug. 6, with JumpStart, Inc., a national nonprofit venture development organization.
The two groups will be unveiling and working together on a pilot project focused on entrepreneurship in Memphis.
The announcement will happen at the Start Co. office inside the Playhouse on the Square facility.
“We’re ready for history,” interim schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson said this afternoon of Monday’s start of the school year.
But don’t look for him or his cabinet to go home for the weekend on a Friday afternoon.
Hopson himself continues to sweat the details of the new bus routes that came with the three bell times for starting school with the new school year.
He described it as “the thing that keeps me up at night.”
There are 470 different routes serving 48,000 students with a bus fleet that is a mix of buses the school system owns and buses run by a contractor the school system is working with.
It’s a hybrid arrangement that allows the school system to keep a fleet that it might use to become a contractor itself in providing transportation services to the suburban school districts to come as well as charter schools and similar paying customers.
Deputy superintendent David Stephens said his experience as a principal is that he was usually at the school until 11 p.m. the Sunday before the first day of school.
And while the leadership of the consolidated school system has repeatedly acknowledged parental concerns about some of the changes outside the classroom with the merger, Hopson and Stephens at the Friday press conference began to push back a bit.
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