UT-Baptist Research Park

Main1_TMburnedThe UT-Baptist Research Park is a growing major bioscience research complex, located in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center. Completed construction on the park represents more than $140M in investment.

Visit the UT-Baptist Research Park website for more information

University of Tennessee Research park

Congrats! Memphis Bioworks

Memphis Workforce Development Activities Recognized at White House

Partnership focused on customer-centered services chosen as successful national model

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, February 22, 2016 – Memphis’ leadership in workforce development activities was recognized at the White House last week.

The Memphis Bioworks Foundation Workforce Development team, along with the Workforce Investment Network, led a collaborative project of community organizations as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Customer Centered Design Challenge over the last few months. The Challenge focused on innovation, enhanced customer experience, cross-government collaboration, and design thinking methods to transform the delivery of services for youth, job-seekers, and employers.

The Memphis team, in recognition of its demonstrated success with the project, was selected as one of 11 teams out of 80 nationwide to participate in a Customer Centered Design (CCD) White House Learning Exchange & Celebration on Tuesday, February 16. Bioworks’ Director of Workforce Development, Sondra Howell, was invited to participate on a panel of only three teams to talk about their successful projects. The other two presenting teams were from California and Colorado.

“The Human Centered Design Process provided our team the structure to not only assess the gaps in services available to our joint workforce customers in the Memphis region, but to also gauge the effectiveness of the services we provide individually, as well as collectively,” said Howell.

In the congratulatory note to Sondra Howell and the Delta Force-Memphis team, Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training for the U.S. Department of Labor wrote, “I am writing to congratulate and thank you and your team for your participation in the Customer Centered Design (CCD) Project. The innovative ideas outlined in your proposal to improve and provide excellent customer service at One-Stop Centers contribute to the successful implementation of the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA).”

Memphis project team members are:

  • Sondra Howell, Director of Workforce Development, Memphis Bioworks
  • Kevin Woods, Executive Director, Workforce Investment Network
  • Jessica Croslow, H-1B Coordinator, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Beth Erb, Vice President of Community Services, Memphis Goodwill, Inc.
  • Eva Mosby, Project Manager Human Services North America, Maximus
  • Gwen White, Foundation and Public Relations Coordinator, Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Memphis
  • Travis Wilson, Business Service Manager, Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce
  • Renee McCreight, Director, Memphis Talent Dividend

The U.S. Department of Labor initiated this challenge as part of their implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to encourage innovation in designing services with jobseeker and employer needs as the primary focus. Additional information about the Customer Centered Design Challenge is available at https://wioa.workforce3one.org.

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About Memphis Bioworks Foundation

Memphis Bioworks is the Mid-South’s go-to organization for creating companies, jobs and investments in bioscience and sustainability.  A visionary community leader, Memphis Bioworks has a well-established record of sparking new levels of economic vitality by investing in entrepreneurs, building state-of-the-art labs and facilities, and training the next generation of workers.  For more information, visit www.memphisbioworks.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/MemphisBioworks or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.

This entry was posted in News Releases on February 22, 2016 by .

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Memphis Bioworks Newsroom


For information about Memphis Bioworks Foundation, its initiatives or its family of organizations, please contact:

Jessica Taveau
Director, Marketing and Communications
901.866.1435 or via e-mail






Memphis Bioworks has been selected to lead the Memphis Entrepreneurship-Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter).  The EPIcenter was established to be the front door for entrepreneurship in Memphis, and provides a wide range of services for entrepreneurs trying to start or grow businesses in the region. Services include mentoring, accelerator and incubator programs, networking and investment. The initiative was born from a vision of the Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman’s Circle to enable 1000 new entrepreneurs to start 500 companies in Memphis over the next 10 years.

Memphis Bioworks was chosen to lead EPIcenter based on its strong entrepreneurship results.  Since 2009, Bioworks, together with Innova, have supported nearly 200 entrepreneurs, formed 60 companies and managed $53 million in equity investments. Last year, 20 companies resided in Bioworks’ Business Incubator, and annual revenue from Bioworks Incubator and Innova portfolio companies totaled nearly $53 million.

EPIcenter is expected to launch in August. For more information, visit the EPIcenter website



Building on Memphis’ regional assets and leveraging the area’s industry expertise, Bioworks is leading business accelerators in the biomedical/medical device and bioagriculture sectors.

ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind medical device accelerator created to help medical device entrepreneurs navigate the start-up process, refine their business models and achieve the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market notification filing.

Created through funding from Launch Tennessee, USDA, and private donors, the NextFarm Agricultural Innovation Accelerator was launched by Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneur Center (NTEC) in 2013 using an accelerator model and expertise provided by Memphis Bioworks and its affiliates.

Both accelerators are initiatives of Tennessee’s regional accelerator network, which are administered by Launch Tennessee and funded by the State of Tennessee as part of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s INCITE initiative. Announced in May 2012, the INCITE program is designed to support innovation across the state and drive growth in the creation of knowledge-based jobs. INCITE is named for its focus on innovation, commercialization, investment, technology and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Steve Bares

Letter from the Executive Director

Welcome to the Memphis Bioworks website. Since our founding in 2001, Bioworks has been privileged to lead, create, launch, develop, support and participate in many different initiatives. Our focus is on economic development in health care, logistics, emerging technology, and the enabling technologies and developments that support each of these areas.  Through it all Memphis Bioworks has become the Mid-South’s go-to organization for creating companies, jobs and investments in bioscience that expand the economic vitality of our community.

Dr. Steve Bares

We do what is needed to help companies – existing, new or imagined – develop and thrive in the target bioscience and business segments in which Memphis has a strategic advantage and a strong foundation. At times that means developing the entrepreneurial support mechanisms and programs needed to help bring ideas to market and companies to the community.  At times that means developing the infrastructure to fill a void; whether that void is in facilities, financial resources or technological capabilities. At times that means getting directly involved in our community’s workforce development as a partner, a facilitator or a mentor to ensure the talent is available when needed.  At times that means helping our community take a lead in sustainability and other initiatives that are important to 21st century business leaders and innovators.

Throughout everything, our focus is on generating results. We expect to be measured by the results we achieve on each individual program, within the organizations we create and for the community as a whole. We are prepared to lead and prepared to innovate.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded through philanthropic contributions, corporate support, and state and federal grants. We hope you will explore this website to get a feel for our successes to date and our vision for the future. We hope you will join us through your financial support and engage with us in helping entrepreneurs learn how to succeed and realize their dreams, in helping others develop their skills and opportunities in an emerging industry, and in advancing the innovative ideas that create jobs and economic growth.

Thank you.

Steven J. Bares, PhD, MBA
President and Executive Director
Memphis Bioworks Foundation