Leslie Lynn Smith, a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and business development leader, joined EPIcenter in Memphis, Tennessee, as its first president and CEO in 2015. EPIcenter is the hub of the Greater Memphis entrepreneurship movement. With its network of partners, EPIcenter is the enabler of unified strategies to increase support to new and existing entrepreneurs for business growth. Serving as the broader voice of the partner network and a single point of accountability, EPIcenter measures and celebrates the impact of entrepreneurial support to create a just, inclusive, and growing economy that accrues to all Memphians.
Smith’s role in Memphis comes after five years of successful entrepreneurial leadership as president and CEO of TechTown, Detroit’s most established business incubator and accelerator. Under Smith’s leadership, TechTown created and launched novel urban economic development programs, expanded tech-based company creation and launched robust regional entrepreneurship collaborations with great and measurable impact. Previously, she was director of business acceleration for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, overseeing the state’s $300 million start-up investment portfolio and managing the statewide innovation economy and its network of ecosystem partners, including 15 research universities, incubators, accelerators and the philanthropic and private sectors.
Smith most recently was named to the InBIA board of directors as treasurer in 2015, as well as to the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis board of directors and the New Memphis Institute board of trustees in 2016.