Press Releases

Ford, Greater Memphis Chamber announce mobility innovation competition

Tuesday, 13 December, 2022

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 13, 2022 – Greater Memphis Chamber President & CEO Ted Townsend today announced that Greater Memphis and West Tennessee have been selected for Ford’s transformative, community-centered, two-year mobility innovation challenge.

Starting in 2023, Ford will partner with the Chamber, StartCo, and other partners to engage local entrepreneurs in pilot projects designed to increase access to sustainable, electrified mobility options and connect urban and rural communities through mobility in the region. The program is similar to Ford Fund’s recently announced Accelerator Program with Heartland Alliance in West Tennessee.

This mobility innovation challenge is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to propose equitable mobility solutions for grant funding – typically between $50,000-$150,000 – to be piloted in the Greater Memphis area in 2024, further accelerating the region as a mobility innovation testbed.

“Ford’s commitment to Greater Memphis and West Tennessee will accelerate our mission to make this region not just the global logistics leader but the global mobility leader,” said Townsend, who made the announcement alongside challenge co-founder and team lead Jack Gray at the Chamber’s Annual Chairman’s Luncheon, Memphis’ premier business event of the year. “Ford’s emphasis on integrating local communities into the mobility innovation process – particularly through the identification, design and piloting of mobility solutions proposed by local entrepreneurs – will be a catalyst for progress as we recruit capital and talent to this region.”

The Chamber, StartCo, and other community partners are planning to leverage the challenge to further establish the region as the Digital Delta, a destination of choice and a global leader for the most advanced technologies being developed today and into the future. With Memphis as its hub, the Digital Delta is intended to provide greater access to state-of-the-art mobility solutions that will bridge the divide between urban and rural communities for generations to come.

This will be the ninth mobility innovation challenge deployed by Ford since 2018. Since then, the program has successfully distributing over $1 million in total grant funding across 15 mobility pilots after receiving approximately 1,000 mobility entrepreneur proposals in Detroit, Indianapolis, Austin, Miami-Dade County, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Grand Rapids and Mexico City.

Additional timing and funding details will be announced early next year. Program leaders will start engaging local communities and entrepreneurs soon after.

To learn more or sign-up to receive program announcements, email


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, that is committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for and deepen the loyalty of those customers. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, as well as connected services. Additionally, Ford is establishing leadership positions in mobility solutions, including self-driving technology, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 182,000 people worldwide. More information about the company, its products and Ford Credit is available at


About the Greater Memphis Chamber

One of Memphis’ oldest institutions, the Greater Memphis Chamber is a privately funded nonprofit that serves as the region’s lead economic development organization and the “Voice of Memphis Business” on local, state, and national issues. The Chamber relentlessly pursues prosperity for all — through economic and workforce development, pro-growth advocacy, and by providing support and resources to its investors, which include many of the region’s largest employers. For more information about the Chamber, visit and Also, follow the Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and sign up for its weekly newsletter, the Memphis Fourword