The Nashville Entrepreneur Center recently opened the doors of its new home, more than tripling its size and enhancing its ability to launch new companies and further position Nashville as a national center of entrepreneurial activity.
In its 34 months of existence, the NEC has already screened 2,000 business concepts, launched 73 companies that now employ more than 400 people, and helped those companies raise $20 million in seed and angel investments.
Among those attending the grand opening were Michael Burcham, CEO of The Nashville Entrepreneur Center; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Scott Case, founding CEO of the Startup America Partnership; and Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dell entrepreneur-in-residence.
“The Nashville Entrepreneur Center is a symbol of Nashville’s growing creative community,” said Dean. “With our music scene, we have always attracted outside-the-box thinkers, and with the addition of the NEC, we are providing innovative and creative individuals in music, health care and other sectors a place to find the resources they need to launch a successful business.”
The new 20,000-square-foot facility is located on Nashville’s hippest creative campus at Rolling Mill Hill and will offer:
- Private workspaces for 80 individuals working on their startup ideas
- Classroom seating for 150 people with “virtual training” capability
- One-on-one mentor meetings with more than 250 trained mentors
- Hall of Fame for pivotal members
- Screenings of new concepts to help individuals in the community evaluate their ideas
“The NEC represents an investment by the entire city in Nashville’s entrepreneurial culture,” Burcham said. “The grand opening signifies a true public-private partnership.”
“The Nashville Entrepreneur Center has helped put Nashville on the national map as a burgeoning startup city,” Case said. “From experience, the process of starting a new business is complicated and intense, and the NEC gives entrepreneurs a safe place to hone their concepts and pursue investment capital. The new space will allow them to function at a whole new level.”
“With 23 percent of the Nashville workforce self-employed (compared with 18 percent nationally), the Nashville region shows great energy as an entrepreneurial center,” said Vanderveldt. “Dell is happy to support the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to ensure continued growth.”
The NEC’s origin is an outgrowth of study work done in 2007 and 2008 on entrepreneurship through the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Partnership 2010 Initiative. The organization became a free-standing 501(c)(3) in the fall of 2009. Its mission is to connect entrepreneurs with investors, mentors and the critical resources they need to accelerate the launch of startup business in four areas of concentration: technology, health care, digital media and entertainment, and social enterprise.
To learn more about the NEC, visit entrepreneurcenter.com.