Navigate 012 : What’s NEXT (finale episode)

12 episodes, 26 guests and thousands of listens later, it seems we did just that. Over the last year, we’ve worked hard to give folks another way to engage with the Nashville entrepreneur ecosystem, signal boost emerging leaders in this city, and challenge some of the myths that surround entrepreneurship. 

EC welcomes our new CEO, Jane H. Allen!


In our final episode this season, we briefly spoke with Jane H. Allen, our new CEO of the EC, about her entrepreneurial background and experience of Nashville. She told us about the power of this city as a place to not only build a business, but a family. 

“This community has definitely allowed us to be able to build a company and a family and surround us with warmth and we wouldn’t live anywhere else,” Allen said. 

Allen is an entrepreneur herself, having started Legility, a legal services company, and Hanner Clarke, a luxury handbag retailer. She is bringing that background into her role with the EC, where she plans to dig more deeply into the people, processes and programs that built this city. 

“It’s exciting to see that there are so many vibrant opportunities for young people today, and that people do have the choice of coming back after graduation from college or staying here after high school,” Allen said. “Between the academic institutions and healthcare and music and other industries that we have and that are moving in, I think it’s a fabulous time to be in Nashville.”

Talking to Allen has us excited for where we’re going, but before we jump into the new year, it’s important to look back at where we’ve been. This time last year, Navigate was still in its early planning stages. In fact, our first appearance as a podcast team came when we joined Powderkeg to talk about the 2018 Next Awards and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nashville. 

In the spirit of looking back to move forward, we revisited some of the wisdom we heard from those 2018 Next Award winners as we get ready for the SOLD-OUT 2019 awards.


A few of last year’s highlights

Last year, we recognized 17 award winners and inducted 3 entrepreneurs into the Hall of Fame. One of our Hall-Of-Famers, Avenue Bank founder and Pinnacle Financial Partners chairman Ron Samuels, talked to us at the awards ceremony about the most valuable thing he’s learned in his decades of business experience. 

“Culture really drives who you hire and instead of hiring necessarily for a skillset, hire for an attitude,” Samuels told us after coming off stage. “Attitude, honestly is the number one thing.”

We also caught up with Jerry Bostelman, CEO & Founder of Vaco, who accepted the award for Intrapreneurial Company of 2018 and heard about how he continues the excitement and energy of startup culture even after his company took off in a big way. 


“We’re always just getting started. It’s amazing what you can do in the era when you’re first getting started and winning scrappily and then it takes a whole other look when we’re going at that next level to get other players involved and trying to leverage talents through more people and now we look at how we’re able to make bigger better but we’re powered by 800 people instead of just by one or two. So it’s always about finding the next, greater challenge and being excited about where we’re going.” 

In this episode, you’ll also hear from Next 2018 winners Hurdl, Hall of Fame inductee Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group and you’ll hear us talk about the growing pains and promises of the city – from population growth to transportation to the higher education outlook. 


After the advice we got last year, we cannot wait to see what the 2019 Next Award winners will bring to the table. On November 6, we’ll celebrate the folks who have made huge strides in entrepreneurship this year. Of course, we’ll make sure to bring that expertise to our listeners. 


2019 NEXT Awards Finalists

Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Beth Chase, founder and CEO of c3/consulting

  • Charlie Martin, founder and chairman of Martin Ventures

  • Dolly Parton, eight-time Grammy Award winning artist and founder of The Dollywood Foundation

Entertainment, Sports, and Media Startup Finalists: 

  • Bviral

  • RootNote

  • Soundstripe

Entertainment, Sports, and Media Market Mover Finalists: 

  • Jammber

  • Snapshot Interactive

  • Taillight

Technology Startup Finalists:

  • BOS Framework

  • Core10

  • GreenLight Medical

Technology Market Mover Finalists:

  • Kindful

  • Quore

  • XOI Technologies

Products and Services Startup Finalists: 

  • Elevation Search Solutions

  • Instruction Partners

  • NoBaked Cookie Dough

Products and Services Market Mover Finalists: 

  • RAE Products

  • REED Public Relations

  • TechnologyAdvice

Healthcare Startup Finalists:

  • Ancore Health

  • CaredFor

  • Vision Care Connect

Healthcare Market Mover Finalists:

  • American Physician Partners

  • EnableComp

  • Healthcare Bluebook

Social Enterprise Startup Finalists: 

  • Cumberland Kayak

  • PRO housing, a social enterprise by Project Return

  • Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance

Social Enterprise Market Mover Finalists: 

  • Corner to Corner

  • Pathway Lending

  • REBOOT Recovery

Corporate Ambassador of the Year Finalists:

  • Country Music Association

  • Petra Coach

  • UBS

Young Entrepreneur of 2019 Finalists: 

  • Megan Feeman

  • Stephen Richards

  • Sam Saideman

Entrepreneur of 2019 Finalists:

  • Marcus Cobb

  • Meg Aubale Epstein

  • Tammy Hawes

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