The 2019 NEXT Awards + Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame Celebrates Nashville’s Leading Entrepreneurs and Startups

The movers and shakers of Nashville’s business community gathered at Rocketown on November 6 for the 2019 NEXT Awards + Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame, recognizing the innovators and visionaries making Nashville one of the best cities in the country to grow a business. At the SOLD OUT event, companies of all stages and markets were honored for their contributions to the economy of Middle Tennessee.

Nashville Entrepreneur Center CEO Jane Allen wrapped up the 2019 NEXT Awards with a reflection on the leaders, rebels, and game-changers that were honored throughout the night. She shared her perspective on what makes Nashville’s entrepreneur community special and looked forward to a bright future for Nashville businesses.

Technology Startup: Core10

The award for Technology Startup went to Core10, a software development company that provides a full suite of fintech development services and support resources. CEO Jeff Hanson received the award and highlighted the strengths of Nashville’s tech community.

Technology Market Mover: XOi Technologies

XOi Technologies brought home the award for Technology Market Mover. VP of Sales Scott McCarthy and CTO Adam Jaggers accepted the honor and explained how his company is transforming blue collar industries with cutting-edge tech tools.

Products and Services Startup: Instruction Partners

The winner of the award for Products and Services Startup was Instruction Partners, an education nonprofit that works with teachers and leaders to ensure that students have the support they need and advocates for equitable access to great instruction. CEO Emily Freitag accepted the award and shared her optimism about public education.

Products and Services Market Mover: TechnologyAdvice

TechnologyAdvice was honored as the 2019 Products and Services Market Mover. CEO Rob Bellenfant celebrated his company’s win and shared his tips for attracting the best talent for your business.

Social Enterprise Startup: Project Return

The award for Social Enterprise Startup went to Project Return, a nonprofit dedicated to the successful new beginnings of men and women who are returning to the community after incarceration.

Social Enterprise Market Mover: Pathway Lending

Pathway Lending was recognized as this year’s Social Enterprise Market Mover. VP Pam Theis described her company’s unique approach to community development and shared her perspective on the most common pain points for Tennessee entrepreneurs.

Healthcare Startup: CaredFor

The award for Healthcare Startup went to CaredFor, an app that works with drug and alcohol treatment programs to improve outcomes, collect data, increase referrals, and build brand awareness. Co-founders and brothers Parker and Colin Polidor shared their advice for making a family business work.

Healthcare Market Mover: Healthcare Bluebook

Healthcare Bluebook, a business that provides an online healthcare cost transparency tool, took home the award for Healthcare Market Mover. CEO Jeff Rice received the honor and advocated for more experienced entrepreneurs to “pay it forward.”

Entertainment, Sports, and Media Startup: Soundstripe

The award for Entertainment, Sports, and Media Startup went to Soundstripe, a platform offering unlimited music for creators. Founder and CTO Trevor Hinesley accepted the award alongside his team and shared how his company has been able to lean into the “Nashville brand.”

Entertainment, Sports, and Media Market Mover: Snapshot Interactive

Snapshot Interactive took home the award for Entertainment, Sports, and Media Market Mover. Co-founder and CEO Mark Scrivner received the honor and shared how his company has sustained its growth.

Navigation Partner of the Year: SCORE

SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer expert business mentors, was honored as the Navigation Partner of the Year. Since 1964, they have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs.

Corporate Ambassador of the Year: UBS

UBS received the honor of the Corporate Ambassador of the Year award. Nashville General Manager Wanda Lyle accepted the award and shared her perspective on what sets Nashville apart as a city.

Young Entrepreneur of 2019: Megan Feeman

Megan Feeman, founder and CEO of NoBaked Cookie Dough, was recognized as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She reflected on her journey as the founder of one of the fastest-growing startups in Nashville and shared her advice for young entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur of 2019: Marcus Cobb

Jammber CEO Marcus Cobb was honored as the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2013, the idea for Jammber was born after he learned about the disparity in royalty payments to creatives. Since Jammber graduated from the Project Music accelerator in 2015, they have built a creator’s suite of tools to simplify the collection of metadata, which has served over 600 clients. In Mr. Cobb’s absence, his team shared how their boss empowers them to embrace their strengths.

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center also welcomed three community leaders into the prestigious Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame, honoring Middle Tennessee trailblazers that have paved the way for the young entrepreneurs of today

Beth Chase

With more than 25 years of professional services experience helping organizations navigate critical inflection points, Ankura Senior Managing Director Beth Chase has successfully partnered with the leadership teams of Fortune 500 and private-equity-owned companies to identify, create, and implement strategies for value-building innovations and transformational growth.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin, a decorated veteran of Nashville’s business community, was also inducted into the Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame this year. Mr. Martin is the Founder and Chairman of Martin Ventures, a private equity fund supporting early-stage and startup companies. He reflected on his journey as an entrepreneur, and shared his advice for first-time founders.

Dolly Parton

The final Hall of Fame induction of the evening went to Dolly Parton. The most honored and revered female country singer-songwriter of all time, Parton recently became the first Country artist honored as Grammy MusiCares Person of the Year. She was honored at the 2019 NEXT Awards + Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame as the founder of the Dollywood Foundation, a nonprofit that has changed lives across Tennessee and beyond through programs like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Mountain Tough Recovery Team.

These leaders have been instrumental to the development of today’s thriving Nashville. They represent both the roots of the Middle Tennessee business community and the bright future in store for entrepreneurs across the region.

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