Nashville Entrepreneur Center Honored Middle Tennessee Entrepreneurs at Annual NEXT Awards

Annual event recognized 12 entrepreneurs and four Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees who have made an impact on the greater Nashville community

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 26, 2021) – The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC), a non-profit dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and local businesses throughout Middle Tennessee, on Monday night honored 10 businesses, two individuals and four Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees at its annual NEXT Awards to recognize entrepreneurs who are transforming industries and strengthening the Middle Tennessee community. There were 31 business finalists across five industry categories (Products, Services and Retail; Technology; Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction; Music, Sports and Entertainment; and Healthcare) and eight finalists for the Emerging Entrepreneur of 2021 Award and Entrepreneur of 2021 Award. The industry category winners are:


  • Emerging: Granite Test Prep, Founder Grantly Neely
  • Market Mover: Thistle Farms, Founder Becca Stevens


  • Emerging: CodeX, Co-Founders Phil Henry, Christian Morsing & Byron Sommardahl
  • Market Mover: Stratasan, Co-Founders Jason Moore & Brian Dailey


  • Emerging: Pillars Development, Founder Edward Henley
  • Market Mover: Certified Construction Services, Co-Founders Jared & Ashley Bradley, Scott DeLano


  • Emerging: Bauer Entertainment Marketing, Founder Brian Bauer
  • Market Mover: mtheory Nashville, Founder Cameo Carlson


  • Emerging: Advocatia, Co-Founders Ryan Brebner & Laura Robbins
  • Market Mover: MediCopy, Founder Elliott Noble-Holt

“This is not only our largest fundraising event, but also a night to honor those who make our world better by keeping entrepreneurship alive,” said Jane Allen, CEO of the EC. “We are so grateful to celebrate the transformational entrepreneurs in our community, those who helped pave the way for so many and those who are working tirelessly to create and grow a business. It is an evening to pause, reflect on all that has been accomplished and to celebrate what has been achieved. We are honored to host this event and look forward to our city’s continued entrepreneurial growth and innovation.”

The NEXT Awards also honored two innovative founders across all industries with the Emerging Entrepreneur of 2021 Award (less than $1M revenue) and Entrepreneur of 2021 Award (more than $1M revenue) as well as the 2021 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees for their life-long contributions to Nashville’s business community. The individual award winners and Hall of Fame inductees include:


Joshua Mundy, Pivot Technology School


Travis Messina, Contessa


  • Leatrice McKissack, former President & CEO, McKissack & McKissack
  • Lucius E. Burch, III, Chairman & CEO, Burch Investment Group
  • Trisha Yearwood, Country superstar, best-selling author, chef, business owner & TV personality
  • Phil Bredesen, former Mayor of Nashville & Governor of Tennessee, founder, HealthAmerica Corp., Coventry Corporation, Qualifacts, Clinical Pharmaceuticals, Silicon Ranch and ClearLoop

To learn more about the NEXT Awards, visit the website here. To learn more about the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and its programs, visit the website here.

About Nashville Entrepreneur Center

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 2010 by business leaders who wanted to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and to celebrate the spirit and tenacity of the entrepreneurial community. The NEC serves as Nashville’s center for entrepreneurship, supporting visionaries—from every background, in any industry, and at all phases—by connecting them to critical resources and championing their desire to change the world. Learn more about the EC by following @entrecenter on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at


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