Amazon as Presenting Sponsor for 2022 Annual NEXT Awards

Now backed by Amazon, the annual NEXT Awards celebrates Middle Tennessee entrepreneurs for their impact and introduces a new class of entrepreneur Hall of Famers 

Nashville, Tenn. (April 14, 2022)The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC) has announced that Amazon will serve as the presenting sponsor for the 2022 NEXT Awards and Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame event this fall, an annual ceremony devoted to the entrepreneurial ​​visionaries, game-changers, and disruptors transforming their industries, creating opportunities, growing economies ​​and improving lives in Nashville and beyond. The NEXT Awards will be hosted at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Oct. 24. Returning co-chairs for this year’s event will be Sherry and Mark Deutschmann. 

This groundbreaking partnership with Amazon will further amplify the NEC’s efforts to support Nashville’s emerging entrepreneurs and foster innovation throughout the city. This contribution will greatly benefit the entrepreneurial community of Nashville and aligns perfectly with the core values of both organizations to create opportunities for growing businesses.

“The NEXT Awards celebrates and elevates our entrepreneurial community,” said Jane Allen, CEO of the NEC. “This city is filled with innovative entrepreneurs and the NEXT Awards provides us a moment to spotlight these dynamic founders and the businesses they are building.  We are grateful to have the partnership with Amazon and appreciate their support that helps make this special night possible.”

“Today, small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon account for more than half of the products sold in our store,” said Courtney Ross, Amazon’s Nashville Sr. Manager of Community Engagement. “These entrepreneurs’ success is our success and, locally, we’re thrilled to see the NEXT Awards celebrate Nashville as a hotbed of entrepreneurial excellence and creativity. As a company of inventors, we’re thankful for this partnership and the opportunity to help recognize some of Nashville’s most innovative newly emerging businesses.”

The NEXT Awards is a celebration of founders at all stages of the entrepreneurial lifecycle, from startups to lifetime achievements. A total of 16 awards will be presented on the night of the event for:

  • Entrepreneur of 2022 and Emerging Entrepreneur of 2022. Nominations are open now through noon on Monday, May 2, 2022. Click here to nominate.
  • Lifetime Achievements are honored and inducted into the Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame
  • Startup of 2022 (any industry) 
  • Industry categories in two stages of growth (an emerging company with less than $3 million in annual revenue and a market mover company with $3 million or more in annual revenue) for businesses within:
    • Products, Services, and Retail
    • Technology 
    • Healthcare
    • Music, Sports, and Entertainment
    • Real Estate, Construction and Hospitality

Nominations are now open for the two individual awards – Entrepreneur and Emerging Entrepreneur of 2022. Applications for Startup of 2022 and industry awards will open in May. Tickets for the NEXT Awards will be available in August. 

To learn more about Nashville Entrepreneur Center and its programs, click here.

To learn more about the Nashville Entrepreneur Center NEXT Awards, click 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 NEC by following @entrecenter on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit  and follow @AmazonNews.


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