Congratulations to the 2023 NEXT Awards Finalists!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 30, 2023) – Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) has today announced the finalists for the 2023 NEXT Awards, an annual ceremony that recognizes entrepreneurs who are transforming industries and strengthening the Middle Tennessee community and beyond. Presented by Amazon, the 2023 NEXT Awards will be hosted at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Monday, October 23. Attendees can purchase tickets–Box, or Balcony–and find more details here

The program honors businesses across different industry categories, including: FinTech (new this year); Healthcare; Music, Sports, and Entertainment; Products, Services, and Retail; Real Estate, Hospitality, and Construction; and Technology. There will be three winners in each category– startup companies with revenue up to $1 million, market mover companies with annual revenue between $1 to $8 million, and market leaders with more than $8 million in annual revenue. Finalists for this year’s industry awards are:

Financial Services


Baker Bookkeeps, Joy Baker

Raise Financial, Wesley Belden and Patrick Cason

Workloop, Katy Schmitt

Market Mover

Adams Wealth Partners, David Adams

Excelsior Capital, Brian Adams

Wealth Access, David Benskin

Market Leader

Celero Commerce, Kevin Jones

Core10, Lee Farabaugh and Jeff Hanson

Wesley Financial Group, Chuck McDowell



Care Sherpa, Jessica Walker

Healing Innovations, Luke Benda, Braden Davidson, and Scott Benda

Thrive Therapies Group, Kristin McGraner and Liz Malugen

Market Mover

RxGenomix, Brad Tice

Thalamus, Jason Reminick and Suzie Karan

Winnow, Paul Vernich and Ray Guzman

Market Leader

Archimedes, Brenda Motheral and Adam Hobgood

ObjectiveHealth, Colleen Hoke and Don Lazas

Spero Health, Steve Priest

Sports, Music and Entertainment


Grayscale Marketing, Tim Gray

TuneHatch, Inc., Christal Hector, Nathan Youssef and Reece Franklin

Wagr, Mario Malave and Eliana Eskinazi

Market Mover

Absolutely Ridiculous, Kyle Mauch

The Climb Gyms, Drew Sloss and Lance Brock

Genni & Co, Johnny Cloherty and Louis O’Reilly

Market Leader

Soundstripe, Travis Terrell, Micah Sannan and Trevor Hinesley

Moo TV, Scott Scovill

Products, Services, and Retail


Blueprint Expansion, Krissy Manzano and Chuck Brotman

InnerG Juice & Yoga, Nielah Burnett

Trace Femcare, Inc., Claire Crunk, Olaf Isele, and Megan Galaske

Market Mover

Covert Results, Robert Young

Daily Crunch, Laurel Orley and Dan Stephenson

Southern Domestic Diva, Allie Williamson

Market Leader

Archangel Protective Services, Ken Thomas

pH-D Feminine Health, Deeannah Seymour and Mark Faulkner

Turnip Truck, John Dyke

Real Estate, Construction, and Hospitality


AGB Real Estate, Adam Rosenberg

Comma Designworks, Eric McGinnis

Pillars Development, LLC, Edward Henley

Market Mover

Adroit Restoration, Gabe Chrismon and Lindsey Chrismon

Eshelman Construction, Andrew Eshelman

Holladay Ventures, Evan Holladay and Jined Lamata

Market Leader

The Clear Blue Company, Nicholas Ogden

Hardaway Construction, David Frazier

Strategic Hospitality, Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg



Azra AI, Chris Cashwell

Calm Waters AI, Joe Ferro

Couture Technologies, Deanna Meador, Marcelino Rodriguez, and Danny Pippin

Market Mover

Orange Thread LIVE, Luke McElroy

Pivot Technology School, Joshua Mundy and Quawn Clark

Possip, Shani Dowell and Christine Fisher

Market Leader

Acklen Avenue, Colin Callahan

BluWave, Sean Mooney

FreightWise, Chris Cochran, Scott Samuelson, and Phil Forte

Individual Awards

NEXT Awards will also honor two innovative founders across all industries with the Emerging Entrepreneur of 2023 Award (less than $8M revenue) and Entrepreneur of 2023 Award (more than $8M revenue). 

Entrepreneur of 2023

Tammy Hawes, Virsys12

Colleen Hoke, ObjectiveHealth

Brenda Motheral, Archimedes

Emerging Entrepreneur of 2023

Luke Benda, Healing Innovations

Allie Williamson, Southern Domestic Diva

Robert Young, Covert Results

“Once again, we are excited to bring together the entrepreneurial community for an evening of celebration,” said Sam Davidson, CEO of the EC. “We’re honored to shine the spotlight on so many deserving entrepreneurs and promising companies so that they have their chance to celebrate their achievements with this community. This is a night for the innovators, the risk-takers, the dreamers, and the disruptors.”

To be announced at a later date, the EC will welcome the 2023 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees for their life-long contributions to Nashville’s entrepreneurial community.

The evening is supported by its major sponsors Presenting Sponsor: Amazon; Champion: Hudson Lee Carter; Pathfinders: Dell Technologies, Evolution Event Solutions, LBMC. The co-chairs of this year’s event are Sherry and Mark Deutschmann.

To learn more about NEXT Awards sponsorship opportunities, 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

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