Better Together: What do you do with a room full of entrepreneurs?

A bi-weekly column exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship and community by Sam Davidson

Three weeks in to this big, bold, beautiful new year and we’ve filled several rooms with entrepreneurs (and those who support them):

  • January 4th we debuted our Cereal with a Serial event series, featuring a conversation with Josh Mundy, CEO of Pivot Technology School.
  • January 9th our newest InFlight cohort kicked off with 24 new entrepreneurs.
  • January 11th over 200 people joined us for Project Healthcare’s our First Look event and Vanderbilt’s Innovation Startup Practicum kickoff. This brought together our newest Project Healthcare cohort, program alumni, and our valued partners and ‘friends’ in Nashville Healthcare — a tribute to how vibrant our ecosystem is.
  • Last week we were supposed to fill rooms across the state with our FinTech Roadshow. Mother Nature had other plans. We convened virtual rooms to connect founders to stakeholders in Memphis and Chattanooga all the same.
  • This week we filled the Learning Center with our Capital 101 event. And today we’re opening our space (now happening once a month) for anyone to join us for a free cowork day and experience the energy of entrepreneurship. 
  • Next week we will welcome Mayor Freddie O’Connell for a Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Meet and Greet. Mayor Freddie will share his vision for entrepreneurship in the city while attendees learn about the various aspects of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. 
  • February 5th we’ll fill a room once more for our PreFlight Cohort Final Showcase, rounding out their experience.

And that’s just the first 40 days of the year. Only 320 more to go. 

Filling a room isn’t the only way to support entrepreneurs.

Events with many people aren’t inherently better than one-on-one consultations where an entrepreneur gets help navigating the worlds of capital, finance, leadership, or marketing. The needs there are equally as valid as the needs being met when you hear someone in front of a room teach about the very thing you’ve been desperate to learn.

But, when a room is full, so are the possibilities. The serendipity created by people, ideas, and potential bumping into one another is something that is hard to measure but integral to one’s success. Several entrepreneurial journeys began with a single step and a full room, with someone being able to say, “I met them at an event.”

Serendipity created by community nearly always results in opportunity. The more often it happens the more quickly success follows. 

Part of our work here is to fill rooms. If you show up, we’ll supply the ideas and the chance to connect. Mileage may vary but you’re bound to go nowhere if you’re unwilling to hop in the car.

Full rooms. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

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