Charlie Brock: 2013 was a watershed year for startups in Tennessee
Entrepreneurship in Tennessee has experienced tremendous growth and success in 2013.
At Launch Tennessee, we’re excited about the results of our public-private partnership focused on fostering entrepreneurship and making Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast, and a leader nationally, for potential high-growth startups. As we complete our first full year of operation with a new team and leadership in place, we celebrate the many activities, programs and events that have taken place over the past year. They are paving the way for Tennessee to become nationally known for its thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In Nashville, the success of the Entrepreneur Center — led by Michael Burcham — is a great indicator of the growth of startups in Middle Tennessee. In June, the EC opened its new headquarters on Rolling Mill Hill. The 20,000-square-foot facility makes the EC one of the largest accelerators in the country. Another milestone for the EC was its September launch of the first Nashville cohort of Healthbox, a nationally recognized business accelerator focused on healthcare technology. The EC’s Healthbox program is being run in partnership with HCA and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. It is extremely encouraging to see the state’s leading corporations participating in the entrepreneurial ecosystem — their commitment to innovation is extremely important for Tennessee entrepreneurs. Additionally, in September, Google chose the EC as one of seven new tech hubs and its “home in the South.” A “Googler” will work with the EC to share best practices and connect startups to mentors and resources at Google and its six other tech hubs.