How to Validate Your Marketing Ideas Without Breaking the Bank

Be Our Guest is a new feature on the EC blog highlighting thought leadership from our community - advisors, entrepreneurs, members, and more. Today's post is by Jordan Schneider. An entrepreneur and experienced digital marketer, Jordan is the Vice President of Marketing at DePalma Studios.

Want to meet with Jordan? Join the EC's Advisor Program! Learn more about it here.

Every Startup Pitch in the World Boils Down to Two Core Ingredients

Be Our Guest is a new feature on the EC blog highlighting thought leadership from our community - advisors, entrepreneurs, members, and more. 

Today's post is by Kris Kelso. Kris is an entrepreneur turned executive coach.  He has founded multiple companies, is an advisor at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and is an Executive Advisor with The Alternative Board.  You can learn more about him at and

Renee Bobb: Building Opportunities Beyond Basketball

One of the joys of entrepreneurship is that it allows you to chase your lifelong passions and dreams. For Renee Bobb, that passion is basketball. From being an All-American in high school to playing Division I and representing her country playing for the US Navy, Renee has followed that passion her whole life.

However, when she moved to Nashville 10 years ago, she noticed that Nashville didn’t have any competitive basketball leagues. At that point, Renee had been an entrepreneur for a decade, so she thought to herself, “Hey, I can do something about this.” From that idea came the Music City Icons, a semi-professional women’s basketball team based right here in Nashville.

Nashville Entrepreneur Week's Catfish Tank Pitch Competition Companies Announced

This week (May 15-18) is Nashville Entrepreneur Week! From Tuesday-Friday, Nashville's entrepreneurial community will come together to learn from each other through an amazing lineup of speakers. Topics range from validating your business idea to healthcare, raising capital, leadership, and more. 

One of the final events on Friday is the Catfish Tank (a Nashville Predators-themed name playing off of Shark Tank), a pitch competition between 10 teams with the opportunity to win $10,000. We are so excited that 8 out of the 10 teams chosen to pitch are part of the EC community! Learn more about them below, and RSVP here.

6 Idea Stage Entrepreneurs Featured at PreFlight Pitch Night

On the evening of May 1, Nashville's business community gathered at the EC for PreFlight Pitch Night, a celebration of the entrepreneurs graduating from Session 1 2018 of our PreFlight program. 14 weeks ago, a group of 20+ entrepreneurs came to the EC with just an idea. They spent every Monday night learning and working on a business plan, meeting with advisors, and slowly forming that idea into a viable, tangible business. At PreFlight Pitch Night, 6 of those entrepreneurs gathered to pitch their ideas to the public and a panel of judges for the first time. We could not be more proud of them and so thankful all of you came out to support them!

Celebrating Women's History Month

Throughout the month of March, we've been celebrating Women’s History Month by shining a spotlight on the women entrepreneurs and leaders in our community. What has been your greatest reward in being an entrepreneur? What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? We’ve shared their answers to a few of these questions on our social media pages, and below, you’ll find a compilation of our favorite answers to 5 different questions featuring 9 women.

Member Spotlight: Renee Bobb

Renee Bob is the founder of Music City Icons. Philanthropist, Author, Empowerment Trainer, Publisher and Radio & TV Show Host: Renee’s passion for playing basketball started in Staten Island, NYwhere she played in Middle School and High School. Upon graduation from High School, Renee went on the play Division 1 basketball at Cheyney State University. The highlight of Renee’s career was playing NATO Basketball for the United States Navy. Because of the love Renee has for game, it was easy for her to make the transition in to Owner of the Music City Icons Semi Professional Women’s Basketball Team.

Advisor Spotlight: Elizabeth Cambridge

Elizabeth is passionate about entrepreneurship and the power of business as a force for good. Born in Kuwait, she migrated to the US in 2002 from India and holds a Masters in Computer Applications. Elizabeth is a business consultant continuously seeking opportunities to grow and share her knowledge with fellow entrepreneurs!

Member Spotlight: Cody Hutchins

Cody Hutchins always knew that normal wouldn't cut it. He had to accomplish something more. While traveling abroad, Cody realized the power that a simple bracelet had to spark conversation & ignite connection. He refused to let these experiences sit idle. Bohnd Bracelets was born. Garnering attention through competitions while still in undergrad at WKU, Bohnd Bracelets quickly grew. Today, Cody's dreams of accomplishing something more have come to life as Bohnd Bracelets continues to expand & impact individuals across the globe.

Advisor Spotlight: Don Leyrer

We're lucky enough to have Don Leyrer scooting around the EC as one of our treasured advisors. A jack of all trades, Don has set foot in a number of different industries & truly made an impact. He began his career in social work as a houseparent for abused children & later as a Senior Adult Probation Officer. He then transitioned to the corporate world as an executive for high profile Fortune 100 companies. After impactful work at Comdata Corporation, Don co-founded Mailnet Services Inc., a venture backed database marketing firm that specializes in customer analytics, data management & direct marketing solutions.

His accolades don't stop there. Don also serves on the Health & Workforce Development Implementation Team of the Mayors Poverty Reduction Initiative & volunteers with CASA as a court appointed special advocate for children that have been taken into state custody. 

Member Spotlight: Todd Lawrence

Todd Lawrence is the executive director of Nashville's Urban Green Lab & has accomplished a slew of incredible things in his life ranging from service in the Peace Corps to leading the historic International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. His current project, the Urban Green Lab, boasts a powerful mission: to facilitate a range of educational & social programs that inspire Nashvillians to make sustainability a bigger part of their lives in their homes, neighborhoods, & businesses. They are making moves to instigate true, positive change in the community through educational workshops & are even reaching out to the younger generation through their Mobile Lab that travels to local schools.