As a child, Phil Shmerling would scour the newspaper’s stock quotes with his father, investing only in companies he thought were the “coolest” at the time - baseball cards and Toys ‘R Us made the top of the list. While Phil’s financial expertise has greatly matured since then, listening to him describe Nashville’s entrepreneurial spirit, it’s clear his excitement for investing in people he believes in has only amplified with age.
It’s the true story of sweet success, and if you were among the hundreds of hopeful entrepreneurs who joined us at the Entrepreneur Center a few weeks ago for the official launch party of our Navigate podcast, you could just about taste it in the air.
As she took to the stage, Mignon Francois, the woman behind the Cupcake Collection, one of Nashville’s most successful startups, we knew we were in for a real treat. “I don’t know, Clark,” she teased as she slipped a pair of headphones over her ears, then released the first of many wide smiles she would share with us that evening. “This is messing with my afro!”
At the height of the economic recession in 2009, Michael Brody-Waite quit his job at a Fortune 50 company to become an aspiring entrepreneur. Looking back now, he humbly admits, he had no idea what he was doing. “I know it says I’m CEO, but I had no idea how to be a CEO, how to [run] the business,” he revealed. “We were creating an industry that had never been done before without any investors or advisors.”
You know that business plan you have scribbled out on the back of a bar napkin? That Google Drive folder with all those great ideas for startups or tech platforms that will revolutionize an industry? That cool app you always wanted to create... If only you knew, “Where do I start and who do I talk to first?”.
Buckle up and get ready to test-drive Season One of Navigate, a brand-new podcast dedicated to helping budding business owners like yourself maneuver through the myriad of resources that make up Nashville’s fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Think of it as your GPS to business success!