Nineteen Middle Tennessee entrepreneurs, startups and market movers were honored at the sixth annual Nashville Next Awards at the Omni Hotel on Thursday.
Finalists from the healthcare, technology, digital media, social enterprise and products & service sectors of the area’s business community were granted awards alongside the Entrepreneur of 2016 and Young Entrepreneur of 2016.
New categories were also added to the ceremony this year including Intrapreneurial Company of the Year, Business Culture Award, Game-Changer Award, Mentor of the Year, and Funder of the Year.
Of the new award winners, Jammber, Inc. is an alumni of Project Music that seeks to revolutionize how the entertainment industry handles payment and paperwork and went home with the Game-Changer Award.
“This ecosystem created the opportunity for us to learn to be a game-changer." Jammber, Inc. CEO Marcus Cobb said.
Another familiar face to our community is Julia Polk, a long time mentor and advisor in Nashville as well as the EC. She shared, "When I think about being a mentor, I know what to do because of the people who did it for me."
The Next Awards were launched in 2010 as a partnership between the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the awards are not only an opportunity to honor innovation, but also a symbol of Nashville’s growing entrepreneurial community.
“Nashville is the best place to take an idea and make it a reality because the community-- as exemplified by tonight-- they get behind you in a way like I’ve never seen,” Entrepreneur of 2016 Dan Hogan of Medalogix said.
Winners also credited their success to Nashville’s unique combination of big city growth and small-town attitude.
“There’s so much opportunity here, but there’s definitely a different culture to Nashville than your major markets-- your New Yorks, your Chicagos, your LAs. There’s still a comfortable pace to things and there’s an attitude about things that I think a lot of our clients outside of Nashville really crave,” said Young Entrepreneur of the Year Matt Cheuvront of Proof Branding.
To learn more about the Next Awards and hear interviews with each of the night’s winners, check out the full playlist below: