Nashville Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day 2023

February 23, 2023 / Share:

Nashville Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day (February 15th) was created at Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC) two years ago to celebrate Black founders who’ve built the city of Nashville as we know it today – and for those who continue to do so.

AllianceBernstein Hosts the Second Annual Event

Thank you to AllianceBernstein, Dell Technologies, and MOJO Marketing + PR for sponsoring this event.

This year’s event took place on the 24th floor of the AllianceBernstein (AB) building downtown, making for a spectacular view and atmosphere, with upwards of 100 attendees dressed to impress!

Byrnn Plummer, Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at AB, and former Vice President, Inclusion & Community Relations at NEC welcomed attendees with opening remarks. Brynn is also the visionary and original program architect of Twende, NEC’s statewide accelerator program supporting Black and brown founders.

After hearing from Brynn, The Mayor of Nashville, John Cooper, gave a wonderful speech about the importance of the day. Both he, and Jane Allen, CEO of NEC, paid homage to Darrell Freeman, a Nashville business leader, mentor, and a well known benefactor to Black entrepreneurs.

Fireside Chat with Mignon Francois

Brittany Cole, Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer at NEC, shared the origin story of Twende, spotlighting the newly-designed accelerator program which includes a new supplier diversity initiative and curriculum.

She was later joined by Mignon Francois who shared her experience as an entrepreneur starting with just $5 which she grew into a cupcake business worth nearly $1million dollars a year. During their discussion they recorded a live episode for Twende Podcast: Empowering Black and Brown Entrepreneurs to Thrive. Mignon Francois, also EC Board Member, will be in a future episode, so be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Re:Generate Fund Recipients

At last years Twende Graduation for the 2022 cohort, 9 ReGenerate grant recipients were recognized and announced. There was one more recipient planned to be announced at Nashville Black Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day. Congratulations to Jonathan and Christopher Oye, founders of Oye Coffee Company!

In celebration, Emily Freitag and Shani Dowell shared the origin story of ReGenerate grant fund. More information on the fund can be found in the blog post HERE.


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