Hospital leader HCA has signed on as sponsor of the Entrepreneur Center. Beginning this quarter, the two organizations will look to beef up the four-year-old EC's health care programming. HCA last summer also backed the local launch of the Healthbox incubator based inside the EC.
"We are incredibly happy to have the opportunity to work with HCA as we help the startups of this city grow," said EC CEO Michael Burcham. "HCA is an incredible organization that epitomizes the potential successes of entrepreneurial growth in this city, and we appreciate their generous support."
Here is the press release from the organizations.
Come Friday, we'll be able to add Michael Burcham to a list that includes Martha Ingram, Jack Massey and Phil Bredesen. That's when the Kiwanis Club of Nashville will name the CEO of the Entrepreneur Center its Outstanding Nashvillian of the Year, honoring Burcham for his work building a local hub for start-up companies.
"What Michael has pioneered and championed via The Nashville Entrepreneur Center has touched many a businessperson, young and mature alike, in very positive fashion and certainly benefited our wonderful city in several ways," said George Armistead III, co-founder of the event and co-chair of the program this year.
The Entrepreneur Center and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce this week hosted the annual NEXT Awards dinner to celebrate the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Among the winners are well-known companies such as Qualifacts and Parallon, as well as fresher faces such as Virsys12. Check out the full list here.
The Nashville Entrepreneur Center has a snazzy new web address, ec.co, after teaming up with domain registrar .Co Internet. The move comes shortly after the EC agreed to add 'Nashville' to its name, including online, to settle a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Entrepreneur Media Inc. (The group's former entrepreneurcenter.com URL redirects to its new .co site.)
The EC and .Co say they plan to develop a co-branded entrepreneur education series that will help the development of companies in the EC's accelerator program. Check out more info here.
The work by Michael Burcham and his team to build the Entrepreneur Center is getting some love from The Big Stage blog run by the New York Stock Exchange, with which the EC partnered earlier this year on a match-making platform. In the blog post, Burcham gets to sing Nashville's praises and also offers up some solid advice for start-ups.
“When you start meeting with potential customers, all your plans start to change,” he says. “So it’s important that you get in front of customers early, get their reactions and learn as much as you can. Having a business model that produces revenue and finding your first customers are the two single biggest challenges for a startup, and the most important things to get right early on.”
Nearly four years after being launched online, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center will this morning host a celebratory open house at its new 20,000-square-foot home in the Trolley Barns on Rolling Mill Hill. The space will have private workspaces for 80 people incubating their business concepts as well as classroom seating for 150 people.
The EC has come a long way since a group of 75 local business and civic leaders first gathered more than five years ago to think about how to improve Middle Tennessee’s entrepreneurial climate. Here are some statistics: Since opening 34 months ago, the EC has screened 2,000 business concepts, launched 73 companies that now employ more than 400 people and helped those companies raise $20 million in seed and angel investments. Look for those numbers to grow quickly as President and CEO Michael Burcham and his team scale up.
For those of you unable to make it out to the Trolley Barns today, here are a couple of photos from the EC’s Facebook page.
The team at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center will on Friday unveil IdeaFrame, an application that promises to tell budding entrepreneurs in less than 10 minutes if their idea is worth pursuing. The software, which was created and designed by EC boss Michael Burcham and entrepreneur-in-residence Scott Rouse, has been used by EC mentors and advisors to vet the ideas that land on their desks. Check out more here.