The maturation of Nashville's entrepreneurial community has led the founder and leader of The Skillery co-working and incubation space in Germantown to ring in some big changes as 2015 winds to a close.
In an honest and eloquent blog post, Matt Dudley says the five-year-old Skillery needs to move on from its wide-ranging menu of classes and workshops.
"It's time to narrow our focus," Dudley writes. "It's time to let some things go. It's time to make a change."
Attendance for many classes has dropped off and the revenue from them, Dudley says, is "really small." On top of that, many other resources — some catering to very specific needs and desires — have sprung up in recent years. As such, Dudley says he might not start The Skillery today because the market is so crowded.
But The Skillery is here and established as a place for budding entrepreneurs to test their ideas, make valuable contacts and learn some of the skills they'll need to grow successful business. Earlier this year, Dudley and his team designed and assembled a one-day workshop "Introduction to Entrepreneurship."
"It's been a big success — attendees have raved about it, we've made good money from it, and we enjoy offering it as part of our mission to help folks explore entrepreneurship. It will be a big part of our class and workshop landscape moving forward," Dudley writes. "In 2016, we'll be making our Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshop available nationwide to other coworking spaces and community organizations that want to offer it. And we'll be launching additional programming in 2016 to support aspiring entrepreneurs in a number of ways."
Read Dudley's post in full here.
The former director of career services at Belmont University's College of Law has turned down the entrepreneurial path, launching a consulting firm aiming to help lawyers and law firms with recruitment, business development and career counseling services.
With Levy Legal Consulting, Claudia Levy also wants to run clerkship and summer associate programs for law students and provide HR training and policy development for smaller firms.
“Legal professionals have never faced tougher circumstances in attracting and retaining not only profitable clients, but also top attorneys,” Levy said. “It’s a crowded marketplace, with more lawyers in the field, greater pricing pressures, and new technology constantly shaping the face of the industry. My objective is to make the practice of law more efficient, more effective, and flexible enough to successfully adapt to a continually changing world.”
A former medical malpractice litigator at Wilkes & McHugh, Levy also directed client relations for Counsel On Call before joining the then-start-up Belmont University College of Law in the spring of 2011.
The backers of Jumpstart Foundry have shuffled the incubator's leadership by bringing in recently named Solidus Principal Chris Poole to be managing director and having COO David Ledgerwood move into an entrepreneur-in-residence role. Poole joined Solidus in 2012 after working at The Work Institute for more than three years.
The moves are intended to sharpen cohort companies' financial focus and get more of them to a revenue-producing stage more quickly. Ben McIntyre at SouthernAlpha writes that Ledgerwood, who joined Jumpstart early last year, also will build a faculty residence team.
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