Nashville, Tennessee (September 29, 2009) -Today, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Technology Council launched the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, located initially at www.entrepreneurcenter.com, to connect early-stage entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed and celebrate entrepreneurial progress in Nashville.
“The Nashville Entrepreneur Center will ensure that new generations of entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to grow and prosper,” said Janet Miller, Chamber chief economic development and marketing officer.
“This is a community effort,” said NTC President Tod Fetherling. “We met with literally hundreds of entrepreneurs to get their input and have solicited feedback from business organizations, including Nashville Capital Network, SCORE, Nashville Business Incubation Center, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation and many more.”
Integral to the launch of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center is a microsite called “I Am Music City.” This site, www.iammusiccity.com, will be used to market the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and share Nashville’s entrepreneurial success stories. The campaign was created by students in Vanderbilt University’s Accelerator Summer Business Institute.
The creation of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center originated from the Chamber’s Partnership 2010 Entrepreneurship Task Force, co-chaired by Robert A. Frist Jr. of HealthStream and Michael Shmerling of Choice Food Group. The Task Force was formed in late 2007 to identify opportunities to strengthen Nashville’s entrepreneurial community.
“Nashville is demonstrating to the rest of the country that we’re serious about fostering entrepreneurial activity,” said Shmerling.
“This is the next step in moving Nashville to prominence on the national stage as a place to build the next great business,” said Mark Montgomery, founder of echo and chairman of the www.entrepreneurcenter.com advisory team.
Joe Kustelski, partner at Rockhouse Partners, was tapped to lead the development of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s Web-based component. Among the resources the site will provide are business plan templates, entrepreneur toolkits and an “ask an entrepreneur” feature.
“This resource is a strong starting point for us, as a community, to transform Nashville into one of the country’s most vital environments for entrepreneurs,” said Kustelski.
Next steps for the Nashville Entrepreneur Center include applying for 501(c)(3) status, hiring key positions and working toward the creation of a physical meeting and co-working space.