Why Nashville is a Young Entrepreneurial City at Heart

by Ben SanfordNovember 2, 2018

Discover Why Nashville Is One of the Best Cities for Business Owners

In 2016, Nashville, Tennessee was named as one of the top cities for startup growth, ranking at number 5 in the Kauffman Report. The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship is an annual study that offers figures and analysis on national entrepreneurial trends. The study takes into account factors like employment and revenue growth, and ranked Nashville as number one in the category of metro areas with the highest density of high-growth companies in business products and services, according to The Tennessean.

So what aspects of Nashville are drawing business owners in and allowing them to thrive? While Nashville has long been a big player in the music and healthcare industries, the tech industry has lately bolstered the city’s economy and helped to create a thriving environment for startups and new companies. Read on to find out how Nashville has become one of the top entrepreneurial cities in the country.

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Nashville Is Growing, Right Alongside the Music Industry

Like most profitable industries, business in the music industry in the U.S. have turned toward technology in order to keep up with competition. Home to the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Johnny Cash Museum, Nashville’s music industry turns out over $11 billion annually, creating more than 50,000 local jobs.

With such a thriving music scene, music-related tech has become an important aspect of Nashville’s industry. For example, Project Music hosts workshops and helps music startups fundraise as they prepare to launch in Nashville. Nashville is the perfect place for creative startups to thrive because so many prospective employees have a strong knowledge of and passion for music.

Nashville Has the Infrastructure for Your Health Startup to Thrive

According to Free Enterprise, Nashville is home to 4,000 health-care related companies. The high density of successful, large-scale companies is the perfect environment to breed competition, innovation, and new entrepreneurial ventures. According to a study by Innovation that Matters and the U.S. Chamber Foundation, Nashville ranked 13 out of 25 American tech-hubs for healthcare-specific tech startup activity.

According to Bisnow, Nashville is also home to 16 publicly traded healthcare companies that generate more than $73 billion total in annual revenue. According to the same article, between the years 2005 and 2015, more than $940 million was invested in Nashville healthcare companies by capital firms.

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Where There’s Google, There’s Tech Startups

In 2015, Google Fiber expanded into Nashville, bringing jobs and faster Internet service to the citizens of the Music City. Google Fiber provides broadband Internet and IPTV with fast streaming, no data caps, and no installation fees. In Nashville, Google Fiber helped to encourage startup growth in two ways. With a much larger bandwidth thanks to Google Fiber, companies can do more with their Internet. Second, startups tend to cluster around Google Fiber hubs, just like the Kansas City StartUp Village, which formed in the advent of Google Fiber’s location in Kansas City.

In Nashville, tech startup communities have formed around WeWork locations, Launchpad, and the Idea Hatchery, which is home to eight small business startups. The infrastructure put in place by Google Fiber is further complemented by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. The Nashville Entrepreneur Center recently teamed up with Google for Entrepreneurs to help Nashville become one of nine tech hubs in North America.

In Nashville, There’s Plenty of Small Business Support to Go Around

Nashville’s current mayor, Megan Barry, has been working tirelessly to help support small business owners in order to promote economic growth and stability in Nashville. According to Entrepreneur.com, she created a position within the office of economic development that specifically focuses on small business and the creative economy.

In addition to grassroots efforts to support startup growth within the economy, several larger companies have taken it upon themselves to help small businesses and startups in the community. For example, Dell’s Small Business Hub in Nashville helps set up young companies with the right IT in order to set them off on the right foot.
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The Music City Is Slowly Transforming From a Honky Tonk Town to a Tech Startup Playground

The ingredients for a successful small business startup environment are all there: the technological infrastructure, government support, global investors, and a population of creatives with energy for change. It’s no surprise that Nashville has taken advantage of all of these factors to foster a successful entrepreneurial spirit within a city that’s on the rise.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.