Most of us might first think of music when we think of Nashville.
After all, it’s known as the “Music City.” Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry and the bar where Taylor Swift was discovered – and has launched hundreds of country music careers.
But did you know that Nashville is also a major launchpad for startups? The city has become well established in the tech and startup scene, and some of the buzziest new companies call Nashville home.
State Of The Nashville Startup Scene
Nashville has long been a hub for two major industries: music and healthcare.
But in recent years, the city made a bid to become the next best destination for tech and business startups. With its $84 billion healthcare economy, health tech companies were the first to start gaining ground, but the momentum didn’t stop there.
Nashville now ranks in the top 15 on the country’s list of the best 50 cities for startups, and in 2019, it surpassed both Boston and Seattle, two former giants in the startup industry. In addition to music and healthcare, some of the biggest growing industries are fashion, fintech, and real estate tech.
In fall 2020, Amazon announced it would be investing in its Nashville hub by adding 2,500 jobs. By June 2021, they had hired 2,000 new employees and opened a new high-rise in the downtown business center.
Community initiatives and coalitions also aim to support new business in Nashville. A few of the leading projects include:
- The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) leverages mentor/mentee relationships between new business owners and over 200 established business leaders.
- The Nashville Business Incubation Center (NBIC) offers space, classes, and counsel to new companies.
- Coworking spaces like The Lab are coming back to life in 2021 and helping companies build robust networks.
- The Arts + Business Council of Greater Nashville (ABC) nurtures and promotes creative businesses and endeavors in the city.
The city also draws entrepreneurs with its low cost of living, a trendy foodie scene, and dazzling nightlife. With all this energy going towards helping new companies thrive, you can see why Nashville is a new hot spot for startups.
Let’s explore some of the hottest new startups in Nashville right now.
JumpCrew’s full suite of sales and marketing services allows companies to focus their energy on their products and services.
By outsourcing sales and marketing, JumpCrew aims to reduce costs and streamline the customer acquisition process.
Their software analyzes market data to build strategies around customer acquisition. They help to provide messaging, media, and sales support so that companies can seal the deal with customers - and avoid spending in areas they don’t need to. By assisting companies in finding and converting customers, they free up those companies to do what they do best.
Founded in 2016, JumpCrew has raised $15.0 million in funding and has over 400 employees. They claim they have generated over $250 million in new revenue for their clients.
The minds behind JumpCrew are David Pachter and Robert Henderson. Pachter is a longtime entrepreneur with multiple companies under his belt, and Henderson comes from a deep sales background at Vox Media. Their shared venture JumpCrew is one of the top companies to keep an eye on in Nashville.
Founded in 2014, Lucent Health aims to solve costly and inadequate health benefits for companies.
Their software analyzes a company’s data to help provide customized recommendations for health plans and target specialized care for higher-risk patients. The aim is to reduce risk and cost while better serving patients.
Lucent’s analytics can predict trends and outline statistics that help companies choose the best options for their employees. The company also provides concierge-style support and insights into the cost of care and cost savings opportunities.
Lucent was founded by Brett Rodewald. As CEO of his former company, Rodewald saw the need for a better way to provide healthcare to companies -- a system with more options, more transparency, and more support. Lucent now serves more than 250,000 members and has a total of 400 employees.
Have you ever heard of stock photos? How about stock music?
Many companies, creatives, and influencers need music for the videos they’re making. The barrier to entry is often very high, with skyrocketing licensing costs, high fees, and more.
Soundstripe aims to eliminate these obstacles and help connect music makers with other creators -- providing an unlimited supply of stock music. The company promises radio-quality music at a reasonable price.
Soundstripe adds more than 200 songs to its database each month and has issued over five million licenses to creators across 130 countries. On the music side, they’ve helped music creators make over $3.6 million on their tracks.
Founded in 2015, the company has raised $6 million so far and has over 70 employees. The company was created by creatives for creatives, with founders Micah Sannan, Travis Terrell, and Trevor Hinesley aiming to build a brand that could help musicians make a reliable source of income. In 2020, Inc. Magazine named Soundstripe 68th on its list of 500 fastest-growing companies. In its first three years, Soundstripe grew by a whopping 4700%.
While competitors are starting to push into the stock music field, Soundstripe is undoubtedly the company to watch.
Wealth Access is a growing fintech company that supports financial management firms and banks through a suite of tools providing data analysis and digital client engagement.
A proprietary platform pulls data from over 20,000 holdings and financial institutions so that their clients can view an aggregate balance sheet. This access allows for better market insight, decision-making, and financial management. It’s the ideal tool for wealth managers and financial advisors to provide their clients with the most accurate, actionable information on their money.
Wealth Access has raised their Series B round and has received $8 million in investments. The company was founded in 2011 by David Benskin, who has a background in personal wealth management for high net worth families and as a VP in Investments in Global Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch.
By creating a fully mobile product, Wealth Access moves financial management into the digital age and makes data accessible in a new way. The company is getting more and more attention and seems poised to continue its growth in 2021.
After announcing an $11 million Series C round of funding, XOi Technologies hit the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in American in 2020. They’ve raised a total of $17.1 million since the company was founded in 2010.
The company created a cloud-based mobile app that supports field service companies in the electrical, plumbing, and mechanical industries. They also aim to promote greener technology and lower cost to companies through fewer truck rolls. A truck roll is when a company dispatches a serviceperson (usually in a truck!) to respond to a call. Each truck roll incurs a high cost for the company.
In essence, XOi helps streamline the work for field service workers, providing all the tools they need right there on a smartphone or tablet. They use AI and workflow automation to provide a knowledge base, instant support, and efficient documentation of each job so that technicians can make fewer trips and get it right the first time.
XOi is a family business started by Chris and Aaron Salow to help workers in the field service industry. Now the company boasts over 14,000 users and 850,000 jobs completed.
Want To Get Your Own Nashville Startup Rolling?
So you’re familiar with some of the best startups in Nashville. But how do you get your own company started?
You might be hard-pressed to pick a better spot to start a company than Nashville, Tennessee, especially if your company is in healthcare, fintech, music, or fashion. Even outside these industries, Nashville’s low costs, thriving culture, and growing business sector continue to be a big draw to budding entrepreneurs.
If you’re considering a move, you likely want to make sure you’ve got the right talent for your company. However, identifying ideal future employees or executives can feel like a daunting task - that is, without a specialized service like Hunt Club.
Hunt Club aims to connect innovative new companies with a pool of rising top talent. By leveraging a network of over 10,000 subject matter experts and a collection of over five million potential hires, Hunt Club does all the recruiting work for you. Companies receive matches of fully vetted candidates across dozens of fields with the talent needed to help launch a company.
Hunt Club handles the recruiting process for you with a team of talent strategists to find the perfect fit for your company’s needs. Sign up today to learn more and begin your recruiting process.