by Charlie Brock, CEO, Launch Tennessee
It’s been a little over a week since Launch Tennessee’s 36|86 conference ended, and the accolades are still pouring in. Attendees included investors, start-ups, inventors, mentors, service providers, government leaders and community supporters … in short, the whole gamut needed for a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The reasons why more than 900 people opted to attend a two-day conference in Nashville were many, but they boiled down to this: Nashville, Tennessee and the Southeast are the new frontier not just for innovation, but also for setting up shop and growing a business. Time and time again, we heard about the affordability and hospitality of Nashville, but also about the expanding, talented workforce here that makes it possible to turn innovative ideas into reality.
All that said, none of it would have happened without the hard work and innovation of Launch Tennessee’s own staff, so I want to call them out for some much-deserved recognition here:
Courtney Corlew, Director of Communications, was the staff member who had primary responsibility for the entire 36|86 event. She’s a rock star and her attention to all details big and small led to a seamless event.
Jason Denenberg, Director of Entrepreneurship, who led the process around startup recruitment and evaluation, resulting in an outstanding group of companies from across the Southeast in Village 36.
Jill Van Beke, Director of Corporate Engagement, who led investor outreach for the event as well as coordinated match-making opportunities between investor attendees and the Village 36 startups. With 120 investors representing 86 different firms from 15 states plus D.C., she obviously knocked it out of the park.
Patricia Beavers, Director of Finance, who managed all budget and contract coordination in addition to assisting with on-site registration and payment processing.
Brittany Burgess, Entrepreneurship & Outreach Coordinator, who assisted with sponsorship outreach and recruitment in addition to volunteer coordination.
Lindsey Cox, Finance Coordinator and our resident ‘Happiness Director,’ who coordinated attendee outreach efforts around ticket sales in addition to serving as speaker concierge.
Tracey McGraw, Event Coordinator, who assisted with all event logistics including coordinating on-site registration, hotel logistics, speaker travel, contract management, etc.
Taylor Dickinson, Research Coordinator, who ran all social media and assisted with all 36|86 marketing activities in addition to assisting with startup recruitment, Village 36 startup logistics/communications and registration management. The Village 36 companies were extremely complimentary of the process, so job well done!
Vondell Miller, our part-time accountant, who jumped right in and helped us process registration and concert tickets and offered a ready smile to all participants.
Rebekah Webster and Campbell Markham, our specialists/summer interns, who started two weeks prior to 36|86 and now know the aisles of Costco by memory based on their various trips there for snacks and refreshments.
I also want to call out our partners at Evolution Event Solutions, Falon Veit and Andrew Hogin, as they were involved with logistics coordination from the April Southern Series events through the main event last week. They also assisted / advised on other aspects of the conference, so good job and thank you!
At the Launch Tennessee offices, we constantly talk about our core values, which include being “Driven to Serve,” “Acting Entrepreneurially” and “Collaborating to Achieve Maximum Success.” Our 36|86 conference showed just how much our team believes and acts on these values, and for that I salute and thank them.