Launch Tennessee sporadically publishes essays written by entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters of the startup ecosystem here in Tennessee and across the southeast region, sharing thoughtful and unique observations and perspectives on the business landscape and the challenges they’re encountering.
Guest Post By: Brynn Plummer, VP, Inclusion and Community Relations at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
This month, NEC is hosting their first-ever Nashville Black innovation + Entrepreneurship Day on February 15, 2022 and to say I am excited would be an understatement. I have been fortunate enough to lead our efforts in establishing Twende, a unique program for founders of color offering world-class curriculum, supportive community and individualized mentorship. Now, we will have an official day recognized by the city to celebrate, support and continue uplifting black entrepreneurs. With all of this good news, I thought I would share a little about what you can expect from Nashville Black Innovation + Entrepreneurship Day and why you will be just as excited.
It’s Official. A Proclamation From The City
Our proclamation will allow February 15, 2022 to be officially recognized as Black Innovation + Entrepreneurship Day in the city (how cool is that). On this day, we’ll invite Nashville’s leading Black technologists, startup founders, investors and innovators to share their work, and its anticipated impact on the city of Nashville. We hope to highlight how Black Nashvilleans are leading innovation throughout the city’s key industries: food and beverage, sports, healthcare, music and entertainment, and financial services, all underscoring the huge roles played by technology, design and insight.
The Caliber of Our Speakers Is Unmatched
You will hear from three Black founders and innovators to share their journey to entrepreneurial success. These founders are shining bright in their respective industries and we can’t wait to hear all of the real-life nuggets they share.
- Marcus Whitney, Jumpstart Foundry and Jumpstart Nova, Founding Partner
- Victoria Butler, Uncle Nearest, Master Blender and Nearest Green’s great great granddaughter
- Courtney Hale, Knowledge Bank, Chief Hope Dealer
These speakers will then become our judges while we watch four Black entrepreneurs pitch their innovative business plans. The winner will be awarded with opportunities to help their business grow.
A Pitch Competition, Of Course
Four Twende cohort members will have a chance to be awarded with prize money sponsored by LaunchTN to help grow their business. Finalists will be selected based on the most break-through ideas to disrupt their respective industries, giving them an opportunity to pitch in front of our panel of speakers during the day. You can also check out this year’s full cohort of Twende participants here.
It’s Always About Community + Connection
The purpose of this day is to celebrate and intentionally create true connection moments within Nashville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. There will be networking opportunities throughout the day for people to connect, share ideas or just be in the space to take in good vibes for your own founder self-care. I hope all attendees will walk away with more connections, collaborations and a sense of knowing they are a vital part of the city’s growing entrepreneur landscape.
To be a part the first Nashville Black Innovation + Entrepreneurship Day – Register Here
Brynn Plummer is a career inclusion and equity professional and Vice President, Equity, Inclusion & Community at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, Brynn moved to New York City to attend Columbia University where she majored in English & Comparative Literature. After college, Brynn moved to Nashville in 2011 to teach middle school humanities, and to earn a Master of Arts in Education from Lipscomb University. Since that time, she has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors on a range of topics from k-12 education to progressive politics to startups and entrepreneurial ecosystem building through multiple national and global organizations including Teach For America, Teach For All, Culture Shift Team, Nisolo, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, UBS, American Family Insurance and Verizon Wireless. As it pertains to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Brynn’s specialty areas include multipartial facilitation, intersectional analysis, systems audit, communicating across power differentials, and implementing DEIB practices in startup environments.
Brynn lives in East Nashville and enjoys gardening, interior design, road trips, and supporting independent musical artists. Brynn is also the founder and head designer of Dissocialite Design Co, an apparel and goods company creating products to normalize and destigmatize mental illness through the beauty of design.