By Abbey Lerner
Featured partner: Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC)
What: The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 to connect entrepreneurs with critical resources and to help make Nashville the best place in America to start and grow a business.
In 2022, the EC served more than 2,500 entrepreneurs and walked alongside 126 program participants as part of 5 programs: PreFlight, InFlight, Twende, Project Healthcare and Project Music & Entertainment.
NEC’s work: The NEC exists to help any entrepreneur at any stage of business.
From “I have an idea” to “I’m looking to give back,” the NEC offers these resources: membership, community and coworking space, mentorship and funding connections, curriculum and educational workshops, accelerator programs and networking opportunities.
The latest from the team:
— Recently, NEC announced their new Project FinTech accelerator program. The 9-month accelerator aims to mobilize the existing tech infrastructure and growth in Tennessee. Apply for Project FinTech accelerator program.
— Today, NEC will be releasing a new episode of their Circle Back podcast on Mark Deutschmann. Along with this podcast, NEC also has two program specific podcasts for Twende and Project Healthcare.
— NEC will host a June 22 event, where attendees can learn from a healthcare exec and investor panel and meet the latest Project Healthcare Cohort.
— NEC’s NEXT Awards committee is working on the organization’s largest fundraising event. They invite all of the Middle Tennessee business community to help us celebrate the next generation of innovation. Save the date for Monday, October 23!
Failing Forward with NEC, as told by founder and CEO Falon Scott, who is also NEC’s event planning partner for Middle Tennessee’s NEXT Awards:
As we became more well known within our industry, I was approached multiple times with investment and partnership offers.
When many business owners would take meetings, evaluate bids and equity shares, I would simply and gracefully decline.
Many close advisors let me know their disappointment in my decision; calling these offers “missed opportunities” and letting me know I was failing at “real business'” leadership. I never saw it that way. I knew then – and still know now – that I have what it takes to make my business a success built solely within me and my team.
Could we have scaled quicker? Of course. Would we have made more money? Maybe.
But, I knew that organic growth was best for our long term success as a business and work family.
Perhaps it’s similar to the old adage…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. One leader’s failure is another leader’s perfect plan.