From Chattanooga, Birmingham, Knoxville, to New Orleans, a full week celebrating a city’s entrepreneurial hustle has become something of a yearly ritual across the country, as well as in the Southeast. If you had been wondering when such a week was headed to Nashville, Tennessee, wonder no more. Nashville Startup Week will take place in less than a month, on March 13-17. It’s all free, and all in the afternoons.
Perhaps the Startup Week name and logo seem familiar. It should be, since there are 47 other cities around the globe also hosting their own Startup Week sometime this year. And they’re all utilizing the playbook built by Techstars.
So, how did Nashville Startup Week come to be? It all really started with a phone call. “I was looking for events in Nashville where the entire startup ecosystem came together. I had been to 36|86 and loved it, but was looking for more,” said Sam Butler, founder of Outset. “I had heard of Techstars Startup Week and knew that it took place in 65 cities across the world, but not in Nashville. When I called them to see how we could get one here, they told me that another gentleman had called about 10 days before I did asking the same thing so they connected us.”
Now, Butler and that another gentleman, Nick Potts from ScriptDrop, have been the leads for bringing the inaugural week to life. But the response from others to bring it all together has been enthusiastic. “We do have quite a few people helping us handle various aspects of the event,” tells Butler. “They are all local entrepreneurs as well who are dedicated to making this event a success, including Channing Morland and Makenzie Stokel from EVAMore, Evan Lengerich from Heritage Group, Kim Butler, Stephen Rodriguez from Rift Solutions, and Andy Seavers.” Startup Southerner is proud to be one of the sponsors of this event.
The week kicks off at the City Winery with IdeaCon, a conference for entrepreneurs and startups, on March 12. (This conference itself is a paid event, but contact Sam for free tickets.) The event takes place from 3pm to 9pm each day, with sessions hosted mainly across three locations: Baker Donelson, The Wond’ry, and Industrious. (We’ve put the schedule at the bottom of this post.) Butler is particularly excited for the speaker line-up. “We literally have the best minds in Nashville on the stage. These are people who have ‘been there & done that’ in a huge way, sometimes multiple times. The amount of knowledge that is about to be dropped is huge and people will walk away with many actionable points.”
How can the community participate? Here are some ways:
“ Another great way to participate and really build your network is to volunteer one of the days.“
Enter the Pitch Competition.
“All 15 teams will be given real-time feedback from our panel of local VCs and angel investors. The final winner will receive an invite to the invitation-only Founders & Funders poker night where they can start to build meaningful relationships with the VCs and angels of Nashville.”