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September 04, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Finalists named for Nashville’s “2023 NEXT Awards”

The recognitions occur in six categories with a further division based on revenues.

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) has announced the finalists for the “2023 NEXT Awards,” an annual ceremony that recognizes entrepreneurs who are transforming industries and strengthening the Middle Tennessee community and beyond.

Presented by Amazon, the 2023 event will be hosted at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on October 23. There are six categories that are further divided into three groups of finalists in each grouping: start-ups with revenue up to $1 million, market mover companies with annual revenue between $1 and $8 million, and market leaders with more than $8 million in annual revenue.

Those who made the cut are:

Financial Services

  • Start-up: Baker Bookkeeps (Joy Baker), Raise Financial (Wesley Belden and Patrick Cason), and Workloop (Katy Schmitt).
  • Market Mover: Adams Wealth Partners (David Adams), Excelsior Capital (Brian Adams), and Wealth Access (David Benskin).
  • Market Leader: Celero Commerce (Kevin Jones), Core10 (Lee Farabaugh and Jeff Hanson), and Wesley Financial Group (Chuck McDowel).


  • Start-up: Care Sherpa (Jessica Walker), Healing Innovations (Luke Benda, Braden Davidson, and Scott Benda), and Thrive Therapies Group (Kristin McGraner and Liz Malugen).
  • Market Mover: RxGenomix (Brad Tice), Thalamus (Jason Reminick and Suzie Karan), and Winnow (Paul Vernich and Ray Guzman).
  • Market Leader: Archimedes (Brenda Motheral and Adam Hobgood), ObjectiveHealth (Colleen Hoke and Don Lazas), and Spero Health (Steve Priest),

Sports, Music and Entertainment

  • Start-up: Grayscale Marketing (Tim Gray), TuneHatch Inc. (Christal Hector, Nathan Youssef, and Reece Franklin), and Wagr (Mario Malave and Eliana Eskinazi).
  • Market Mover: Absolutely Ridiculous (Kyle Mauch), The Climb Gyms (Drew Sloss and Lance Brock), and Genni & Co (Johnny Cloherty and Louis O’Reilly).
  • Market Leader: Soundstripe (Travis Terrell, Micah Sannan, and Trevor Hinesley) and Moo TV (Scott Scovill).

Products, Services, and Retail

  • Start-up: Blueprint Expansion (Krissy Manzano and Chuck Brotman), InnerG Juice & Yoga (Nielah Burnett), and Trace Femcare Inc. (Claire Crunk, Olaf Isele, and Megan Galaske).
  • Market Mover: Covert Results (Robert Young), Daily Crunch (Laurel Orley and Dan Stephenson), and Southern Domestic Diva (Allie Williamson).
  • Market Leader: Archangel Protective Services (Ken Thomas), pH-D Feminine Health (Deeannah Seymour and Mark Faulkner), and Turnip Truck (John Dyke).

Real Estate, Construction, and Hospitality

  • Start-up: AGB Real Estate (Adam Rosenberg), Comma Designworks (Eric McGinnis), and Pillars Development LLC (Edward Henley).
  • Market Mover: Adroit Restoration (Gabe Chrismon and Lindsey Chrismon), Eshelman Construction (Andrew Eshelman), and Holladay Ventures (Evan Holladay and Jined Lamata).
  • Market Leader: The Clear Blue Company (Nicholas Ogden), Hardaway Construction ( David Frazier), and Strategic Hospitality (Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg).


  • Start-up: Azra AI (Chris Cashwell), Calm Waters AI (Joe Ferro), and Couture Technologies (Deanna Meador, Marcelino Rodriguez, and Danny Pippin).
  • Market Mover: Orange Thread LIVE (Luke McElroy), Pivot Technology School (Joshua Mundy and Quawn Clark), and Possip (Shani Dowell and Christine Fisher).
  • Market Leader: Acklen Avenue (Colin Callahan), BluWave (Sean Mooney), and FreightWise (Chris Cochran, Scott Samuelson, and Phil Forte).

The “2023 NEXT Awards” will also honor two innovative founders across all industries with the “Emerging Entrepreneur of 2023 Award” (less than $8 million in revenue) and Entrepreneur of 2023 Award (more than $8 million in revenue).

“Entrepreneur of 2023”: Tammy Hawes (Virsys12), Colleen Hoke (ObjectiveHealth), and Brenda Motheral (Archimedes)

“Emerging Entrepreneur of 2023”: Luke Benda (Healing Innovations), Allie Williamson (Southern Domestic Diva), and Robert Young (Covert Results).

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