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“NEXT Awards” presented to 10 businesses, two individuals, and four inductees into Hall of Fame

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center honored 10 businesses, two individuals and four Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees at its annual “NEXT Awards” event Monday night. The honorees inducted into the Hall of Fame included former Tennessee Governor Bill Bredesen and Country Music Star Trisha Yearwood.

There were 31 business finalists across five industry categories (Products, Services and Retail; Technology; Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction; Music, Sports and Entertainment; and Healthcare) and eight finalists for the “Emerging Entrepreneur of 2021 Award” and “Entrepreneur of 2021 Award.

The industry category winners were:

  • PRODUCTS, SERVICES & RETAIL: Emerging: Granite Test Prep, Founder Grant Neely; and Market Mover: Thistle Farms, Founder Becca Stevens.
  • TECHNOLOGY: Emerging: CodeX, Co-Founders Phil Henry, Christian Morsing and Byron Sommardahl; and Market Mover: Stratasan, Co-Founders Jason Moore and Brian Dailey.
  • REAL ESTATE, HOSPITALITY & CONSTRUCTION: Emerging: Pillars Development, Founder Edward Henley; and Market Mover: Certified Construction Services, Co-Founders Jared and Ashley Bradley, Scott DeLano.
  • MUSIC, SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT: Emerging: Bauer Entertainment Marketing, Founder Brian Bauer; and Market Mover: mtheory Nashville, Founder Cameo Carlson.
  • HEALTHCARE: Emerging: Advocatia, Co-Founders Ryan Brebner and Laura Robbins; and Market Mover: MediCopy, Founder Elliott Noble-Holt.

The NEXT Awards also honored two innovative founders across all industries with the “Emerging Entrepreneur of 2021 Award” (less than $1 million in revenue) and “Entrepreneur of 2021 Award” (more than $1 million in revenue) as well as the 2021 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees for their life-long contributions to Nashville’s business community. The individual award winners and Hall of Fame inductees include:

  • EMERGING ENTREPRENEUR OF 2021: Joshua Mundy, Pivot Technology School.
  • ENTREPRENEUR OF 2021: Travis Messina, Contessa.
  • 2021 ENTREPRENEUR HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES: (1) Leatrice McKissack, former President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), McKissack & McKissack; (2) Lucius E. Burch III, Chairman and CEO, Burch Investment Group; (3) Yearwood who is also a best-selling author, chef, business owner and television personality; and (4) Bredesen who is also a former Mayor of Nashville and Founder of HealthAmerica Corporation, Coventry Corporation, Qualifacts, Clinical Pharmaceuticals, Silicon Ranch and ClearLoop

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