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October 26, 2016 | Tom Ballard

PART 2: Daniel Myers examines Music City

daniel-myers-report-cover(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second article in a four-series reviewing a recent report completed by Daniel Myers. The title is “An Outlook on Future Entrepreneurial Growth within the State of Tennessee.” The assessment takes a look at three of the state’s entrepreneurial centers – Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

The section of Daniel Myers’ report (daniel-myers-nashville) focused on Tennessee’s State Capital is titled – “Nashville: The City of Medicine and Music.”

As he clearly notes, both have a significant impact on the city – $40 billion in the case of healthcare and $10 billion in the case of the music industry.

“There’s $680 million of pharmaceuticals exported from the state every year,” Myers says, noting companies such as Pfizer Inc. and Bayer Corporation that have significant operations in Music City.

“Nashville is a powerful place for both the business and research sides of healthcare,” he adds, citing more than $550 million in research awards in 2015 to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Nearly one-half of those awards – $265.3 million – came from the National Institutes of Health.

With the recent launch of “Project Healthcare” at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Myers says “there’s the potential for even more growth” as start-ups accelerate, joining the city’s big healthcare players like HCA Holdings Inc. and Community Health Systems.

As far as music, Myers cites a statement made by Richard Florida, the theorist and futurist, who observed that “Nashville is the Silicon Valley of the music industry.” That description is underscored by the presence of more than 80 record labels, 130 music publishers, and 180 recording studios in the city.

“More than a quarter of the music publishers within the United States are located specifically in Nashville,” Myers noted in the report.

These two key industry sectors also benefit from strong educational institutions – Vanderbilt University with its healthcare programs and Belmont University with its specialties in visual and musical entertainment at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.

As for the future, Myers made several observations.

“I can see Nashville becoming one of the smartest cities in the nation, driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), two large industries, and Google Fiber,” he suggested. “Think about doing things proactively like (remote) healthcare monitoring.”

Myers suggested that IoT could also have a significant impact on the growth of the music industry in the city.

“”You could create a seamless entertainment experience,” he said. “Nashville could be a cultural center as well as a very healthy place to live, traits that would bring more young people to the city.”

Finally, as far as the Google Fiber presence, Myers asked, “What might Google try to pilot in Nashville?” His answer was possibly autonomous driving.

Regardless, Myers says that Nashville’s strengths will help overcome a stigma that daunts many Southeast U.S. cities – they’re not the first place people generally look to get new, cutting edge technology.

NEXT: A look at Knoxville through Myers’ research.

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