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October 24, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Winners named for 2023 NEXT Awards

Eighteen companies were recognized in six categories for their accomplishments.

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC) recognized what might be described as “the best of the best” at its annual NEXT Awards event Monday night at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

In addition to inducting four people into the NEC Hall of Fame, the organization also named Brenda Motheral of Archimedes as its “Entrepreneur of 2023” and Luke Benda of Healing Innovations as the “Emerging Entrepreneur of 2023.” Also recognized were 18 companies across six industry sectors based on their status as either a new start-up (with revenue up to $1 million), market mover (annual revenue between $1 and $8 million), or market leader (more than $8 million in annual revenue).

The winners by sector and classification were:

Financial Services

  • Start-up: Workloop (Katy Schmitt)
  • Market Mover: Wealth Access (David Benskin)
  • Market Leader: Core10 (Lee Farabaugh and Jeff Hanson)


  • Start-up: Thrive Therapies Group (Kristin McGraner and Liz Malugen)
  • Market Mover: RxGenomix (Brad Tice)
  • Market Leader: ObjectiveHealth (Colleen Hoke  and Don Lazas)


  • Start-up: Azra AI (Chris Cashwell)
  • Market Mover: Possip (Shani Dowell  and Christine Fisher)
  • Market Leader: FreightWise (Chris Cochran,  Scott Samuelson, and Phil Forte)

Music, Sports, and Entertainment

  • Start-up: TuneHatch Inc. (Christal HectorNathan Youssef, and Reece Franklin)
  • Market Mover: Genni & Co. (Johnny Cloherty and Louis O’Reilly)
  • Market Leader: Moo TV (Scott Scovill)

Products, Services, and Retail

  • Start-up: Trace Femcare Inc. (Claire CrunkOlaf Isele, and Megan Galaske)
  • Market Mover: Daily Crunch (Laurel Orley  and Dan Stephenson)
  • Market Leader: Turnip Truck (John Dyke)

Real Estate, Construction, and Hospitality

  • Start-up: AGB Real Estate (Adam Rosenberg)
  • Market Mover: Holladay Ventures (Evan Holladay and Jined Lamata-Holladay)
  • Market Leader: Strategic Hospitality (Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg)

Inductees into the Hall of Fame were: (1) Jim Ayers, Founder of FirstBank; (2) Saurabh Sinha, Founder of Emids Technologies Inc.; (3) Shirley Zeitlin, a well-known realtor; and (4) Eddie George, former running back for the Tennessee Titans.

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