I’ve lived in Nashville since 1995, and watched the city evolve quite a bit over those years. We may not be as big as New York or Silicon Valley, but our smaller size and tight-knit culture helped cultivate something special for businesses big and small: a community-driven, entrepreneurial spirit that carries across the city like the faint sound of live music.
There’s a reason why I chose to build my career — and eventually, my business — in Nashville. It’s a special place with friendly people who actually want to connect with each other professionally. One thing I learned early on is that you can pretty much ask anyone you know for a meeting in Nashville, and they’ll take it. Not only will they take it, but they’ll refer you to three other people who might have perspective or insight, then help facilitate a meeting. It’s a giving business community where everyone wants to see everyone else succeed, and that energy has created a significant entrepreneurial startup scene. The high tide of goodwill has indeed lifted many boats.
State and City Support
The state and city governments are exceptionally friendly to businesses and entrepreneurs, too. At Snapshot, we have a real voice in the community. Through the city and involvement with groups like the Nashville chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor several entrepreneurs through EO’s Catalyst program. This business-friendly environment has created a lot of energy in Nashville, and as a result, we’ve seen business growth accelerate over the past decade or so.
Many people don’t realize how well-rounded Nashville is as a business center. We’re famous for music, and music is a huge part of our city’s DNA — but so are healthcare, manufacturing, and, more recently, technology. We have three of the biggest hospital systems in the world. When you have that level of corporate presence in a city, it inevitably leads to hundreds of people spinning off to chase their dreams as entrepreneurs. There’s a budding community of healthcare startups innovating right here in Music City, and meanwhile, the technology ecosystem is in hyperdrive, especially with tech giants like Oracle coming to Nashville.
Making a Major-League Impact
The Snapshot team has been blessed to be able to work with Nashville on a couple of high-profile projects to help evangelize and tell the story of our beloved hometown. One was collaborating on the pitch to Amazon during their location search for a new headquarters. Working together with the city and state governments (as well as a couple other creative partners from the community), we helped Nashville make it to the final three cities under consideration — and that work ultimately managed to secure 6,500 new, well-paying jobs when Nashville landed Amazon’s new operations center.
In that same year, we also had the opportunity to collaborate with city officials, the MLS2Nashville committee, and the ownership group led by John Ingram to bring Major League Soccer to Nashville. Our team poured energy and passion into the MLS2Nashville campaigns, creative collateral, and social strategy — we felt profoundly invested in helping to land this new franchise for our amazing city, and ecstatic when it succeeded.
What Corporate Citizenship Is All About
Every business has an opportunity and an obligation to make their community a better place to live, work, and thrive. That’s what we believe, at least. It’s what corporate citizenship is all about. At Snapshot, we’ve learned that what’s great for Nashville is great for us. After all, any investments that you make into your community will eventually come back to you, usually 10 times over.
If you’d like to learn more about what we do and how and why we do it (both here in our Nashville office and in St. Louis), check out our Approach page. If you’re a budding (or hopeful) entrepreneur in Nashville and need a welcoming ear and informed perspective, let me know. I’m up for a meeting.