Next Awards: Is 2016 Your Year?

The Nashville region continues to rank near the top when it comes to business friendliness and startup growth. Our “it city” status is no accident. It’s because Nashville has an amazing entrepreneurial energy that deserves to be recognized and celebrated.

In 2011, the Chamber and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center partnered to develop the Next Awards, Middle Tennessee's premier awards event for entrepreneurial companies. The Next Awards honor the innovators and trailblazers challenging themselves to write our region's future success stories.

What's new with this year's awards?

For our sixth annual awards, we've made a few key changes to the award categories and streamlined the application. We still have our industry award categories that focus on innovation and growth, but we’ve added several exciting new categories that apply to entrepreneurial businesses of all types. A few to keep your eye on include:

Game-changer Award – Tell us how your company has disrupted the marketplace or created a new niche.

Mentor of the Year Award – This individual award acknowledges the contributions of those who have given back to the entrepreneurial community through their time, talent and resources.

Intrapreneurial Company of the Year Award – This is for our more established businesses that make it a priority to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit internally.

Business Culture Award – Lots of companies talk about culture, but not everyone has it figured out. Show us how you've gone beyond the foosball table and prove why you’re the best company to work for.

Funder of the Year Award – Recognizes organizations or individuals that have made a substantial impact on the startup community through financial resources.

Who should apply?
If your company is headquartered in Middle Tennessee and has experienced consistent, year-over-year growth, we want to hear from you! The Next Awards champion the entrepreneurial spirit that drives our economy and that has helped transform our region into one of the most dynamic – and desirable – places to live, work and grow a business.

What's the timeline for the awards?
Finalists will be honored at a networking event on Wednesday, Oct. 4, and the winners will be announced at our awards dinner on Thursday, November 19.

We'll accept applications through Sunday, July 31. Visit to learn more about the awards and submit your application.


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