Would Your Business Thrive in Nashville? | Nashville’s Top Industries

Businesses that thrive in Nashville, Nashville skyline

Nashville is known as a hotspot for business relocations and start-ups, and for good reason. The city’s resources are poised to help businesses thrive.

Thinking of moving to Nashville for work or relocating your business? Here’s why certain industries thrive in Nashville: the city’s diverse creative community, quality of living, and central location to half of the US population, to name a few. But which business industries see the most success? Nashville cultivates businesses in the music and entertainment industries, the healthcare industry, and, in more recent years, the tech industry. Of course, as Athens of the South, Nashville’s educational landscape feeds into the thriving young talent pool of workers flocking to the city. It’s the perfect ecosystem.

Why Businesses Thrive in Nashville

For almost 10 years now, Nashville has been trending as an “it city”, attracting new businesses, welcoming new cultures, and fostering creative communities. But why? What makes Nashville so appealing? Nashville has no income tax, a low cost of living compared to other metropolises, a great quality of life with access to natural parks and recreational areas, a relaxed and encouraging business environment, and a stellar talent pool of students, entrepreneurs, and more.

Let’s take a look at a few stats:

If these numbers don’t convince you, come on down to Nashville and strike up a conversation with any cordial stranger. The tried and true southern hospitality of Nashville will help you feel right at home in an instant.

Nashville’s Healthcare Industry

Visit almost any country around the globe, and tell them you live in Nashville, where Vanderbilt educates and cures, and where Elvis Presley recorded gold (in addition to Memphis). They will likely know exactly where you live.

Vanderbilt Medical Center dominates Nashville with a massive presence in West End, and additional clinics throughout the metro area. In fact, VUMC employs over 24,000 of Nashville’s residents. But Nashville’s healthcare scene doesn’t stop there. Nashville serves as headquarters to HCA, and over a dozen hospitals. These big players trickle down into countless healthcare related small businesses and start-ups, like at-home physical therapy company Luna, fascia therapy Randy Mack Rolfing, and TMS treatment centers. Check this out: over 500 health care companies call Nashville home, employing over 160,000 health care workers and pushing the healthcare industry to the top of Nashville’s largest business industries.

Nashville’s Music and Entertainment Industry

With a name like Music City, USA, it is a given that music and entertainment businesses in Nashville thrive. After all, one walk down Broadway, and droves of talented musicians tantalize your eardrums. And behind every successful musician is a massive team of managers, PR, producers, sound engineers, attorneys, agents, the list goes on. The music industry is a machine, and the number of successful music industry-related businesses in Nashville attest its vastness. 

The world’s only live venue that can record direct-to-acetate? Nashville has that.

A coworking space for industry folk to connect and collaborate? Nashville has that. A tech start-up that creates analytics platforms for content creators? Nashville has that.

One local start-up, RootNote, helps creators keep track of their earnings, content, and more on an easy-to-use dashboard. RootNote CEO Jason Burchard remarks, 

“Nashville has been a fantastic place and community for us to develop RootNote. User feedback is critical to any early-stage start-up, and we’ve been able to spend thousands of hours talking with creators and creative teams right in our own backyard. The abundant collaboration combined with the great tech talent the city continues to develop and attract makes for a perfect place to build, right at the intersection of technology and the digital creator economy.”

You get the picture. Nashville is the perfect spot to test out your innovative music industry business idea, especially since Nashville’s music industry activity is 10 times greater than that in NYC or LA. What’s more, the diverse creative community and plethora of genres (yes, there’s more than just country music in Nashville) gives Nashville bragging rights to “the highest concentration of music industry establishments in the nation.”

Nashville’s Tech Industry

Under the blaring din of healthcare and music lies Nashville’s hidden business treasure: tech.

Giants like Google, Amazon, and Dell swopped down on Nashville’s untapped tech potential and laid the groundwork for more tech businesses to flood in. Since 2016, Nashville’s tech talent workforce has grown over 29%. Talk to anyone in Nashville, and they likely know someone who has founded a tech start-up. 

The entrepreneurial landscape of Nashville’s thriving business scene goes hand-in-hand with tech. Milken Institute touts, “Despite being primarily famous as the home of country music, Nashville is emerging as a hotspot for the tech sector and entrepreneurial expansion.”

Entrepreneurs journeying to Nashville are never on their own. Malick Gaye, Director of Public Relations, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, emphasizes, 

“What many people may not realize is the same creative spirit that drives our music industry also powers our region’s robust entrepreneurial community. Our city’s intentional focus on creative collaboration has allowed us to be recognized as one of nine Google for Startups Tech Hubs in the U.S. With over 250 entrepreneurial resources available, between the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and dozens of additional partners, we prove entrepreneurs belong in Music City.”

Nashville’s coworking office spaces and incubators are swimming in entrepreneurs and tech start-ups and taking advantage of the city’s potential. Yet, not many people outside Nashville know how fruitful tech businesses have been in recent years. Now is the perfect time to capitalize on the growing business sector. 

Education in Nashville

The thriving businesses in Nashville attribute exponential growth to the city’s perfect ecosystem. Nashville boasts multiple renowned colleges and universities, and therefore bleeds emerging talent. The city’s educational landscape perpetuates its other nickname: Athens of the South.

In fact, Nashville boasts 20 colleges and universities, 4 HBCUs, 112,000 students, and 25,000 graduates each year. After they earn their diploma, a whopping 60% of graduates stay in Nashville, likely due to the abundance of opportunities for young professionals.

Nashville’s colleges and universities strive to create opportunities to connect their students with local industries to gain the right experience for their future careers. Belmont does a great job at this. First a College of Music Business, Belmont not only established strong ties with the music industry (a lot of industry entrepreneurs are Belmont grads), but Belmont also expanded to include data skills training for students to become proficient in the language used by the tech giants flocking to Nashville. The education system in Music City clearly cares about the future of their students.

Though, nurturing a gifted talent pool starts earlier than college. Matt Largen, President and CEO of Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, notes, “Modern day economic development is talent recruitment and development, and Williamson County’s public schools are the number one economic asset for the county.”

Nashville’s Thriving Business Community

One way Nashville businesses thrive is by working alongside others in their own industry, allowing invaluable connections to take place candidly. The best way for start-ups and small businesses to network in Nashville is to have a presence at a coworking space, whether it be a private office or posting up in a shared workspace. Nashville has caught onto the value of coworking spaces and provides options like WeWork, Industrious, and Regus. However, the best way to connect with the city is to check out a locally owned coworking space, like Center 615. Local spots strive to foster a business community where small businesses can grow into large businesses and eventually build out their own brick and mortar, further contributing to Nashville’s thriving business scene.

Want to learn more about how your business can thrive at Center 615’s local business community in Nashville? Give us a shout!

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