Nashville Top Startups, 2022
Nashville launched an aggressive campaign in late 2021 to lure tech talent away from “Big Tech” cities. This effort aligns with the continuing push of many Midwest cities to establish themselves as a significant tech hub in the US. Here are 11 Nashville early-stage companies vying for attention as top startups in the city.
Nashville, a consolidated city-county and the capital of Tennessee is best known as the home of country music and thereby named “Music City.” Indeed, you can find the famed Music Row and Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, so country music fans and tourists have much to see and explore.
All that said, Nashville is much more than just a musical haven. Its other nickname, “Athens of the South,” refers to the numerous educational institutions that call it home. These include Tennessee State University, Belmont University, Vanderbilt University, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, and Trevecca Nazarene University. Sports fans will also be happy to know that Nashville plays host to the Predators (ice hockey), Titans (football), and Nashville SC (soccer) professional teams.
Not content with being a city to beat in music, education, and sports (or perhaps because of it), the Greater Nashville Technology Council (GNTC) launched Tech Into Nashville. The goal is to attract tech talent and double Nashville’s tech workforce pool by 2025.
That and other efforts seem to be paying off. According to a 2021 GNTC report, the number of tech jobs from Nashville companies in Middle Tennessee grew by 51% from 2015 to 2020, outpacing the national rate of 32%.
Listen to the Podcast Episode About Nashville’s Top Startups
As of this writing, Crunchbase identifies 270 Nashville companies from 2017 to 2022, most of which are tech or tech-powered. Read below to learn about 11 Nashville companies and top startups included.
Top Nashville Startups to Watch in 2022
Alto is an investing platform for self-directed individual retirement account (IRA) investments. In other words, it supports subscribers in using their IRAs to invest in startups, real estate, private companies, and digital currencies.
Opening an account using the Alto platform is easier and more effective than using legacy self-directed IRA custodians. The outdated manual processes and multiple fee menus create a lot of frustration and unnecessary costs. Alto’s mission is to eliminate friction in the self-directed retirement industry.
As a result, Alto account holders can invest in their private network or participate in deals offered by Alto’s investment platform partners. These include Bitwise, Fundr, DiversyFund, Masterworks, Vint, and Republic.
Startup Hustle spoke with Eric Satz about “Alternative IRA Investments.” Listen to the episode here or read the highlights here.
Apto Global is an e-learning platform, the first and only app-based culture language and travel community. It enables international students, travelers, ex-pats, and others to connect through the app in real-time. The goal is to help people adapt to life anywhere, providing them with the right resources when they need them.
The platform has robust in-app storytelling tools members share their experiences through videos, groups. It also allows one-on-one interactions. It uses matching algorithms to address each user’s personalized needs and changing interests at each stage of the journey.
Apto began as a service to help ex-pats to the US acclimatize. It has since evolved into a B2B technology learning platform, servicing more than 70 global locations.
To motivate community members to pay it forward, they earn rewards for sharing experiences and connecting with other members. They can use these rewards to redeem gift cards and useful items. Apto is also developing a mobile app for iOS.
This Nashville startup continues to evolve under the leadership of founder and CEO Traci Snowden. It currently offers direct-to-consumer services with early access to its Android mobile app. Apto Global received non-equity assistance from the Nashville Entrepreneur Center for an undisclosed amount on June 17, 2021.
Inefficient hiring practices and interview bias are significant concerns for businesses, especially tech startups. Clovers is a human-first interview platform for HR professionals that uses human and conversational intelligence. The goal is to accelerate the hiring process and reveal bias, placing the proper people in the appropriate roles.
Clovers also includes interview guidance, real-time feedback for interviewers, and post-interview coaching. It seamlessly integrates with existing recruitment technology. These include applicant tracking, calendars, and video conference software
Additionally, it enables interviewers with Industrial and Organizational psychology-approved questions and standardized ratings for feedback. It also provides “best of” clips of interviews for easy sharing with recruitment team members for Nashville companies.
Led by CEO Doug Leonard and CTO Cihan Ucar, the company has attracted the attention of numerous investors, including Zoom Video Communications. Clovers is so successful that the app is now available in the Zoom App Marketplace. As a result, Clovers users can integrate Zoom Meetings into their workflow seamlessly.
Clovers has received $15 million in two funding rounds from seven investors since its founding in 2020. This does not include the latest funding from Zoom yet. The investment by Zoom was a Corporate Round in December 2021 for an undisclosed amount.
Embold Health is a data analytics company that provides objective insights to find physicians who deliver the best care quality. Stakeholders can identify the best healthcare providers using its DocLogic mobile and web-based online platform. As a result, the software benefits physicians, employers, health plan providers, and benefits consultants.
The software generates a deep analysis of healthcare data to provide objective physician quality measurement. The analysis uses data grounded on the most recent medical research and clinical guidelines.
The physician-founded, physician-led startup has the confidence of big businesses and investors with CEO Daniel Stein, MD, MBA, at the helm. Embold Health has received $47.9 million from five investors in two funding rounds since its founding in 2017. The latest funding was a Series B round in March 2022.
GoCheck is a mobile development company providing FDA-registered and CE-certified applications for the early detection of eye disease. Its first product is GoCheckKids, a SmartPhone Screener app. It effectively identifies risk factors for amblyopia (lazy eye) and other refractive errors in the treatable stages. The app is also the world’s only pediatric vision screener with bidirectional integration with electronic health records (EHR).
GoCheckKids makes early screening affordable by bringing photo screening and visual acuity to a smartphone. The mobile app also reduces the cost of preventive screening by over 60% by leveraging the manufacturing scale for iPhones.
The goal of GoCheckKids is to prevent permanent vision impairment, the most common disabling condition among children in many countries. Vision problems typically lead to blindness, compromised learning, and death in some cases. It serves over 6,500 pediatric teams in the US and Europe.
A common theme with these Nashville companies, GoCheck has excited the attention of investors since its founding. Under CEO Kevon Saber, it received $22.8M in four funding rounds from nine investors to continue its mobile development efforts. Its latest funding is from a Venture-Series Unknown round in October 2021.
Hyype is a non-fungible token (NFT) based social network and identity layer for NFT curators. It builds a unique “hive” for those who think alike to connect, share stories, and develop their history as a community. Users can attach background and stories to their creations or purchases. They also have greater control in displaying collections and access to direct communication tools.
Taking a leaf out of Facebook’s notebook, Hyype limits membership by going from one Discord server to another. The goal of founder Supriyo Roy is to engage with specific NFT communities and get their feedback on features.
The latest news on the platform is the announcement of the Alpha Race #1 winner: 412 Meta Heroes. The competition was among 13 collections, and the winner garnered the most points within 72 hours. As a result, Meta Heroes now has the distinction of being the first collection on Hyype.
Hyype has received $3.5 million in two funding rounds from five investors since its founding in 2021. Its latest funding was a Seed round in October 2021.
If you’re not sure what the heck NFTs are, we’ve got you covered. Check out Startup Hustle’s series on NFTs! Listen to Startup Hustle’s entire NFT series.
One in 7 American adults suffers from chronic kidney disease (CKD), representing about 37 million people. Additionally, 786,000 people in the US had end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in 2020. Kidney problems are a leading cause of death in the US, yet 40% are unaware they have CKD.
Monogram Health is a tech-based renal disease management company that can identify at-risk patients using predictive algorithms. It has medication management technology and clinical decision support software to provide personalized care pathways.
The tech startup partnered with health plan providers for renal care services. As a result, it currently operates in 20 US states with a national network of nurses, nephrologists, dieticians, pharmacists, and social workers. Monogram’s clinical teams also provide personalized at-home and virtual primary care, nephrology, and benefit management services for CKD and ESRD patients.
Founder and CEO Mike Uchrin oversees operations at Monogram Health. Under his leadership, the company has received $172M in three funding rounds from four investors since its founding in 2019. Its latest funding was from a Series B round in June 2021.
Do you love your pet? Statistics show that you probably do, and not just a little bit either.
Fortune Business Insights estimates pet owners collectively loved their animals for $207.9 billion globally. Projections suggest it will grow even more in 2028 to $325.74 billion. My Pets Wellness caters to that affection by offering veterinary services across New York, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
The veterinarian-founded company is different from the 95,000 vet clinics in the US. It ensures their veterinarians have the latest technologies and modern facilities to provide the highest quality of care. My Pets Wellness also offers personal development and continuing education opportunities through its DVMsupport network.
With the proper training and tools, My Pets Wellness vets provide pets with the treatment they need at all life stages. These range from preventative wellness to end-of-life care. Founded in 2019, it operates under CEO Brock Leach.
There is an ever-increasing demand for tech talent for Nashville companies and elsewhere in the US. Some people might think that a college degree is necessary to work in tech. However, 30% of software developers in the US have no college degree, and more than 14% only finished high school. A startup that can quickly churn out qualified tech professionals has a definite market.
Pivot Technology School offers virtual boot camp training in data analytics, software development, and cybersecurity. Students can keep their day job and emerge as fully competent tech professionals in as little as 20 weeks, ready for the job market.
Additionally, Pivot Tech offers career placement and mentorship for its students to ensure they have a good job after graduation. It also has a Student Entrepreneurship program, allowing students to work as freelancers while enrolled.
Founded in 2019 by Joshua Mundy and Quawn Clark, they currently serve as CEO and COO/president. The school received an undisclosed amount of non-equity assistance from the Nashville Entrepreneur Center on May 22, 2021.
Project Admission is a tech platform that helps brands, fans, and influencers play an active role in ticket distribution. It works directly with ticketing platforms, including Tickets.com and SeatGeek, to buy and sell tickets through social media and other direct channels using identity-based ticketing software.
Professional franchises, live event venues, and college teams can benefit by collecting more revenue and audience data. They can create branded online stores to sell tickets to their target market. With NFTs, Project Admission sellers can also include digital versions of commemorative tickets in their stores for interested buyers.
Project Admission thrives under the leadership of co-founders CEO Stephen Glicken and CMO Jordan Stone. The tech startup has raised $9.1 million in two funding rounds from three investors since 2018. The latest funding was a Seed round in December 2021.
Simplr is a customer experience platform that meets the high demands of customers for personalization and empathy in a company’s approach to live chat. It is an AI-based and machine learning solution with the capacity to scale without losing speed, precision, or engagement.
Simplr’s goal is to employ its NOW CX model to accommodate NOW customers of Nashville companies. These are people who shop at all hours, practically live online, and expect premier customer experiences from all brands. As a result, they expect speedy responses and resolutions 24/7 across all channels. Simplr achieves this with the aid of AI and its Human Cloud Network, a dispersed, flexible, and remote workforce.
The live chat platform also combines automation and human assistance to deliver scalable customer assistance and support. Simplr achieved a customer satisfaction score of 4.75 out of 5 and has an average response time of fewer than 30 seconds. The Business Intelligence Group named Simplr’s NOW CX Platform a 2021 Product of the Year in its annual BIG Awards for Business awards program.
Simplr is under the leadership of co-founders CEO Eng Tan and CTO Amit Sood. It has raised $8 million in a seed round from Asurion in April 2018.
Nashville Startups Strike a Chord
Thanks to its aggressive courtship of tech talent, Nashville provides rich soil to nurture and grow tech startups and entrepreneurs. Nashville can hold its own when it comes to music and the arts. However, the 11 Nashville companies on this list prove it can also be a thriving tech hub.
If you would like to read more about top startups in other cities, check out our list here!
At Startup Hustle, we like to keep company with innovative entrepreneurs in Nashville. We are eager to get the inside scoop on trending topics in the startup scene. So, if you are a hustler in the tech startup and entrepreneurial space, we would love to hear from you. Head on over to Startup Hustle and pull up a chair. Let’s talk.