Tech Center: Nashville Splashes Onto The Tech Scene

Known for its country music and barbecue, Nashville is becoming so much more as companies flock to it.

Over the past year, Nashville has specifically been recognized by various outlets as one of the biggest cities for technology job growth. According to research from Praxis Strategy Group's Mark Schill, Nashville is ranked at its seventh spot for job growth in tech.

This research analyzed employment data in major metropolitan areas across the United States from 2006 through 2016. While Schill's findings reveal Nashville has been funneling jobs fro the Bay Area for quite some time, the city has been building up its tech sector via defense and health tech firms. Just earlier this year, Postmates began moving into its new 10,000 square foot Nashville office space. For the past 11 years, there has been a rise in employment in nearly every Nashville tech arena which includes a total of 3,700 jobs in systems design, 1,800 in data processing and 1,100 in engineering.

Before we jump into the post, here are a few quick facts about Nashville and its tech scene: 

  • The city had a population of 654,610 in 2015, making it the largest metropolitan statistical area and second largest city of Tennessee where it is the capital
  • GDP of Nashville, Murfreesboro, Franklin (Metropolitan Area): $102,209,000 (2015)
  • Median household income (2015): $47,621
  • There are more than 640 startups and tech companies
  • There have been 41 startups launched since the beginning of 2017
  • Total funding for the past 12 months L $112,116,495

Through the creation of the Nashville Technology Council in 1999, the southern city has worked its way out of Silicon Valley's shadow and into becoming a tech player. From this tech-focused group spurred many supporting organizations which include the Nashville Capital Network to assist with tech funding, the T3 Initiative to find quality tech talent in the area, roundtable discussions dubbed TechVille, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the NTC Awards, the IT Pathway Collaborative to bridge tech skills gap, the creation of the We Build Tech platform and more.

The city has also taken into account the way in which its students are learning in regards to the types of technology jobs that may be available down the road. Nashville just announced it will be incorporating a Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) approach to its learning curriculum starting in its middle schools. Nashville's chief academic officer Monique Felder shared how confident she is in how STEAM will help advance students' future capabilities. She said "We are putting a stake in the ground and we realize that there aren't many STEAM districts. There are no certifications out that we are aware of. We know where we are and what Nashville values. We know that integrating the arts is a way to engage students and boost achievement."

One tech area that's helping to lead the charge for Nashville, as mentioned above, is healthcare. The city has been working its way to building out its health IT industry. Healthcare provider HCA's senior vice president and chief information officer, Marty Paslick, commented on the both the importance of healthcare IT (HIT) and how his organization is helping to expand it in Nashville.

He said "Advancing the field of (HIT) is critically important to HCA as we seek ways to provide even better care for our patients. From big data analytics to creating more efficient work processes, HIT is the backbone that supports many of our advanced clinical care initiatives. We look forward to continuing our work with the Nashville Technology Council, Center for Medical Interoperability and others to support the growth and development of HIT in Nashville."

Health tech startup Axial Healthcare saw a $16.5 million round of funding last fall which will help with attaining new customers as well as hiring top quality tech talent leaders to propel it forward. Undoubtedly, this funding boost will help further Nashville's reputation as a growing tech and healthcare industry.



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