Founders Live Nashville 2024: A Showcase of Innovation and Community Spirit in Music City

Founders Live Nashville is always an exciting night in the startup community and the latest event on March 6th, 2024 was no exception.  Founders Live is a pitch competition that revolutionizes the traditional judging panel by empowering the audience to make pivotal decisions. In this dynamic showdown, startups are challenged with a thrilling task: convey their vision, ignite the audience’s imagination, and make a lasting impression—all in a mere 99 seconds. The stakes are high and the clock is ticking, but the excitement doesn’t stop there. Following their rapid-fire presentations, each contender steps into the spotlight for a four-minute Q&A session, offering the audience a deeper dive into their innovative business ideas. 

“Embracing the startup community through events like Founders Live is crucial for fostering innovation that challenges the status quo. It’s an opportunity for us to connect with the brightest minds who are thinking differently and to support them in bringing their visions to life.  Nashville may be known as Music City, but is fast becoming a hotbed of innovation that the startup community from around the county is flocking to.” – Shane Shown, CEO of Nxt Level

This is the second year that the Founders Live Nashville crew, led by Nxt Level’s CEO Shane Shown and COO Taylor Duncan, have held the event in conjunction with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (EIC) of Williamson County Schools.  A select group of students from the EIC are given the opportunity  to present alongside the founders in the “Future Leaders and Innovators” division. 

“Founders Live is such an important program for the students of the EIC. The students get to see real-world pitches and the business models behind those products.  Students are fortunate enough to share the stage at Founders Live and get invaluable experience pitching, feedback, and networking opportunities.” Dr. Jeremy Qualls

The Founders Live startups this time around covered a range of companies, from AI in music, medicine, and business to femcare products.

Directories.AI is a new platform for knowledge curation and content collaboration between your community members and AI.  CEO Blake Everett, founded the company to believe in the transformative potential of AI, combined with human ingenuity, to curate knowledge and drive data-driven decisions. The platform democratizes AI access, empowering businesses with streamlined insights for success.

First Rule, founded by Joel Kaiser and Rob Baker, is a company that is redefining the harmony between technology and creative rights. Their mission is to unify and safeguard copyrights in the music industry, offering rights holders and creators the tools to engage confidently with AI’s creative potential.

Founders Live Nashville had a first this go around; a tie! Between Xuron and Trace.  

“Never in our Nashville Founders Live history have we had such a close vote. What was cool was seeing such a wide breadth of companies pitch and the voting showed a torn crowd. We had people pitch who were 17 years old and people who pitched that have 17-year-old kids. Women and Men. CPG to AI. All under the Entrepreneur and Innovation Center roof.” – Taylor Duncan, COO of Nxt Level

Xuron, founded by Ian Nott, is improving patient outcomes through training better medical professionals. With their AI models, they allow medical professionals to gain better soft skills to listen and diagnose better.

Trace, founded by a women’s healthcare provider, Clair Crunk, is the only organic feminine care product that can be traced from farm to packaging, providing women with a cleaner and healthier period experience. 

The student’s Future Founders and Innovative division winner was Anthony Beckett.  He is the inventor of Markify.  Markify revolutionizes the digital whiteboard with real-time notetaking. As annotations are created, the whiteboard is streamed to students across the classroom. Students can see the notes up close and contribute if given temporary edit access.  His product is already in use in Williamson County!

Our runners-up were Hidden Adventures and Written by Raya.  Hidden Adventures is a scavenger hunt kit that you purchase for your party or corporate event.  Written by Raya is a unique take on the bullet journal.

As the curtains closed on another electrifying Founders Live Nashville event, it was clear that the evening was more than just a competition—it was a vibrant celebration of innovation, collaboration, and community spirit. The diverse range of pitches, from groundbreaking AI technologies to sustainable femcare products, underscored Nashville’s emerging reputation as a crucible of entrepreneurial talent. The tie between Xuron and Trace highlighted the audience’s appreciation for both cutting-edge medical advancements and sustainable healthcare products, illustrating the broad spectrum of innovation that Founders Live nurtures. Moreover, the inclusion of the “Future Leaders and Innovators” division not only showcased the potential of young minds but also reaffirmed Founders Live Nashville’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs. As we reflect on the success of this event, it’s evident that Founders Live Nashville is not just a platform for pitching ideas; it’s a beacon for those daring to dream big and a testament to the city’s growing influence in the global startup ecosystem. Here’s to many more years of innovation, inspiration, and community at Founders Live Nashville.

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