January 11, 2016

Brentwood Home Page

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) is hoping to foster the next big idea through a partnership with Williamson, Inc. to bring PreFlight to aspiring entrepreneurs who live or work in Williamson County.

PreFlight is the EC’s pre-accelerator educational program for entrepreneurs with idea-stage startups looking to create a foundation for launching their businesses.

“We’re excited about being able to access groups of entrepreneurs and business people that might not otherwise have been able to make it to the EC,” said John Murdock, the EC’s vice president of entrepreneurial development and facilitator of the PreFlight classes.

PreFlight will take 30 participants on a 14-week journey consisting of 90-minute interactive classes on Wednesday nights from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Classes begin Feb. 3 and conclude April 27 at the Williamson, Inc. Chamber office, 5005 Meridian Blvd., Suite 150 in Franklin. The registration fee of $1,250 includes two seats per startup. Early registrants can enter promo code WILLIAMSON during online registration and receive $200 off the full price. The offer ends Friday, Jan. 15 at 5 p.m.

Registration will remain open until all slots are filled.

PreFlight is for people who want to explore their concept’s viability and learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur as well as for entrepreneurs with the goal of applying to an accelerator program. Participants receive a variety of benefits, including: the opportunity to apply skills in ideation, customer development, product-market fit, pricing and pitch-building; unlimited access to the EC’s mentor pool of more than 200 business leaders, startup operators, resource providers and industry specialists; an invitation to attend EC community events like Sip It!, Entrepreneur’s Happy Hour and special speakers; drop-in first-come, first-serve workspace at the EC during business hours; and an opportunity to pitch to a panel of startup and investment experts for feedback at the program’s end.

Participants will also have access to more than six hours of in-depth presentations through an online platform in addition to weekly reading material and optional online quizzes and assignments.

The EC launched PreFlight two years ago out of a growing need for assistance from entrepreneurs wanting to test their ideas without the associated commitment or risk. The EC is branching out in new ways to expand the program to other Tennessee counties and nonprofits across the country.

“We’ve used the program outside of Nashville already in different models,” Murdock said, who has worked with more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and helped graduates raise $70 million from investors.

“What we are doing with Williamson, Inc. will be our most intensive format of providing the program where we go out and teach the program onsite to participants, rather than have them streaming the class virtually.”

Interested participants can register online at www.williamsonchamber.com/entrepreneurship/preflight or contact Existing Business Manager Nick Biniker at nick@williamsonchamber.com. To learn more about PreFlight and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, go to www.ec.co/preflight.