The 2019 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival held in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee brought together local entrepreneurs and business leaders for two days of networking, programming and entertainment. Put on by Launch Tennessee, a state-funded nonprofit, this conference was meant to introduce investors to regional startups seeking funding.
This was our 2nd year sponsoring the Women’s Lounge at 36|86 and made some quality connections. Our partnership with Launch Tennessee is so valuable, allowing us to meet people who need our services all around the state. Though the Women’s Lounge was small, the sessions were absolutely packed, proving the need for content geared toward women entrepreneurs. We talked to various people about attending our Blue Sky, the first step in client intake, assessment, and program alignment here at Pathway WBC. Networking with our fellow vendors proved to be invaluable and our circle of impact partners grew once again.
Launch Into Networking
The two-day event brought in over 100 speakers and hundreds of entrepreneurs and innovators to meet and learn from each other. With topics like “Negotiate like a boss”, “Access to Capital 101: The struggle is real” and “Investor and Corporate Speed Dating”, 36|86 provided panels, workshops and chats for every kind of entrepreneur. Pathway Lending’s President/CEO, Clint Gwin, facilitated the session “The business of your business: Key elements needed to scale” located at Ole Red on Broadway.
Alex West Steinman (The Coven), Channing Moreland (EVAmore), Paul Sarvadi (Insperity) and Ryan Levy (Patterson Intellectual Property Law) discussed topics surrounding how to recognize the need for expansion and what those next steps look like in a business. A question heavily discussed was “Do you grow revenue or do you grow staff first?” Paul expressed that,
“The more strategic you are, the more likely you are to have consistent success.” In order to scale a business, strategic steps have to be taken to not just grow revenue, but grow employees- they go hand in hand. Delegating and working on culture are keys for building to scale. Alex West Steinman shared that in a startup, everyone becomes a tiny risk evaluator making frequent decisions and negotiating trade offs. In example, hiring staff pre-revenue freed The Coven up to do things that drive revenue. Step away from the spreadsheets and make a leap of faith.
Access to Capital 101: The struggle is real
Leslie Hayes and Courtenay Rogers of Pathway WBC spoke on Access to Capital in the Women’s Lounge at 36|86. With topics including Types of Captial, the 5 C’s of Credit, Debt VS Equity and Know Your Numbers, Pathway shared the concepts women entrepreneurs need to know before applying for a business loan, plus the different paths that lead to access to capital. Be aware of what your money is doing and don’t let your credit stop you. A powerful peace of advice for all the women in the room, shared by Leslie was,
“Don’t let anything stop you. Raise your hand. Sit at the table. Ask the questions.”
Pathway Lending is able to bring that expertise to lending and prepare anyone who thinks they’re ready to apply for a business loan. You are able to plug into all of Pathway’s resources by attending a Blue Sky for Business Modeling Workshop that takes place twice a month. Pathway WBC supports and accelerates the growth of women owned business and strengthens their impact upon the economy.
As a sponsor of 36|86, Pathway WBC was found in the Women’s Lounge in Beautiac. 36|86 was attended by both men and women, but featured programming designed for the female attendees in mind in the Women’s Lounge. We met and chatted with women from Nashville, Chattanooga, and everywhere in between, and learned about their journeys as business owners and entrepreneurs. We saw a strong interest from female Venture Capitalists and shared their excitement with the thought that our programming at Pathway could help entrepreneurs that they have to turn down. Throughout the event, with the assistance of several Pathway WBC clients, we featured a giveaway at our booth. The giveaways included goodies from Bubble Love, Dozen Bakery, East Nashville Community Acupuncture, Gimme Some Collective, Hip Hues and Moore Suds.
Music City Experience
36|86 had attendees from all over the state and brought together the best innovators and difference-makers. The efforts made by Launch Tennessee to orchestrate an event on such a large level really allowed the attendees, sponsors and speakers to connect and learn with so many entrepreneurs. Live On The Green in Downtown Nashville concluded 36|86 which allowed VIP access to Nashville’s hottest music festival and more! Live On The Green’s partnership allowed further networking throughout the weekend at the 36|86 Pavilion which also included the startup job fair.
Did you attend 36|86 and want to get plugged into the resources we have here at Pathway WBC? Use Discount Code “36|86” to receive a $5 ticket to our Blue Sky Workshop. Register here: https://www.pathwaywbc.org/events/#!event/2019/10/3/blue-sky-business-modeling-workshop