Blog: Crafting The Nashville Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Just a few months ago, Craig Kuphall was tasked with developing the first Vanderbilt Owen C4E Nashville Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. Craig discusses his methodology, challenges, and key takeaways from this summer project.

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Craig began his Master of Business Administration degree at the Owen Graduate School of Management in 2019. He will graduate in May 2021 with a concentration in Human and Organizational Leadership.

Craig admits, there was little playbook to go by for creating this model. His process included strategically structuring a survey to gather information, a lot of community outreach, and systematically categorizing responses received. As information kept coming in, the map kept growing. “It was not a linear progression by any stretch”, Craig says.

After months of strategizing and preparation, Craig and the Vanderbilt Owen Center for Entrepreneurship’s vision came to fruition with a completed outline. It is Craig’s mission for the physical poster of this diagram to live in each investor’s office, co-working spaces, and other education and university centers in Nashville. “They view this as a great resource, even for their own mission”, says Craig. 

Craig shared that the biggest challenge throughout the project was “trying to strike the right balance between putting as much information as possible on the map and it not being too overwhelmed.”

We are excited to announce that Version 1.0 of the ecosystem is now live. Check back soon for the release of Version 2.0, the interactive digital platform, on the C4E website.

Download the PDF: Nashville Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Map Version 1.0