At long last, Google Fiber announced its official on-the-ground status in Nashville this week — although if you don’t live in just a handful of buildings, you’re not gonna be enjoying that speedy Internet just yet. (And we don’t really know when the rest of us are due to get it, though we at least know the price points to expect now.)
So, there’s our Nashville techie excitement for the moment.
It’s pretty cool that we’re among the first half dozen or so cities across the U.S. to get Google’s speedy online offering, though it’s definitely not unwarranted — Nashville has been growing steadily as a tech hotspot, so it’s fitting that we’d catch the eye of one of the world’s biggest tech companies.
We may not have a Google-sized tech company based here (they are planning a big data center in Clarksville), but we do have plenty of exciting homegrown companies working in the tech sector.
Not super nerdy about that stuff? Here are a few of the Nashville tech names that we think are representative of the vibrant community we have. They’re not necessarily the biggest or best-known, but we think they’re doing fun, interesting or otherwise noteworthy tech-attuned things that are well worth paying attention to, even if your interests aren’t super tech-aligned.
Tech-y Nashville companies worth knowing
Launching a music career was never easy, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any easier in the tech age, since there’s less money floating around, but more work — most rising artists juggle creativity with doing their own marketing, booking, sales/fulfillment and on and on. Nashville’s Artist Growth created an app stocked with tools meant to help keep the juggle going smoothly, from finances and merch to sales data reporting. It’s a cool creation, and it’s only right that it came from Music City — Artist Growth is based out of East Nashville.
Insurance doesn’t always seem like the sexiest of products, but when you need it, you certainly appreciate its many wonders. And for those of us who rely on tech products — like our smartphones — to get our jobs done, a tech-focused insurance-and-more company like Asurion is highly desirable. You can get their mobile device coverage through most wireless carriers, and if your phone goes missing/dies, boom: They’ll get a replacement to you as soon as the next day. If you’re a tech tool-heavy household but not a super tech-savvy family, they can help there too, with support services to keep everything communicating properly. The company’s HQ: in South Nashville.
Based in Germantown, Centresource is kind of a tech company focused on tech companies — they work in software development, whether that means designing your site or building your app, and they walk clients through from strategy to design to testing to marketing. They apparently do it pretty well, too, since they’ve snagged lots of industry awards, from a Graphic Design USA American Web Design Award to a Best in Business Award from the Nashville Business Journal.
We’re partial to Nashville-based email marketing company Emma — we use them for our own email newsletter, and find their tools to be user-friendly and effective. Which is helpful, as tech products go. That’s helped Emma do quite well in their world, too — some 50,000-plus organizations worldwide use their email products, including celebrity chef Mario Batali and tire titans Bridgestone.
OK, so Griffin isn’t a tech company in the traditional sense, since they make products you can touch and hold instead of open and click. But their products are beloved add-ons to tech tools for folks the world around — you might be protecting your iPhone with one of their Survivor cases, or charging your family’s collection of tablets/phones on their docks, or maybe scribbling in a notes app with a Griffin stylus. Launched in 1992, the company is now one of the largest providers of tech accessories around. And they’re based right in the Wedgewood-Houston area of Nashville.
If you work with a team, you might want to get to know LeanKit — they developed a tool that helps companies/teams streamline their process, to keep communication flowing, workflow organized and wasted time to a minimum. They’re based near Nashville in Franklin, but the company’s clients are global — PayPal, Adobe, Rolls-Royce and lots of other names you might’ve heard of. And our community’s definitely taking note of their impressive growth; in January, LeanKit was named Company of the Year at the Nashville Technology Council Awards.
If you don’t work in marketing, there’s a good chance you’re not aware of Raven. But if you do work in marketing, you’re almost certainly aware of their SEO, research, social media and other tools, designed to make ramping up awareness digitally a less painful, more productive process. With their tools, you can audit sites to make sure you’re getting found, create reports to make sure clients see/know exactly what you’re providing and more. Thousands of worldwide users swear by it. And the company calls Nashville home.
Are there some tech-focused Nashville players you love that we should’ve been thinking about? Feedback welcome.
And if you live in one of the few places getting Fiber already… once you get going, make us jealous with stories about how it’s working?