FRANKLIN, Tenn., Sept. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) announces today that it has partnered with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) to create a first-of-its-kind Small Batch – Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network.
Led jointly by MMNA and the EC, a small cohort of entrepreneurs will convene monthly for virtual networking events, expert-led webinars and will be given direct access to MMNA executives for in-depth, one-on-one, co-learning time.
“Nashville is a special place, fueled by a bold, creative energy that is especially apparent in its entrepreneur community,” said MMNA Chief Operating Officer Mark Chaffin. “Through this partnership, Mitsubishi Motors helps to celebrate individuals who choose to do things differently and think outside the box. Working in concert with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center is our tangible way of showing that.”
At the core of this new program is Mitsubishi’s “small batch” ideology, which speaks to its place as a small, challenger automotive brand in the U.S. market, but also the idea that small companies can punch above their weight when they think differently, act nimbly and take risks. It is this spirit that, Mitsubishi feels, aligns the company with entrepreneurs.
Applicants will be narrowed down to 10 finalists, who will then pitch for a slot in the Small Batch – Big Ideas Network during a live, online pitch competition on Oct. 23. The top five pitches will secure a slot in the Network, and a $2,000 prize will be awarded for the best overall pitch. At the end of the year-long program, Mitsubishi will conduct a second contest, this time on social media, asking its followers to select a “fan favorite” business. The winner of the second and final competition will receive a 6-month Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross loan.
The EC is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 to serve entrepreneurs through all phases of the entrepreneurial lifecycle by connecting them with critical resources to create, launch and grow businesses. Since then, the EC has served over 10,000 entrepreneurs and graduated more than 800 alumni from high-touch programs. On average, 84% of EC alumni are still in operation today, plus they have raised more than $233M in capital and generated more than $192M in revenue with successful exits well over $100M.
“Our team worked closely with Mitsubishi Motors to build a completely unique program for the Nashville entrepreneur and small business community,” said EC CEO Jane Allen. “This type of support, access and exposure is more critical now than ever, and we are proud to partner with Mitsubishi to deliver that.”
 For both the cash prize and vehicle loan, certain terms and conditions will apply.