Country music singer and entrepreneur Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn has an issue most businesses would love to have. His Nashville-area winery, Arrington Vineyards and Winery, is so popular that it is considering growing to accommodate more events.
Brooks took a unique approach to this expansion. He turned to students from the Vanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute to create a physical space plan and operating plan that would produce new earnings streams without jeopardizing the integrity and mission of the vineyard and winery.
The Accelerator Summer Business Institute is an intense monthlong business boot camp run by the Owen School. In the program, college students and recent graduates from across the country are immersed in a competitive business environment, working to create the winning solution to real challenges from top local and national companies. The students hone essential skills in marketing, sales, finance, real estate, research and corporate strategy, while participating companies receive the brain power, creativity and proposals of at least eight teams of highly motivated millennials.
Other 2009 Accelerator projects included:
- Sony Music Nashville: aiding Sony Music to further develop the 360-degree concept of building artists’ brands
- Coca-Cola Enterprises: creating marketing ideas to help promote Coca-Cola’s corporate responsibility and sustainability (CRS) goals
- BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee: creating a social network for BCBST and its subsidiary Gordian that links people with similar illnesses, interests and wellness goals
- Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce: helping rebrand the city as an entrepreneurial hotbed, while respecting the “music city” brand
- Cisco & Presidio: creating a marketing message and go-to-market program on the intersection of WebEx and TelePresence technology.