Marcus Whitney leads ever-evolving investment and innovation firm Jumpstart Foundry. He’s one of the partners behind an effort to bring a minor league soccer team to Nashville. And he’s writing a book on entrepreneurship, part of his latest venture, The Unlikely Co., which is designed to show a broader pool of people the path to entrepreneurship. In short: He’s a busy guy.

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At the end of this month, 16 entrepreneurs will pitch 10 business ideas to an audience of business and community leaders. If they’re successful, they might land a little bit of grant money, some free feedback or even a new mentor.

But these founders won’t look like those at your standard pitch event. Why?

They’re teenagers.

The 10 businesses pitching are the product of Oasis Venture, a teen entrepreneurship program launched earlier this year in partnership with The Unlikely Co., well-known Nashville entrepreneur Marcus Whitney’s latest venture. The program is hosted by the Oasis Center, an organization focused on outreach to at-risk youth.

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When my partner Vic and I decided to go all in (ie. full time) at Jumpstart Foundry a year and a half ago, we knew that we were not going to do what we had done for the previous five years. There was much to have learned from running one of the first accelerators in…

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Nashville entrepreneur Marcus Whitney knows what opportunity looks like. He has helped build several successful tech companies — including Emma and Moontoast — and now he invests in other people’s startups. He talked to reporter Emily Siner during WPLN’s live series Movers & Thinkers about discovering the next big idea — and how he’s changed that discovery process over the years.

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In its early days, Jumpstart Foundry was a local version of the television hit “Shark Tank”: A few teams pitched their company idea and a group of 20 experienced Nashville entrepreneurs and investors, meeting over beer and pizza at Belmont University, would choose the best concept to invest in and help build. The next month, they did it all over again.

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Jumpstart president Marcus Whitney gives these statistics: Jumpstart has graduated 37 tech companies, and they’ve gone on to raise $25 million in total. Only seven startups were related to healthcare.

“But those seven companies, about 20 percent of our graduates, have raised more than half of the money and have had a better success rate — meaning they’ve survived more than the average Jumpstart company,” Whitney said.

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