Health-tech firm moves HQ to downtown Nashville, expects to double staff
Nashville has enticed another growing company to relocate its headquarters to town, this time from The Sunshine State.
Health-tech startup Bridge Connector moved its base of operations into the Fifth Third Center last month, occupying 17,000 square feet on the building’s 24th floor. The company plans to fill that space by hiring more than 50 new employees this year, adding to its existing 35 local employees.
Bridge Connector founder and CEO David Wenger said the company will be hiring positions in its sales, product and tech, account management and marketing departments.
The move is another sign that out-of-market health care companies see Nashville as an appealing location to attract talent and grow their business. In recent months, emerging companies such as VisuWell, GoCheck Kids and CarePayment LLC have all moved their base of operations to Middle Tennessee.
Founded in 2017, Bridge Connector’s software connects two separate systems, such as a customer-relationship management platform and an electronic medical record, so data can automatically be shared between the two.
Wenger came up with the idea when a behavioral health client from his previous marketing business couldn’t link its Salesforce platform to its electronic medical records, leaving potentially valuable data unused.
“I started doing a lot of research and I realized that Salesforce is an extremely fast-growing company so this has got to be an issue for more than just the drug rehabs — this has got be an issue that affects all of health care,” Wenger said. “Even other technologies that come out can’t connect to other disparate systems.”
With financing from himself and his father, a physician, Wenger recruited a team to build a platform that could connect Salesforce and any other type of technology systems together. He said he wanted a system that could be easily duplicated and that the user wouldn’t need to interact with
Bridge Connector’s concept caught the eye of Axioma Ventures Managing Partner Howard Jenkins, the former CEO of Publix Super Markets Inc., a grocery store chain his father founded. Axioma invested $1.5 million into the startup in January 2018.
At the time, the company had five employees, but with the help of another $3 million of funding in March of last year, Bridge Connector now employs 53 people, with 30 clients operating in approximately 1,000 facilities. The company also has about 18 employees spread across its Knoxville and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, offices.
Bridge Connector, which raised an additional $5.5 million at the end of 2018, expects to add 150 new clients this year, Wenger said. To do that, the company has partnered with electronic medical record companies and Salesforce to target physician practices, insurance companies and health systems that need help sharing data between their systems.
On Average, Bridge Connector charges between $500 and $3,000 a month for its software, depending on the size of the client.
The company expects to raise another round of funding at the end of the year, but Wenger said the company will spend the majority of 2019 adding features and making its platform faster, while taking time to hire the right employees.
“Nashville is a health care hub. Nashville breeds health care talent,” Wenger said. “We have been able to attract some really sharp, dedicated people to this tea. We don’t grow as fast as we have with out a lot of these key hires that we’ve made.”