Cool Tech Companies Thrive in Williamson County
Local businesses are transforming artificial intelligence applications, events, hospitality
Williamson County continues to be a draw for technology companies, thanks to the area’s affordability and livability. In fact, more than one-third of Nashville Technology Council members call the county home. In addition, many who work for tech companies throughout the greater Nashville area choose to call Williamson County home. Some companies relocated to the area, while others are homegrown.
Here’s a look at three thriving tech companies that call Williamson County home:
How do organizations create an event experience powerful enough to keep attendees from being engrossed in their smartphones?
AP Live is accepting this challenge through offering cutting-edge technology that supports their clients’ goals.
“I think technology will increasingly be used to keep audiences engaged,” says Tom Atema Jr., the company’s founder, owner and CEO. “I think there will always be face-to-face meetings, but how do you keep them actively engaged when they’re used to looking at their phone all day? That’s where technology will help people retain and recall information.”
AP Live specializes in high-end technology — lights, sound systems, screens, projectors and LED video walls — for meetings, events, arena shows, high-end trade shows and festivals. For example, the company handles the technological requirements for the world-renowned Memphis in May Festival and many e-sport competitions.
The technology company, which has three locations and 58 employees, works with an increasing number of clients around the globe.
“We’ve grown more in the past year than in all our years,” says Atema. “We have more new clients, more revenue, more employees and more new contractors, many of whom are from the Middle Tennessee area.”
What ultimately sets AP Live apart is its commitment to service, he says.
“We provide a level of service that you can’t get at a hotel or venue,” Atema said. “We provide premier gear that allows us to provide a premier level of service. We want to be the best at what we do, and we want to serve the people who want the best.”
Digital Reasoning creates artificial intelligence (AI) technology that helps people — from doctors to police officers — do their jobs better. The company’s AI software analyzes human language and behaviors to identify key patterns and, ultimately, solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
“We purposely pick problems that we think are morally impactful,” said Digital Reasoning founder and president Tim Estes.
For example, Digital Reasoning’s AI software analyzes cancer pathology reports and notes for HCA Healthcare. This process significantly shortens the turnaround time between when patients are screened to when they begin treatment. This process also enabled HCA medical staff to focus their time on having meaningful interactions with patients. As a result, HCA drastically increased its patient retention rate from 55 percent to 90 percent.
Digital Reasoning also partners with Thorn, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to stop human sex trafficking.
“We built the most prolifically used anti-child sex trafficking system that identifies children who are being put up and marketed online,” Estes said. “Thousands of police officers all over the country and in Canada use this system every month. About 10,000 underage children in the U.S. have been identified and rescued by the system in the last three to four years.”
Additionally, Estes foresees that AI will continue to open up new opportunities for human creativity.
“At the end of the day, AI is not going to replace all the jobs in the world,” Estes said. “Instead, it will open up so much human time and potential that people are freed up to do their best work.”
Discover Williamson County
If you stay in hotels often and notice your request of the front desk to send you extra towels or replace a broken hair dryer seems to be answered more quickly than before, you might thank a Williamson County company called Quore. The company’s management software system enables hotel management to more quickly deploy back-of-the-house staff to meet such needs and more.
Quore is the brainchild of Scott Schaedle, whose family has roots in the hospitality industry. While working as a hotel engineer, Schaedle realized his work could be better organized and began developing the Quore system.
Using mobile technology or a web browser, Quore allows hotel front desk staff to quickly deploy housekeeping and maintenance staff when an issue arises. In addition, the software helps hotel managers organize preventative maintenance and manage fixed assets.
Quore has rapidly expanded and now is an integral part of the workflow in 3,700 hotels worldwide. Additionally, half of the top 100 hotel management companies use Quore — including IHG (which runs Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites), Choice, Marriott and Hilton. This rapid expansion has led the company to move into a new 26,000-square-foot office in the Meridian development in Cool Springs and triple its workforce.
Schaedle and his staff plan to continue to find ways to innovate to help hotels improve efficiency and productivity.
“Quore allows hotel employees to use mobile devices to do their day-to-day jobs,” Schaedle says. “The data from Quore is then aggregated and used by management to see the full picture of what is going on in the hotel. This data allows hotel managers to make smarter decisions on behalf of their guests.”