Bill Frist interviewed Larry Ellison at first-ever forum, held at luxury Franklin resort

The co-founder and chairman of the technology company driving Nashville’s historic economic development deal was in town last week, at the invitation of a titan of Nashville’s health care industry.

Larry Ellison — cofounder, chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) — capped the opening day of the first-ever Frist Cressey Ventures Forum, held at the luxury Southall Farm & Inn resort in Franklin. Ellison was interviewed one-on-one by Bill Frist, who is co-founder of that health care venture capital firm and a transplant surgeon whose father and brother created what’s today HCA Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: HCA).

The conversation paired one of Nashville’s preeminent health care minds with an executive who spent $28.3 billion last year to acquire health care business Cerner Corp. That purchase plunged Oracle deeper into Nashville’s signature industry and almost assures that the company’s planned $1.35 billion riverfront office campus on the East Bank will feature health care. Oracle has pledged to create 8,500 jobs by 2031, marking the largest jobs deal on record in city and state history.

“His vision and passion for health care left the room awestruck and inspired,” Frist wrote on his LinkedIn page. “He opened our eyes to how close we are to seeing transformative, life-changing, technological advances in health.”

Ellison’s appearance is a rare visit to the Nashville area (and it placed the third-wealthiest person on the planet on the same stage with a member of the No. 32 family on Forbes’ annual rankings).

Oracle already employs hundreds of workers based at a 100,000-square-foot office downtown. Construction on its 70-acre property has yet to begin.

It was unclear what else Ellison may have done while in the region. An Oracle spokesperson declined comment.

Frist Cressey Ventures has about $400 million of capital under management, according to Business Journal research. Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Frist said the purpose of the inaugural forum was “bringing together diverse leaders at top of industries [because] great minds think differently. We’re colliding spaces — tech, logistics, music — to inspire better health.”

Source: Nashville Business Journal