Entrepreneurs Fred Goad and Jim Kever launch one of the nation’s first data-processing health care companies, Envoy Corp. It will become an unmistakable beacon of Nashville’s health care IT presence.

From a tech startup, the organization grows exponentially over the 1980s and ’90s. When Envoy Corp. is acquired by pharmaceutical giant Quintiles Transnational for $1.7 billion in 1998, its clients include more than 200,000 physicians, 34,000 pharmacies, 38,000 dentists and 4,400 hospitals.

Kever and Goad will play significant roles in Nashville’s health care industry, founding other startups before joining capital investment funds to support further industry growth.