Startup Week CHA 2021 Startup Week CHA 2021

Monday, October 18, 2021

- EDT
Badge Pickup + Co-working @ Basecamp powered by EPB

Come grab your badge to access all Startup Week CHA has to offer! Badge pickup is available starting at 8 AM and co-working held throughout the day.

Complimentary Peet's Coffee will be available each morning while supplies last night!


- EDT
Calling All Founders of Color
Brynn Plummer
Brynn Plummer
Nashville Entrepreneur Center, VP, Equity, Inclusion & Community
Monique Killyon
Monique Killyon
Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Manager, Equity, Inclusion & Community

Come find out about Twende, a year-long opportunity for tech founders of color in TN looking to grow their businesses.

This session will be followed by Office Hours in the afternoon for those interested in speaking 1:1 about the program.

- EDT
Startup Week CHA Kickoff + Fireside Chat w/ James Chapman
James Chapman
James Chapman
Plain Sight HQ, Founder & CEO
Stephanie Hays
Stephanie Hays
Airbnb, Participant, Live Anywhere Program
Lindsey Cox
Lindsey Cox
CO.LAB, CEO

Startup Week kicks off with veteran, serial entrepreneur James Chapman, who spent years contributing to the Chattanooga entrepreneurial ecosystem before taking his talents to Detroit. 

He’s the Founder & CEO of Plain Sight — a social app that allows users to make the right business connections at events and workspaces. Plain Sight was recently featured as Apple’s App of the Day.

Download the Plain Sight app and use it to connect with people throughout the week at Startup Week CHA.

The kickoff also has a special guest — Stephanie Hays, who has organized Startup Weeks in the past, and now is on a great worldwide adventure, all on Airbnb’s dime.

Hear from Stephanie, who is living it up while traveling, but wishing she had EPB’s high-speed internet, and then CO.LAB CEO Lindsey Cox and Chapman will talk fireside-chat-style. Don't miss hearing about how two Chattanooga-lovers are sharing their talents with the world.

- EDT
#BuildInSE's Pop-Up Lemonade Stand | DAY ONE
Grace Huefner
Grace Huefner
Build In SE, Co-Founder

Build In SE invites all startup founders, investors, and tech talent to swing by their inaugural Pop-Up Lemonade Stand, a new outdoor watering hole in support of startup builders in the Southeast. 

When life gives them lemons, entrepreneurs make lemonade. When Build In SE serves complimentary lemonade, entrepreneurs gather to share stories and network. 

Lemonade servings will be complimentary, while Build In SE merch will be available for sale. A portion of funds raised during this pop-up will support local charities promoting entrepreneurship in Chattanooga. 


Sponsored by First Republic Bank

- EDT
Attract Business from Residents and Visitors
Allison Wolfe
Allison Wolfe
Chattanooga Tourism Co., Partnership Director
Donna Elle
Donna Elle
Chattanooga Tourism Co., Director of Cultural Tourism

At this session, we’ll share data about Chattanooga’s tourism economy to help you understand the size of the market and make decisions for your businesses. We’ll also discuss marketing to diverse tourists and best practices for engaging visitors. You’ll leave this event with ideas on how to promote your business to our visitors and residents, and with a list of free ways to engage with Chattanooga Tourism Co.

- EDT
Raising VC Funds During the Pandemic
Ron Fabela
Ron Fabela
SynSaber, Co-Founder and CTO

Raising capital during any time can be rough, but your first round during the pandemic? Ron Fabela, cofounder of SynSaber, dives into the lessons learned from successfully raising a seed round during COVID.

- EDT
Get Your Angel (Investor) Wings
Jay Shaffer
Jay Shaffer
Atlanta Technology Angels, Board Member
Chris Cummings
Chris Cummings
Iconic Moments & Pass It Down, Founder & CEO
Graham Gintz
Graham Gintz
Knightley, CEO

In this session we will cover: investor accredidation, what kinds of companies to look for, and risk vs. returns (i.e. what to expect).

Who should attend? - Those interested in becoming angel investors - People interested in technology and investing - Founders who want perspective on "the other side of the table"

- EDT
The Future of Capital — Raising it, Accessing It
Read Ezell
Read Ezell
Wefunder, Nashville City Partner
Jonathan Bragdon
Jonathan Bragdon
Capacity | Capacity Capital, CEO | Investor

Wefunder and Capacity Capital are partnering to host a conversation about new avenues to access and raise capital for businesses of all types.

The most important driver of economic growth in Chattanooga is home-grown entrepreneurship. Regulation crowdfunding and other alternative capital tools can help make sure that our community can invest in the founders they care about supporting most.

- EDT
Will This FLOAT?

This might be the start of a dream come true. Nine people with fresh, creative, fun visions will swallow their fears and doubts and take the stage to present business ideas in this pitch competition. Come see if their ideas FLOAT and connect with budding entrepreneurs.

The full list of companies selected to pitch can be viewed here

Judges for the event include:

  • Adrienne Cooper, founder and CEO of Moonlight Roller
  • Erin Felton Lopez, Etsy Inc. Strategy & Analytics, MBA, Ex-Goldman Sachs
  • Meilani Santillán, Program Director at Code for America
  • Jay Shaffer, Angel Investor and Board Member of Atlanta Tech Angels

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

- EDT
Sustainability Made Simple: Future Proofing Your Business
Kelley Cureton
Kelley Cureton
green|spaces Chattanooga, Director of Programs and Events

What does sustainability mean to your startup? In this session you’ll get up to speed about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), which is a term that’s becoming commonplace for investors, customers, influencers and employees. You’ll learn why it’s important to be ESG-savvy and how local nonprofit green|spaces can help.

- EDT
Sustainability and Recycling Pitch & Pilot Competition

The City of Chattanooga and The Company Lab are partnering for a Sustainability and Recycling Pitch & Pilot Competition.

The city and nonprofit are looking for creative ways to drive the waste management structures and infrastructure systems.

This includes changes to technology, infrastructure, and educating residents.

Members of the public are invited to submit ideas covering one or more of the five areas listed below.

  1. Circular Economy
  2. Cost Efficiency in Recycling Processes
  3. Consumer/resident Education
  4. Labor Reduction
  5. Composting

Four submissions will be selected to pilot in partnership with CO.LAB and the City of Chattanooga, and those selected will be awarded a small stipend.

Chosen solutions will present during Startup Week CHA 2021 on Tues. Oct. 19 at noon and be evaluated on:

  1. Understanding of problem/solutions
  2. Quality of recommendation
  3. Implementation
  4. Feasibility (including an estimated budget)

The selected solution(s) will be selected for pilot programs to assess their feasibility in Chattanooga.

As part of the pilot process, these four ideas will be presented as a pitch event on Wed. Oct. 19, 2021 as part of Startup Week CHA.

Applications are due Oct. 3, and selected applicants will be notified Oct. 10.

Anyone with an idea can email a proposal to [email protected]

- EDT
#BuildInSE's Pop-Up Lemonade Stand | DAY TWO
Grace Huefner
Grace Huefner
Build In SE, Co-Founder

Build In SE invites all startup founders, investors, and tech talent to swing by their inaugural Pop-Up Lemonade Stand, a new outdoor watering hole in support of startup builders in the Southeast. 

When life gives them lemons, entrepreneurs make lemonade. When Build In SE serves complimentary lemonade, entrepreneurs gather to share stories and network. 

Lemonade servings will be complimentary, while Build In SE merch will be available for sale. A portion of funds raised during this pop-up will support local charities promoting entrepreneurship in Chattanooga. 


Sponsored by First Republic Bank

- EDT
Building Social Impact Into Your Business
Charles Wood
Charles Wood
Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Vice President - Economic Development

Social impact investing and conscious capital have become widespread themes in business over the last several years. This session will include a panel of entrepreneurs who have embraced social impact as part of their business model. You'll hear how they embedded in their corporate culture and get their advice to founders who want use their business to drive more than profits.

- EDT
How to Pitch an Angel (Investor)
Jay Shaffer
Jay Shaffer
Atlanta Technology Angels, Board Member

Your pitch is your movie trailer.

In this session we will cover:

- Slides & information investors expect to see

- Questions you SHOULD ask... and what you SHOULDN'T

- Adapting your pitch for any situation

Additionally, we will select companies from the audience to give 30 second, 1 minute and 2 minute elevator pitches - and receive live feedback from our panel.

- EDT
TVFCU Idea Leap Pitch Competition
TVFCU
TVFCU
Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, Communications/Media Relations

Join TVFCU for the Idea Leap Pitch Picnic on the front lawn of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Come early at 3:30 p.m. to set up your lawn chair or spread your picnic blanket and grab an early supper from Chatter Box Café for this outdoor, socially-distant event. The Pitch Competition will begin at 4 p.m. as Champion Christian Learning Academy, Chatt Taste Food Tours, LLC, Lil Mama's Chicago Style Hoagy, Salon Posh and Wild Violet Permaculture, LLC compete for the five Idea Leap Grants ($21K, $15K, $10K, $7K and $5K). In the event of rain, the event will be strictly virtual. Furthermore, if there is a COVID-19 case surge, the event may pivot to strictly virtual. Follow TVFCU on social media for event details

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

- EDT
UTC Entrepreneurship Breakfast feat. Branch Technology

THIS EVENT REQUIRES A SEPARATE REGISTRATION

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will host the 2021 Entrepreneurship Breakfast, which will feature Branch Technology founder Platt Boyd.

Members of the Chattanooga community are invited to join us for the UTC Entrepreneurship Breakfast featuring Branch Technology Founder and CEO Platt Boyd on Wednesday, October 20 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the UTC University Center Tennessee Room. Enjoy a FREE breakfast, chat with students and faculty, and learn more about Boyd's entrepreneurial journey.

- EDT
SBIR/STTR as a Commercialization Tactic

Through a federal competitive awards-based program, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide non-dilutive funding to small businesses conducting research and development. Join us to learn how SBIR/STTR may fit into your company’s larger commercialization strategy, how to increase the quality of your proposal, and how the Launch Tennessee SBIR/STTR Matching Fund is supporting startup growth across the state.

Breakfast & coffee provided. 

Speaker bio: Jim Stefansic is the Director of Corporate Development at Cumberland Emerging Technologies (CET). His responsibilities include sourcing, evaluating, and negotiating for new biopharmaceutical product and technology opportunities especially with academic institutions, in addition to project fundraising and product commercialization. 

Dr. Stefansic was previously COO of Pathfinder Therapeutics, Inc., a company he co-founded, where he led FDA regulatory submissions and business development activities. While there, he raised more than $17 million in venture capital and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding. He also previously served as the Director of Commercialization at Launch Tennessee, where he was instrumental in leading the acquisition of funding to develop and support the statewide SBIR program.  He earned an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, a doctorate from Vanderbilt, and his MBA from Belmont University's Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Business and was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2011. Dr. Stefansic started his career as a Research Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and has patented several technologies. He also serves as a Director at Raiven Healthcare, a company he co-founded.


- EDT
How Smart Cities Are Built

The Center for Urban Informatics and Progress explore the history and current state of Chattanooga's technology and smart city initiatives and how the two work together. By using the MLK Smart Corridor as our primary example, we will explain its purpose and goals, application, and future efforts. We will take a special look at our lidar-based pedestrian analytics project and how it is shaping local policy.

- EDT
Full Steam Ahead: Meet Steam Logistics!
Malcolm Harris
Malcolm Harris
Steam Logistics, Recruiting Manager

Hosted by Jason Provonsha and Malcolm Harris, this event is to learn more about Steam as we are reshaping transportation logistics, providing end-to-end visibility and custom solutions for every customer. Steam is one of the fastest growing 3PLs in the U.S., delivering integrated logistics solutions across International, Drayage, and Domestic transportation modes. We are diverse group of high-minded individuals, dedicated to continuing to drive our company’s explosive growth and investing in our company’s unique culture.

We are fun, but serious about outcomes. We are quirky, but we get things done. Above all, we are committed to living out our company’s mission and maxims and we want exceptional people to join us on this journey!

- EDT
Tech & Startups & Jobs: Job Fair 2021

New this year! Join us for the inaugural Startup Week CHA Job Fair. Come meet area employers from tech-enabled startups to major and mid-sized businesses who are hiring right now.

Explore work opportunities from:

Austin Sizemore • FT - Sales/Real Estate Professionals 

Bellhop • FT - Sales/Human Resources/Software/Operations/Management

Carbon Five • FT - Software

Chattanooga Selfie Museum • FT/PT - Management/Marketing

Chattanooga Tourism Co. • FT - Marketing

The City of Chattanooga • FT - Human Resources/Software/

Operations/Management

The Enterprise Center • FT - Marketing/Communications

EPB • FT - Customer Service/Technical Support/Network Engineering/Electrical Engineering/Resource Planning/Dispatch/Marketing/IT

Girls Inc. of Chattanooga • FT - Operation/Programs Coordinator 

Iron Workers Local 704 • FT/PT - Skilled Labor/Operations

Komatsu • FT - Finance/Accounting/operations/skilled labor

Legacy Box • FT - Marketing/Human Resources/Customer Service/Software/Operations/Management

Marius Group • FT/PT/Intern - Sales/Marketing/Human Resources

M&M Industries • FT/PT - Maintenance Operators/Packers/Printers/Injection Molding

Novo Health Services • 

Reliance Partners • FT - Sales/Marketing/Customer Service/Finance/Accounting/Software/Operations/Management

Robert Half • FT/PT - Marketing/Human Resources/Customer Service/Finance/Accounting

Shelly Cove • FT/PT - Operations

Skuid • FT

Steam Logistics • FT - Sales/Operations/Administration

Text Request • FT - Software

The Professional Cleaning Solution • FT/PT - Operations

Trident Transport • FT - Sales

- EDT
From Idea to First Sale

Hosted by Pathway Lending, join us an in-depth conversation with a serial entrepreneur, lender, and a local business owner. Our panel will address topics ranging from what is an entrepreneur, market research (is my idea worth pursuing), how to set up a business, and accessing capital. This will be an open conversation with Q&A at the end. We look forward to having you join us!

- EDT
Makers Marketplace

30+ Chattanooga-area vendors will be in one place so you can browse all the best from entrepreneurs across the city. The event will be in Miller Plaza’s Waterhouse Pavilion on Oct. 20 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m

- EDT
Chattanooga's FIRST-EVER "Network Under 40" + Book Launch from TED Speaker

THIS EVENT REQUIRES A SEPARATE REGISTRATION. Click THIS LINK to register for the event and use the promo code CHA for a free ticket.

Who: You and 50-100 of Chattanooga's top Millennial-aged entrepreneurs, corporate talents, and side-hustlers

What: A night of networking to build friendships and business collaborations.

Where: Branch Technology, 1530 Riverside Drive, Suite B, Chattanooga, TN 37406

When: Wednesday, Oct 20th from 6-9pm

Why: The quality of your life and the success you achieve in your career is a direct result of the people you meet along your journey.

There are few spaces where you can genuinely bring your best self, engage with your peers without fear or awkwardness, and have fun while networking.

Network Under 40 has connected over 30,000 business owner and corporate "intrapreneurs" like yourself to their next job, client, friend, mentor, and opportunity, all in low-pressure and high-fun environments. We've hosted these events for 10 years in cities like Atlanta, Nashville, Baltimore, DC, Austin, Denver, and more.

Now, we're bringing NU40 to CHA.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

- EDT
Leveraging Your Local Ecosystem for Growth
Kenneth Burke
Kenneth Burke
Text Request, VP of Marketing
Briana Garza
Briana Garza
Chatt Taste Food Tours, LLC, Owner/ Co-Founder
David Martin
David Martin
Heed PR, Co-Founder | Partner

Text Request has grown nationally, in part, because of the resources and relationships we have access to right here in Chattanooga. Join Kenneth Burke, VP of Marketing at Text Request and  Briana Garza-Wilson, co-founder of Chatt Taste, to learn how to leverage the local business ecosystem to build your reputation and revenue.  David Martin, cofounder of Heed PR, will moderate. You'll walk away with a game plan to grow your brand, recruit top talent, increase sales, and move your business forward — all while giving back to our community.

- EDT
What does TikTok do again?

Learn the basics of TikTok and get tips on using it from a millenial who found surprise success on this social media platform.

- EDT
Hardhat Tour of Brickyard
Matt Patterson
Matt Patterson
Brickyard, Co-Founder/General Partner

Meet the team — and see the space while it's still being built — of Chattanooga's new early-stage capital and founder's club. Built & funded by the founders of Bellhop and Lamp Post Group, Brickyard recruits world-class founders from all over the country to exit the rat-race, and build unencumbered alongside others in it, and those who’ve been through it.

- EDT
TVA ED Community Innovation Academy

What would it look like if local governments and communities thought like start-ups to solve problems in their community? If 77% of economic growth can be attributed to small creative advances, what role could our communities play in leveraging those creative advances to create more economic opportunities for their communities?

Whether you’re a pioneering business executive, a startup hustler, a government leader, or a curious student or resident who cares about their community, this event is for you.

Join us for a pitch event to hear 6 community teams from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region present their top ideas and solutions aimed at solving a complex community challenge over the course of a 5-minute pitch. During our 2 hour program, our community teams will look to engage expert judges known as (Sharks) and audience members to identify and connect resources (ie. feedback, introductions, relationships, program funding).

The Challenge? Communities are inherently slow in responding to solve social and economic problems together. Many of them struggle to break down silos and deploy horizontal collaborations with diverse teams that produce the creative ideas critical to achieving the results that they are seeking.

By participating in the TVA ED Community Innovation Academy the past seven months, these teams of local economic developers and  community champions explored  tools, tactics and skills to more effectively and collaboratively solve community problems with the goal of sparking more economic growth and shared prosperity.

Participants were tasked with organizing a community innovation team, identifying a critical community problem, and incubating a solution that could solve it and positively support growth in their local economies. Teams have completed ecosystem maps, performed community innovation capacity assessments, engaged in hours of collaboration meetings, and are now interested in each sharing their bright ideas on the national stage of Chattanooga start-up week.

- EDT
Chambliss Startup Social + The Startup Awards

Join us for the annual Startup Social (powered by Chambliss Startup Group) + the Startup Awards!

CHAMBLISS STARTUP SOCIAL powered by Chambliss Startup Group | 6 PM - 7:30 PM

Meet us at Naked River Brewing & BBQ starting at 6PM to eat, drink and network with entrepreneurs, startups, founders, and Chattanooga's movers and shakers.

At the conclusion of the Startup Social, a special surprise guest will take us from Naked River across the street to Finley Stadium for the Startup Awards.

STARTUP AWARDS | 7:30 PM - 9 PM

Join us for the annual Startup Awards, where we will recognize and celebrate the next generation of emerging companies as well as everyone who helped them become successful along the way.

The awards will be held on the field of Finley Stadium and include opportunities to meet players from the Chattanooga Football Club.

We will also have a late-night food truck on site for eats and drinks.

Awards will be given to:

  • Startup of the Year, voted on by the public
  • High Growth Company of the Year, presented by CO.LAB
  • Goldfinch of the Year, presented by the INCubator
  • Micro-business of the Year, presented by LAUNCH Chattanooga
  • Charlie Brock Ecosystem Builder of the Year 
  • Volunteer of the Year, presented by The Enterprise Center
  • Rising Star of the Year, presented by the TSBDC
  • Latino Entrepreneur of the Year, presented by LaPaz

Friday, October 22, 2021

- EDT
Tour the MLK Testbed for Smart City Technology

You've likely driven or walked on the UTC testbed for Smart Cities located downtown on MLK Boulevard, but do you know about the innovation taking place? Join UTC for a walk-and-talk tour of the space and learn how innovative technology is being developed and deployed in a real-world setting - right here in Chattanooga!

You can find the meeting point here

- EDT
CO.LAB Open House + End of Week Block Party with Chattanooga Design Studio & The Enterprise Center

Come meet the CO.LAB Team & Chattanooga Design Studio for an open house at CO.LAB and an afternoon block party powered by Chattanooga Design Studio and The Enterprise Center on Georgia Avenue. 




- EDT