Startup Week CHA 2021 Startup Week CHA 2021

Monday, October 18, 2021

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!

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

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.

Rapid Growth: All About People & Culture
Chris Hurst
Chris Hurst
StratusGrid, CEO

Successful small businesses or startups aren't built by having a single "genius" or great leader at the top from day one. They are built by creating a sustainable structure and purposeful culture, of which the ability to get, keep, and grow great people should be priority number one. By obsessing over finding the best people (who fit our culture and growth goals), we have had rapid success since 2019. Tune in to hear more from Chris Hurst, CEO of StratusGrid

Starting Your Business During a Pandemic
DeJuan Jordan
DeJuan Jordan
LAUNCH, Director of Business Support

As COVID-19 continues to challenge our community and small business owners, the LAUNCH Chattanooga team is working to support entrepreneurs. This workshop will discuss the challenges and advantages of starting a business during this time, as well as the necessary steps to do so.

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"

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.

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

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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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.

Growth Mindset & Methodology (Part 2)
Anton Demenchuk
Anton Demenchuk
Cresco Group

Learn about growth frameworks that can be employed at your organization, how to select the proper key performance indicators (KPIs), plus the importance of a customer journey map.

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/


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

Bunker Connect hosted by Bunker Labs

Bunker Connect is a facilitated business networking event designed to intentionally build meaningful connections with military connected entrepreneurs, veteran small business owners, local business organizations, and potential clients. Whether exploring a new career path after active duty service, starting a business, or growing your business, building a network is critical. In a recent entrepreneur insights study, we found that 92% of entrepreneurs find having a relevant network of the highest value to them. Bunker Labs helps you build an effective network to support your entrepreneurial efforts and, most importantly, to do it together.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Incorporating Innovation to an Established Industry
Daniel Lucas
Daniel Lucas
Trident Transport, VP of Innovation

How can we bring the latest thought leaders to disrupt an industry that is rooted in legacy processes?

Lunch and Learn UTC


Come hear LoLo Bars founder, Lauren Mindermann, talk about starting her food business after graduating from UTC with a degree in Nutrition.

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.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Creating Strategic Cultures: HI USA Launch Party
Join on Eventbrite

Join us for the official launch of the global leader in research-based organizational culture management, Hofstede Insights' USA office.

Hofstede Insights, USA is located in the ever-growing, technology focused "silicon valley of the south," Chattanooga, TN. The firm is made up of management consultants, trainers, coaches, facilitators, academics and data technicians, all with global experience and recognized experts in their respective fields.

During the celebration you'll hear from...

-Chattanooga's Mayor Tim Kelly

-Hofstede Insights, USA's Director and CEO Lisa DeWaard, Ph.D.

-The Group CEO of Hofstede Insights Egbert Schram

-Investment Banker & Entrepreneur Chukuka Chukuma

Tour the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga
Hal Bowling
Hal Bowling
LAUNCH, Co-Founder/Executive Director

Starting or growing your food based business? This tour is for you!

The Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga is designed for food-centric businesses in the beginning stages of business. Think food truck owners looking for commissary and storage; caterers, bakers, or distributors in need of a kitchen; small businesses looking for a physical location to sell their food at periodic pop-ups or food truck markets.

Come meet the team, tour the space and find out if the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga is the right place for you.