Startup Week CHA 2021 Startup Week CHA 2021


Monday, October 18, 2021

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.

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.

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?

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.