Startup Accelerator Announced in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Startups will have a brand new opportunity in the Scenic City.

New companies are the backbone of many advanced technology fields, and Chattanooga is increasingly becoming a home to them.

An announcement made today hopes to take that momentum to the next level.

Tasia Malakasis, the CEO of local nonprofit The Company Lab (Co.Lab), said, “Chattanooga has strength of industry in freight and logistics, and more people employed in freight and logistics per capita than anywhere else in the country.”

Co.Lab announced its Sustainable Mobility Accelerator Program for start-up businesses.

They define sustainable mobility as the equitable movement of goods, people, data, and energy.

In this program, they will choose six start-up businesses twice a year to give them $20,000 dollars in investment and other resources a young business needs.

After the program is finished, they could recieve up to $100,000 in additional funding.

They are targeting businesses in advanced tech industries such as logistics, electric vehicles, and quantum mechanics.

This program is being made possible by Gener8tor, a national venture capital firm who has helped launch similar programs in nearly 50 cities across the country.

Lauren Usher, a partner with Gener8tor, said, “During the course of the ten week program, we are coaching them, we are making many, many introductions to subject matter experts, serial entrepreneurs and investors across the course of those weeks in addition to working with the founders one on one to take their business to the next level.”

These announcements were made during Co. Lab’s first ever Co-Mobility Summit.

Various presentations on Chattanooga’s economic future were given including a keynote speech by AOL co-founder Steve Case.

Anyone will be able to apply for this program, which could attract both local and national attention.

Usher said, “There’s a lot of excitement in Chattanooga and a lot in the startup ecosystem already happening, so we would love to support startups locally. In addition, we know there are a lot of resources locally that startups from elsewhere may not have or may not have access to in their respective ecosystems, so we would love to encourage to check out the Chattanooga ecosystem and consider building and growing their business here as well.”

Co.Lab believes that many start-ups will be able to succeed in the Chattanooga market.

Malakasis said, “It was important for us to choose a lane, have some focus, and own that lane, but if you’re anywhere else on the stage, in this community, there are plenty of places for you to go. I think that it is overwhelmingly so here and I’ve lived in various cities and states across the United States that we have a place almost for everyone.”

The application for the program has opened.

It will be open through the end of June.

Once the first cohort of six businesses is selected, they will begin their ten week program in September.


Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News