The Chattanooga region is an entrepreneurial hotbed for the Southeast. Anchored by Chattanooga’s Innovation District, the entrepreneurial activity in the region is gaining the attention of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from around the world as a place to scale companies. In fact, Business Insider recently ranked Tennessee and Georgia in a top ten list of U.S. states where Black entrepreneurs have the best chance of launching a successful business and getting the resources they need. The cost of office space and utilities, world’s fastest broadband internet service (10 gigs per second) play a key role in the city’s affordability.
Entrepreneurs are supported by a strong ecosystem with resources for early stage companies with mentoring, accelerator programs, public and private led incubators in the region, access to capital and talent.
The GCEP region offers three business incubators located in Whitfield, Bradley and Hamilton Counties. Additionally, there are other programs and resources outside of these business accelerators offered throughout the region. The Company Lab is a nonprofit startup accelerator with programs tailored to help brand-new business owners navigate the early phases of starting their company. The Edney Innovation Center is a 90,000 square foot, 10-story building dedicated to serving as a connection point and support base for entrepreneurs. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) offers classes and coaching to regional entrepreneurs. The TSBDC has long-standing relationships with the Bradley and Hamilton County incubators, providing easy access for entrepreneurs. Their predominately free programming removes barriers to access. The Urban League enables African-Americans, other minorities and disadvantaged individuals access to resources that help secure economic self-reliance. Launch Chattanooga offers business training, support and affordable resources to underrepresented entrepreneurs, empowering them to create sustainable and successful businesses.
Brach Technologies is a construction and technology company inspired by nature and sustainability. Rather than using a hammer and nails, Branch 3D prints their designs into stunning architecture. Branch Technology got their start in the Hamilton County INCubator, they’ve since moved into their own 40,000 sq ft manufacturing facility outfitted with 15 3D printing robots.
Branch founder, Platt Boyd says, “Chattanooga is like rocket fuel for startups”.
A thriving entrepreneurial community points to a strong and diverse economy. The pull entrepreneurs feel to the Chattanooga region is a testament to the talent concentrated here. This is a bonus for any business looking to locate in the Chattanooga region, the dedicated workforce concentrated here ensures a qualified talent pipeline for generations to come.