The uptick of event activity happening across Chattanooga is an amazing indication of the progressive direction the city is heading. One example in the coming weeks is the second annual Chattanooga Startup Week Oct. 12-16.
Startup Week Chattanooga is a celebration of the city's entrepreneurial community. This multi-day experience will feature more than 75 events that highlight the city's growing startup and entrepreneurial scene. Events are organized around three tracks: Tech, Social and Creative. All three tracks will offer a variety of programming and cover a broad spectrum of topics related to starting and building a business.
In its first year in 2014, Startup Week Chattanooga had more than 50 events with an average of 80 attendees at each event hosted throughout the week.
Big name speakers confirmed for this year's Startup Week include Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia co-founder, and Andrew Hyde, the mastermind behind Startup Weekend. Note that Gary's company just opened a satellite office in Chattanooga to go along with its headquarter location in New York City.
A few other key events scheduled include the UTC Elevator Pitch Competition, Co.Starter's Summit and the AngelSummit US. There really is something for everyone, so check out the various offerings.
AngelSummit US is a two-day event taking place Oct. 13-14 that will gather more than 250 participants to learn more about the current state of startup investing.
This interactive conference will host investors, entrepreneurs, corporate innovators and other community leaders, providing a forum to forge partnerships and discover best practices to grow businesses and startup communities as well as invest capital in early-stage companies.
Startup Angels, organizers of the AngelSummit, selected Chattanooga based on its long history of entrepreneurship and the innovative story the city itself has.
They recognize Chattanooga's expertise in a variety of facets, from key industry sectors to creativity. Add in the nation's fastest citywide internet access with the launch of downtown's Innovation District ,and you get the perfect backdrop to host a national conversation on startup investing. By being selected, the Scenic City will receive a wealth of exposure as a result of the AngelSummit and further position itself as one of the country's leaders for entrepreneurship.
AngelSummit will boast two days of fantastic sessions with 60-plus speakers, including Mark Kvamme with Drive Capital, Priceline's Founding CTO Scott Case, and Andrew Mitchell with Brand Foundry Ventures. There will be representatives from global and national leaders including Techstars, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and the White House as well as session topics ranging from "Investing Beyond Silicon Valley" to "How Technology is Transforming the Food Industry."
Startup Week and Angel Summit are representative of all the entrepreneurial efforts and activities happening in Chattanooga's community. I hope you will strongly consider attending these events as they are great opportunities for networking and education. They're also an incredible platform to showcase the entrepreneurial renaissance and many great startups in Chattanooga and across the state. For more information or to register, please visit startupweekcha.com and us.angelsummit.io.
Charlie Brock is CEO of Launch Tennessee (www.launchtn.org), a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee.