Tennessee native Lindsey Cox has been named chief executive officer of The Company Lab (CO.LAB), a nonprofit organization supporting entrepreneurs and startups across Southeast Tennessee.
Cox has worked in economic development at both the state and federal levels. She will assume the role on April 12.
"I'm eager to get started expanding the CO.LAB team and meeting with community stakeholders, funders and entrepreneurs," Cox said. "Chattanooga has a wealth of resources for startups, and we want to ensure we are serving the area's entrepreneurs who are eager to grow their businesses. We'll help them take their ideas to the next level."
CO.LAB provides training, mentoring and networking for entrepreneurs and businesses. Cox has served in the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Washington, D.C., and as director of operations and government relations at Launch Tennessee in Nashville.
"Lindsey's work as an advocate for entrepreneurs in Tennessee and across the U.S. makes her the preeminent person to lead CO.LAB," said George Brown, CO.LAB Chairman and founder of Aegle Gear. "Lindsey knows the resources available to our community, and she understands how capital and talent can impact our region's innovation economy."
Marcus Shaw, who had been the CEO of CO.LAB since July 2017, announced in December 2020 that he would leave the role to return home to the Washington, D.C., area to be closer to family.
In 2018, the CO.LAB Capital Network launched, and has since provided access to capital for dozens of local businesses through partnerships, including Kiva and Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union's IdeaLeap program. Also in 2018, Steve Case's Rise of the Rest Tour came to Chattanooga, which led to an investment in local startup FreightWaves.
Cox will lead CO.LAB through a focused strategic planning process to foster more dynamic support for startups and to maximize opportunities for diversity and inclusion with their partners in the region.
— Compiled by Mary Fortune