About The Innovation District

Where Chattanooga’s entrepreneurs, academics, and creatives collide. 

Events Calendar

Discover activities and events in the area.

Basecamp

A coworking event in the heart of the Innovation District.

Resiliency Checklist

Everything you need to prepare your organization for a crisis.

Small Business Supports

Helping small business owners across the region.

The Edney Innovation Center

The front door to the Innovation District of Chattanooga.

Tech Goes Home

Expanding access to technology and teaching digital literacy.

Digital Access Committee

Bringing together partners to close the digital divide, together.

HCS EdConnect

Home internet at no cost to thousands of families.

EMPACT Program

Preparing residents for the jobs of tomorrow, and today. 

Chattanooga Smart Communities Collaborative

Working together to identify our region’s challenges and create solutions.

Environmental Sensors

Collecting and analyzing air quality data from across our region with US Ignite.

Education (4K Microscope & Lola)

High-tech tools in Hamilton County’s classrooms.

Community Connectivity

Expanding access to the internet in homes and neighborhoods.

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TVFCU Idea Leap Grant Competition & Luncheon

October 18 @ 11:30 am - 8:30 pm

TVFCU to Host Idea Leap Pitch Competition and Luncheon Featuring Local Entrepreneurs and Community Leaders

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU) will host their annual Idea Leap Grant Pitch Competition in which five finalists will compete to win one of five grants to support and expand their small business – grand prize: $50,000, first place: $20,000, and three runners-up: $10,000.

The competing businesses, coming from an original pool of nearly 150 applicants, are:

In the pitch competition, each business owner will take the stage at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center to explain how they plan to use the grant funding, the impact they have on the local community and how they plan to improve and expand their business in the coming years.

“We’re making the Fifth Annual Idea Leap Grant competition bigger than the program has ever been before,” said Tommy Nix, vice president of business and commercial services. “We hope that many community members join us on Oct. 18 for the pitch competition, a reception hosted by our friends at Chambliss Startup Group and an educational luncheon.”

New this year, TVFCU is hosting the first-ever Idea Leap Luncheon at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center on Tuesday, October 18 at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon, catered by Chatter Box Cafe and including vegetarian options, will feature an inspirational panel of successful local entrepreneurs discussing their experiences as small business owners. Melanie Krautstrunk of Hutton and Smith Brewing Company, Aaron Hoffman of Hoff & Pepper and Michael Rice of Mad Priest Coffee Roasters will engage with Greg Funderburg, anchor on Newschannel 9, who will moderate the discussion and share his entrepreneurial experiences as an author, fitness enthusiast and public speaker.

On Oct. 18 at 5:00 p.m., Chambliss Startup Group will host the Chambliss Startup Social – an indoor/outdoor reception at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center before the pitch competition. The reception will feature drinks and hors d’oeuvres from Party Bites, Hutton & Smith’s craft beers and a DJ.

At the pitch competition, starting at 6:15 p.m. after the Chambliss Startup Social, the five Idea Leap finalists will present their businesses before a panel of volunteer community judges who will award five grants at the end of the evening. The event will also feature a special guest keynote speaker to be announced soon.

Due to limited seating, an RSVP is required to attend each event. RSVP information can be found at tvfcu.com/idealeap.

The Idea Leap Grant is an extension of the credit union’s Idea Leap Loan Initiative that was created specifically for small businesses in 2016. To date, TVFCU has funded more than $4 million in loans to emerging and early-stage businesses through the loan initiative. Furthermore, TVFCU has awarded nearly $200,000 in Idea Leap Grants and scholarships.

For more information about the Idea Leap Grant, please visit tvfcu.com/IdeaLeapGrant.

Venue

Bessie Smith Cultural Center
200 E M L King Blvd
Chattanooga, TN
+ Google Map
Phone:
(423) 266-8658
View Venue Website

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