About The Innovation District

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

Events Calendar

Discover activities and events in the area.

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.

Connected Communities: Orchard Knob

The OKC leverages the collective support of partner organizations to tackle the whole picture of health and wellness in the historically underserved neighborhood.

Chattamatters

Answering the most basic and most complex questions about life in Chattanooga

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.

Chattanoogans take the stage at NDIA Net Inclusion ’24

A headshot of Monique Kuykendoll Quarterman, MBA

This week’s Net Inclusion 2024 conference will welcome more than 1,200 digital equity academics, advocates, practitioners and policy makers to Philadelphia — including nearly a dozen Chattanooga-area representatives, speaking from the plenary stage and serving as experts on panels.

Net Inclusion is the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s annual opportunity for communities across the country to learn from one another, nurture our collective knowledge, and then return to re-invest the lessons where we live. (This week, Floor Five at The Edney will have a live stream available Tuesday-Thursday, so don’t feel like you’re missing out if you aren’t headed to the airport! Check out the streaming schedule here, or the streams here.)

From a main stage conversation featuring The Enterprise Center’s CEO Deb Socia to panels on reaching rural communities and justice-involved re-entry work to celebrating our Visionary Trailblazer designation, Hamilton County will bring stories of resilience, of long-term investment and of partnership.

On Tuesday, Sammy Lowdermilk, TGH Program Director, will give a lightning talk on hip-hop and digital inclusion, sharing about TGH’s partnerships to support creative entrepreneurs and musicians, and Connected Communities Project Manager Katherlyn Geter will speak to the importance of connectivity for public health, in another lightning talk on the Orchard Knob Collaborative’s work to improve the social determinants of health and increase access to telemedicine

That same day, Melissa Callejas, our TGH Early Childhood Education Director, will speak alongside Shannon Millsaps, of the Thrive Regional Partnership, about rural outreach and methods for reaching those for whom access and affordability are both barriers to connectivity. TGH CHA Program Coordinator Cameron ‘C-Grimey’ Williams will share experiences from our United Way of Greater Chattanooga-supported efforts to support justice-involved residents on the Creating Digital Equity Programming for Prisons & Re-Entry Programs panel.

Board Vice-Chair Dan Ryan and Hinton & Co. COO Melanie Silva will join a special, extended panel conversation on doing work in difficult policy environments that afternoon: When laws target communities for whom digital inclusion efforts are most essential, what can we do? Net Inclusion was initially scheduled for Chattanooga this year, but conference organizers moved to Philadelphia out of concerns for such policies — but The Enterprise Center and our partners’ work continues unabated. President & CEO Deb Socia will also address these policy challenges during the closing plenary, alongside Austin’s Catherine Crago Blanton — these two Charles Benton Award winners sharing their lifetimes of experience will fortunately be live-streamed (and you can join us for a lunch on Thursday at the Edney to watch with our team). 

Of pressing concern for many Net Inclusion attendees – and for households across the country – is the recently announced ACP wind-down. More than 400,000 Tennesseans are likely to lose this $30/month benefit before May, along with more than 20 million more Americans. 

We anticipate FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will be speaking about the future of this program and more during her fireside chat on Tuesday — with our local team also sharing how HCS EdConnect, powered by EPB, is keeping 9,000 local families connected thanks to our community’s long-term investments in infrastructure. Hamilton County School’s Michelle Bettis will highlight the initiative’s impact on the future of education during a Wednesday lightning talk, before our COO Geoff Millener speaks with infrastructure experts, including EPB’s VP of Government Relations, Evann Freeman, the NTIA’s Crystal Ivey, Philadelphia Community Wireless’s Alex Wermer-Colan and Tri-County EMC’s Aaron Young about HCS EdConnect and other projects later that morning.

So whether addressing healthcare access, building broadband infrastructure, navigating political barriers or providing pathways for students, seniors and everyone in between to a meaningful relationship with technology, this week’s stories of success are a testament to our community’s bold leadership. We invite you to join us this week for Net Inclusion 2024!

Join us for a broadband access & skills conference July 22-23:

We’re thrilled to host the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s 2024 Digital Opportunity Summit — and equally thrilled to invite you a day early, to dig into Chattanooga and Hamilton County’s digital opportunity story …