Marcus joins CO.LAB as a recent transplant from the Baltimore-D.C. area. Marcus is the former senior director of business development and partnerships for Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a D.C.-based nonprofit that helps build diversity and leadership pipelines for corporate institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. While there, he significantly grew MLT’s partnerships with Fortune 500 partners and led the proposal for an entrepreneurship development program focused on women and minorities. Marcus is also the founder of a boutique consulting company that specializes in working with startups and small to medium-sized businesses. Marcus holds an MBA from Duke University as well as a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Allison grew up in Chattanooga, where she was introduced to entrepreneurship by helping her parents with their landscaping business. During her time at UTC where she graduated cum laude in finance, she became involved with CreateHere as an intern, a program that eventually transformed into the CO.LAB we know today. During her career she has played a critical role in many events and programs in Chattanooga where she has worked alongside multiple community development, arts and entrepreneurial organizations. Outside of the office, she likes taking advantage of all the Chattanooga activities, including hiking, the markets and the plethora of brunch options.
Tia has served as the spokesperson for CO.LAB on both the national and local level since joining the team in 2013. As Chief Communications Officer she manages press relations, public outreach, and community engagement, as well as developing overall strategy for the organization. Before joining CO.LAB, she served as the Writer and Communications Coordinator for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce where she collaborated with a team to promote Chattanooga’s advanced broadband infrastructure to audiences around the globe. Tia is a native Chattanoogan and graduate of Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. She spends her spare time reading, learning, and creative writing. Her first entrepreneurial venture was a make-believe amusement park which she tried to charge people to enter (she was 7).
Between her time growing up in Chattanooga and moving back years later, Ashlee was an odd-job extraordinaire who explored life on both the East and West Coasts. Upon her return to Chattanooga, Ashlee took a job at an insurance startup owned by a venture capital incubator. It was here she got her taste for the entrepreneurial economy and gained her business chops, handling sales/marketing strategy and risk management for a diverse range of companies. Outside of the office, Ashlee loves to cook, see live music and get her hands dirty in the garden. Her first job was opening franchises for a hot dog shop, swiftly followed by her second job: shutting down said hot dog franchises. Here she learned about appropriately managing a growth plan, cash flow & how to make a top-notch chili cheese dog. She joined CO.LAB in 2015, and manages the GIGTANK, Accelerator and CO.STARTERS programs.
Tom joined CO.LAB as our Entrepreneur-in-Residence in August 2017. Tom is a transplant from Boulder, Colorado, where he founded Velocity Plus, a consultancy that offers strategic advising to companies of various sizes and stages. He also serves as an advisor with the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, a collective network that connects high-growth companies with experienced serial entrepreneurs across Colorado. In his 30+ year career, Tom has built and exited three companies in the finance and technology industries. Tom works with Ashlee Owens, our Director of Programs, to guide and offer support to our Accelerator cohorts.
Nichole has lived in so many places across the globe, it’s hard to pinpoint where she is actually from. From the east coast to the west coast to Australia and now to Chattanooga, she has worked as an events manager in the public and private sectors for more than a decade. In addition to running CO.LAB events behind the scenes, Nichole is a certified yoga instructor. Her first encounter with entrepreneurship was helping out her parents who were business owners in the beauty industry.
Originally from New Orleans, Alexis (aka “AJ”) attended GPS and then UTC where she studied English with a minor in business. Alexis has worked in various program development positions with Launch Chattanooga and Glass House Collective and now does the same here at CO.LAB as well as mentoring startup founders. She is also the founder of Natural Beautiful Me. In her spare time she enjoys reading, running, and adventuring with her daughter Riley (aka “Boom”). At a young age, she wanted to start a clothing line and work in the fashion industry.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, Tim graduated with a degree in Public Relations from Lee University in 2015. He has served in a communications role in a variety of industries in Chattanooga, including economic development, venture capital, and healthcare. He was introduced to Chattanooga’s startup culture when he was hired to manage social media for the first Startup Week in 2014. When he’s not managing data or CO.LAB’s digital assets, he is probably camping with friends and playing music. Tim’s first entrepreneurial venture was at the age of 7 when he conceived the idea for a bidet, but it was a dream cut short when he discovered the product’s already long existence.
Victoria came to Chattanooga from Orchard Hill, Georgia, to attend Covenant College where she studied art. During her senior year, she began at CO.LAB as a design intern and became full time upon graduating in 2016. Victoria dabbles in a lot more than design—she also freelances as a photographer, makeup artist and much more. Chances are that you could find her dancing at a local dance studio as well. As a kid, she and her brother worked for three summers tending neighborhood lawns and they were apparently “hardworking and adorable.”
Born and raised in Atlanta, Erroll grew up watching his father operate his construction business and eventually worked for the same business overseeing job sites. He studied psychology at UTC where he also played as a student athlete for the Mocs football team. Erroll’s hobbies include coding and reading, which helped him launch two startups—Super Juices, LLC., and Expozr Tech. As COLAB’s operations coordinator, he oversees office management and leads two of CO.LAB’s outreach programs that teach entrepreneurial skills and thinking in the community.
Zac is a fourth-generation Chattanoogan. As CO.LAB’s operations assistant, Zac brings years of analytics and database experience to the organization and also takes on office manager responsibilities. He studied marketing and management at UTC with a focus on entrepreneurship, and has since worked on projects for educational organizations across Chattanooga. Zac was first introduced to entrepreneurship when helping manage his elementary school’s bookstore, and first became involved at CO.LAB in 2011 by volunteering at 48Hour Launch. In his spare time, he enjoys improv and hosting board game nights around Chattanooga.
Jesse came to Chattanooga from Fayetteville, Tennessee, to attend UTC, where he is now a senior studying communications with a minor in marketing. During college, he has worked for UTC as a campus videographer as well as a technician for two local companies. Since 2016, Jesse fills the role of internal videographer and photographer as well as assisting our staff with IT needs at CO.LAB. Outside of work, Jesse is consistently sharpening his content creation skills through photography, video production, graphic design, and more. His first entrepreneurial experience was a ‘jailbreaking’ service for his peers’ iPods and iPhones in middle school and high school.
Originally from Winter Haven, Florida, Rebekah studied Philosophy and History at Covenant College and later earned a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University. Since 2010, Rebekah has worked as a consultant for a number of nonprofits and philanthropic-driven businesses. She is a cofounder of CO.STARTERS, a program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to move from idea to action. Her first entrepreneurial experience was a cross-stitching business with other classmates in the 4th grade.
Our team is supported by a network of dedicated mentors and diverse partners who invest countless hours and endless energy into our startups.
Board of Directors
Rick HitchcockAttorney and Shareholder, Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel
Ken HaysPresident and CEO, The Enterprise Center
Charlie BrockPresident, Launch Tennessee
Sheldon GrizzlePartner, Spartan Ventures
Robert DooleyDean, UTC College of Business
Roy KeithPartner, Stonington Partners
Kristina MontagueManaging Partner, The JumpFund
Bill KilbridePresident, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce
Travis LytleVice President, Cornerstone Community Bank
Mattias JannerboAttorney, Miller & Martin PLLC
Tangela JohnsonPresident and CEO, North Georgia Center for Educational Excellence
David KellerIndependent Financial Consultant
George BrownCEO, Aegle Gear
Stefanie CroweChief Inspiration Officer, The JumpFund
Wade HIntonCity Attorney and Chief Legal Officer, City of Chattanooga