Business leaders recognized the need for a network of capital and mentors to encourage, support and sustain Chattanooga’s next wave of entrepreneurs. Seeds were planted for what would later become InnovateHere and the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund.
Chattanooga, though bursting with ideas and ambition, was notably lacking an entrepreneurial culture. Emerging entrepreneurs were frustrated by an inability to sustain and grow their ventures, and needed support to get projects off the ground and make them thrive. SpringBoard’s first class launched with 20 [...]
Chattanooga’s art scene had primarily focused on institutions, while individual creatives were not offered the same level of support. The MakeWork arts grant program, open to artists and artisans within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga, stimulated the creative economy and helped retain and sustain local [...]
Chattanooga was losing its local creatives to other cities, and needed to actively reengage in attracting and retaining talent while simultaneously rebuilding density in the urban core. Through the ArtsMove program, 30 working artists purchased properties in Chattanooga’s downtown, infusing over $4 million in residential [...]
An increasingly vibrant Southside district was bursting with potential and needed an event to channel that energy and strengthen the neighborhood. Today, the MAINx24 annual 14-hour festival–featuring food, music and culture–has become one of Chattanooga's most celebrated local events, with 5,000+ annual participants and over [...]
Beginning in the 1980s, civic revival in Chattanooga was underway. But by the 2000s, some of this dynamic energy and innovative determination had dwindles. The city was leaking its talent to other cities once again. In response, two inspired citizens–Helen Johnson and Josh McManus–started a [...]
One hundred years ago, Chattanooga was the entrepreneurial hub of the South. Located on the Tennessee River near several major Southern cities, it was an ideal place for businesses to launch and thrive. Yet in the 60s and 70s, Chattanooga's reputation for enterprise faltered after [...]