CO.LAB Executive Entrepreneur Charlie Brock wrote this op-ed piece on entrepreneurship in Chattanooga that was recently featured in Nooga.com.
It’s a great time to be in Chattanooga. Our population is growing at a pace nearly 50 percent higher than the national average, with more than 4,000 new Chattanoogans in 2011 alone. Manufacturing growth is on the upswing: In the past two years, our city has increased factory jobs at a faster pace than any other mid-South metro area. Infrastructure improvements, such as the EPB fiber optic network, are bringing Chattanoogans the world’s fastest Internet speeds. In fact, 170,000 businesses and homes, regardless of income, now have access to this lightning-fast Internet.
These developments, combined with an impressive entrepreneurial support system, present a significant opportunity for early-stage companies in Southeast Tennessee. Creating the right environment for innovation and entrepreneurship is critical to driving our city’s economy far into the future.
Given Chattanooga’s tremendous momentum, I feel fortunate to have joined the leadership team of CO.LAB, a business accelerator based in the thriving Southside area. CO.LAB serves as a beacon for early-stage companies, a place that “idea generators” can connect with and seek support from top-notch mentors, angel investors, legal advisers and others.