CO.LAB CEO Stepping Down

National Search Begins for New CEO

After three years of leadership at The Company Lab (CO.LAB), CEO Marcus Shaw is stepping down. Mr. Shaw took the reins at CO.LAB in July 2017, developing the current strategic plan and setting a vision to increase the national exposure for Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“I am honored to have worked with this amazing community of entrepreneurs, ecosystem partners, and the CO.LAB team to make Chattanooga one of the most attractive mid-sized markets in the country to start a business,” said Mr. Shaw. “Chattanooga is also asking the difficult questions and showing the courage to ensure the entrepreneurial spirit is supported in all residents.” 

The Chattanooga entrepreneurial community has enjoyed several highlights during Mr. Shaw’s tenure, especially in the development of access to capital. In 2018, Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Tour came to Chattanooga, which led to an investment in local startup, FreightWaves. Also in 2018, the CO.LAB Capital Network launched and has since provided access to capital for dozens of local businesses through partnerships, including Kiva and TVFCU’s IdeaLeap program. 

“Marcus’ leadership has lifted the profile of CO.LAB and brought national attention to Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said George Brown, chairman of CO.LAB’s board of directors. “His enthusiasm for growth and commitment to excellence for founders and business owners has become an integral part of CO.LAB and will remain a part of the organization’s DNA.”

In just the last three years, CO.LAB has supported over 380 companies, which have created over 1000 jobs and raised nearly $100 million in capital. Additionally, seven CO.LAB alumni have been accepted into the prestigious TechStars Accelerator. The momentum continued this fall as CO.LAB was awarded a Build to Scale grant from the US Department of Commerce to launch a regional evergreen investment fund for high-growth companies, focused on reducing the gap in early stage funding in the Chattanooga region. 

CO.LAB’s board of directors is launching a national search for its next CEO. Candidates in the role can visit COLAB.co to view the job description and learn more about applying for the role.  Interested candidates can send resume, cover letter, and inquiries to executivesearch@colab.co.  

“Marcus has built tremendous momentum for CO.LAB and we are grateful that Marcus will remain CEO until new leadership is in place,” continued Mr. Brown. “Our hope is to find a candidate with experience building companies while being comfortable with the fast pace of building our entrepreneurial community.”

About The Company Lab (CO.LAB)

The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurial growth in southeast Tennessee. Established as the region’s front door for entrepreneurs, CO.LAB works to increase the capability and viability of startups and strengthen the ecosystem of support behind them. In doing so, the organization helps entrepreneurs refine their business models, test their ideas with customers, pursue capital and partnerships, and connect with a community of mentors, peers and business experts. Additionally, CO.LAB works to create environments that inspire entrepreneurial activity, open doors within the business community and promote job creation. The companies CO.LAB supports range from Main Street businesses to tech startups scaling into major markets. To learn more, visit colab.co