Chief Executive Officer


The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is a high functioning nonprofit organization whose mission is to “increase the capability and viability of startups in southeast Tennessee by connecting entrepreneurs with expertise, resources and community.”  CO.LAB currently focuses on four major areas, serving Hamilton County and nine surrounding counties as it carries out its mission.  These areas are:

  1. CO.LAB programs support regional entrepreneurship. CO.LAB provides training and mentoring for local small businesses through programs such as Co-Starters and partnering in activities with local organizations such as Launch Chattanooga.  CO.LAB provides training, mentoring, and networking support for high-growth potential startups through accelerator programs such as the HealthTech Accelerator.
  2. CO.LAB serves a connector for those starting or expanding small businesses with a network of resources, including access to capital, talent, and strategic partnerships. CO.LAB staff serve as a source of referrals to a range of startup resources.
  3. CO.LAB promotes the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through engagement with regional, national, and global stakeholders, including leading Startup Week Chattanooga and speaking on national platforms.
  4. CO.LAB gathers data from  program participants and develops insights to advocate for the interest of regional small business owners, share best practices, and evolve our programs.
  5. CO.LAB engages in active outreach efforts to encourage participation in all its activities by minority and rural entrepreneurs.


CO.LAB is now looking for a CEO to lead CO.LAB based on the focus areas above.  The CEO will lead a strategic planning process that will determine the focus areas of CO.LAB for 2021 and beyond.  CO.LAB generally engages in a strategic planning process every three years.


Strategic Leadership

  • Participate with the Board of Directors in developing an updated strategic plan.
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization.
  • Foster effective teamwork between the Board and the CEO and between the CEO and staff.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organization, along with the Board Chair and Board members.
  • Represent the organization at community activities to enhance CO.LAB’s presence and influence in the community.

Operational Planning and Management

  • Develop an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the CO.LAB’s strategic direction.
  • Ensure that the operation of CO.LAB meets the expectations of its clients, Board and Funders.
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day operations.
  • Ensure privacy/confidentiality is maintained with regard to donors, staff and the entrepreneurs.
  • Provide support to the Board by preparing meeting agenda and supporting materials.

Program Planning and Management

  • Oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of CO.LAB’s programs and services.
  • Ensure that the programs and services offered by CO.LAB contribute to the organization’s mission and reflect the priorities of the strategic plan.
  • Monitor the day-to-day delivery of CO.LAB’s programs and services to maintain or improve quality.
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, execution and evaluation of new ventures and special projects.

Human Resources Planning and Management

  • Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery.
  • Oversee the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures and practices including the review and refinement, as necessary, of job descriptions for all staff.
  • Recruit, interview and select staff that have the right technical and personal abilities to help further the organization’s mission.
  • Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to improve performance.

Financial Planning and Management

  • Work with staff and the Board to prepare a comprehensive budget.
  • Work with the Board to secure adequate funding for CO.LAB’s operations.
  • Research funding sources, oversee the development of fundraising plans and assist in the writing of funding proposals to meet budgeted goals.
  • Participate in fundraising activities as appropriate.
  • Approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Board.
  • Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed.
  • Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization.
  • Provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on CO.LAB’s revenues and expenditures.
  • Ensure that CO.LAB complies with all regulatory and tax guidelines.

Community Relations/Advocacy

  • Communicate with stakeholders to keep them informed of the work of the organization and to identify changes in the community served by CO.LAB.
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, politicians, and other organizations to help achieve CO.LAB’s strategic goals.
  • Ensure that the CO.LAB is a resource to all members of the community interested in starting or growing a business.


A CEO will need to have a well-developed network both inside and outside of Chattanooga, enabling him/her to connect companies with solid contacts, strong mentors and capital resources.  The CEO will need to provide direction for the CO.LAB staff to ensure that they are focused on the most important projects for accomplishing CO.LAB’s mission.  Finally, the CO.LAB CEO will need to be able to maintain and build partnerships throughout Chattanooga and regionally in order to recruit a talented and diverse set of entrepreneurs.  Candidates may not currently have active networks both inside and outside of Chattanooga, but they will need to demonstrate the ability to build the necessary networks.

 Interested candidates can send resume, cover letter, and inquiries to

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