Each year during Chattanooga’s Startup Week, businesses and their founders from a variety of industries and backgrounds earn the recognition of their peers and colleagues in several categories. These are the finalists of the 2020 Startup Awards.
STARTUP OF THE YEAR
* Rhinogram / Kathy Ford
Rhinogram is a telehealth solution that removes patient-provider communication barriers via texting. The platform also increases provider efficiency by reducing staffing costs, enabling reimbursable virtual consults, and leading to new patient acquisition. Keith Dressler is chairman and CEO. Kathy Ford is president and chief product officer.
* Waypoint / Drake Rustand
Waypoint has shown significant growth in the past year and is now available in millions of households, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to engage with their content regularly and fulfill their mission of educating, equipping, and empowering the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
* Circadian Consulting / Clea Klagstad
Circadian Consulting has steadily grown since 2017, working to reduce the environmental impact of Tennessee’s growing infrastructure through regulatory expertise and customized business solutions.
* Tes Bros / Ji Hoon Heo
Tes Bros is on track to become a household name among Tesla owners. Not only has the business grown, with several positions being added this past year, but they also temporarily switched production gears at the beginning of the pandemic to use Tes Bros machines to help make PPE face masks for people and organizations who needed them.
CO.LAB’S HIGH GROWTH COMPANY OF THE YEAR
Rhinogram is a telehealth solution that removes patient-provider communication barriers via texting and increases provider efficiency by reducing staffing costs, enabling reimbursable virtual consults, and leading to new patient acquisition. Keith Dressler is chairman and CEO. Kathy Ford is president and chief product officer.
* Please Assist Me
This all-in-one home management solution partners with residential complexes to provide an app that allows residents to easily schedule a variety of residential services. Stephanie Cummings is the company’s CEO.
* Chef & His Wife
Chef & His Wife, owned by Tim Mulderink, produces a variety of flavors of pimento cheese that are distributed in 100+ retail stores across the Southeast.
INCUBATOR’S GOLDFINCH OF THE YEAR
* Kaleena Goldsworthy
In 2019, Kaleena Goldsworthy launched The Bitter Bottle and began producing cocktail bitters for bars and restaurants from Chattanooga to New York City. During the pandemic, Goldsworthy kept the cocktails flowing with a partnership with Proof Bar + Incubator and adapted her business model to serve consumers at home.
* Dan Mailman
Dan Mailman founded Studio Mindstride to nurture seedling stage businesses with aspiring entrepreneurs. He supports the development of high-tech projects, streamlines resources, and prefers to pour his energy into opportunities to “better the world.”
* Alex Lavidge
In 2018, Alex Lavidge founded Startup Champs, a pre-launch business consultancy that helps high-net-worth individuals worldwide to Fortune 1000 companies develop data-driven strategies toward increasing deposits, or pre-orders, before new companies or brands are launched.
LAUNCH CHA’S MICROBUSINESS OF THE YEAR
* Luis and Gisela Contreras
The Local Juicery and Kitchen is owned and operated by Luis and Gisela Contreras. The business is located on Chattanooga’s Southside and offers cold-pressed organic juices, smoothies, and raw foods.
* Terence Locke
Chef Express was founded by Terence Locke in March of 2015. The young chef established his catering business with the purpose of fulfilling the public’s desire for quality food and excellent customer service. Locke has also authored a children’s book and teaches Pots and Tots, a culinary class for 8-to-12-year-olds.
* Susan Freeman
Susan M. Freeman Enterprise provides health, dental, and life insurance products to individuals, groups and small businesses, specializing in Medicare. The company has been in existence for 9 years. In 2020, Freeman expanded and added an insurance training academy for potential brokers.
SOCIETY OF WORK’S COWORKER OF THE YEAR
* Operation Get Active
Operation Get Active is a health initiative that uses soccer to encourage Chattanooga’s youth to live active, healthy lifestyles. Unable to meet in person earlier this year, OGA quickly moved online to allow students to stay active and connected.
MCS is a locally owned facility service provider that prides themselves on reliability, great communication, and quality of work. During COVID-19, they quickly adapted their services to ensure clients and customers were safe in their work environments and had access to additional facility services when needed.
* Tech Goes Home
Tech Goes Home is a digital inclusion program for residents across Hamilton County. During a year where access to the internet is critical, the Tech Goes Home team has worked hard to provide residents with devices, internet access and information to stay connected.
CAUSEWAY’S CHANGEMAKER OF THE YEAR
* Roe Anderson
Anderson formed Girl Stance in 2017 with a mission to empower, elevate, and expand the essence of Black girls in Chattanooga using the transformational teachings of yoga. Anderson and Girl Stance empower each girl to act on the information they receive from instructors, educators and program activities to give them the leadership and confidence needed to create a lasting impact.
* Eric Gray
Gray founded Catalyst Sports in 2012 and has expanded to over 10 chapters throughout the Southeast that act as an agent of change in the lives of people with disabilities in those communities. Using adventure sports, Eric and Catalyst Sports give people with disabilities access to the life-changing impact of adventure within a supportive and inclusive community.
* Just getting started: The startup scene becomes a way of life for lots of local talent
* Educating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs: Schools gear up startup programs to meet demand
* Spirit of Innovation winner: Landrace Bioscience grows along with the hemp and CBD industry
* Spirit of Innovation finalist: Text Request sends personalized messages to the masses
* Spirit of Innovation finalist: Trekka Designs takes it outside