Startup Champions Network Summits

Twice annually, Startup Champion Network members meet in-person to connect, share knowledge/experiences and take a deep, behind-the-scenes dive into the local host ecosystem.  This personal interaction is a critical part of the member value-proposition as well as an important commitment all members make -- to celebrate each other.

These 2.5 day intimate gatherings bring together the nation's top ecosystem builders and national ecosystem support organizations to convene conversations, gain insight from real world case studies, and explore and experience new communities, against the backdrops of some of the nation's top emerging ecosystems. Summits address topics most relevant-to and of interest-to members including:

  • Inclusive Entrepreneurship

  • Changing a community's culture to believe in possibility

  • Fostering collaboration

  • Engaging and empowering under-represented populations

  • Leading coalition support for entrepreneurship and innovation

  • Funding your ecosystem building efforts

  • Forging stronger startup teams

  • Creating mentor-driven networks

  • Unlocking local/regional capital and attracting outside capital

  • Supporting and connecting with corporate innovators

  • And more topics/best-practices from Members


Chattanooga, TN
April 3-5, 2018

We're headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee!

The 2018 Spring Summit in Chattanooga, Tennessee will be a 2.5 day gathering bringing together some of the world's top startup ecosystem builders and national ecosystem support organizations. Join SCN for several days of encouragement, exploration, and equipping in the entrepreneurial hub of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Spend time with peers digging deep into shared issues through curated conversations, improve your work by learning how to implement successful models in application-focused workshops, own the afternoons through attendee generated un-conference time, and deepen relationships with old and new friends while you explore all Chattanooga has to offer.


Once known for being the dirtiest city in America, Chattanooga has undergone a transformation in the past few decades, replacing its former moniker with several others: the Scenic City, the Gig City, and Best Town Ever by Outside Magazine two years in a row. Whether you’re looking for the fastest internet service in the western hemisphere, a thriving innovation business district, amazing outdoor experiences, or a booming downtown with boutique shops and dining, Chattanooga has it all.


Chattanooga is also a model entrepreneurial ecosystem where entrepreneurship support organizations, philanthropic foundations and the public sector interconnect to create a compelling startup environment. In the center of it all is The Edney Innovation Center, which serves as the front door to Chattanooga’s Innovation District and home to key partners such as CO.STARTERS, The Company Lab, LAUNCH Chattanooga, the Enterprise Center, and Society of Work.



Monday, April 2 (Pre-Summit)

8:00 PM - Early Arrival Drinks @ the Social

TUESDAY, April 3

8:00 AM - Summit Kickoff
9:00 AM - Curated Conversations
10:15 AM - Workshops
11:30 AM - Special Session & Lunch
2:30 PM - Adventure Time!
5:30 PM - Dinner with Locals
8:00 PM - Cohado & Cocktails @ Flying Squirrel Bar 

Wednesday, April 4

8:00 AM - Partner Speed Dating + Partner Expo Breakfast
9:00 AM - One Million Cups
10:15 AM - Curated Conversations
11:30 AM - Workshops
12:45 PM - Lunch & Lawn
2:00 PM - Unconference
3:15 PM - Adventure Time!
4:30 PM - Catch the Trolly to the Treehouse
5:00 PM - Treehouse Dinner
8:00 PM - Whiskey and S'more Stories with special guest Scott Case


8:00 AM - Breakfast Deep Dives (optional)
9:00 AM - Sharing & Reflecting Sessions
10:00 AM - Planning Session
11:00 AM - Summit Closing
12:00 PM - Lunch (optional)

* To make sure we craft exactly the right experience, we need to hear from you! Please take a few minutes and let us know what you think here.



CO.STARTERS helps communities build vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems by equipping them with the best tools and resources needed to support starters of all kinds.


The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is a nonprofit startup accelerator that supports entrepreneurial growth in southeast Tennessee. CO.LAB works with companies ranging from street-corner mom and pop shops to tech startups scaling into major markets.


The SCN Summit is an invitation only event. If you would like to attend, go here for information on joining the SCN network or send us a note here.


Your registration fee covers all daytime events, including several meals. Champions will be responsible for their own travel, lodging, snacks, and drinks each night.

Bringing Guests and/or Sending Someone in Your Place

All meeting attendees must be fully registered members of the Startup Champions Network or have received an official invitation to attend.  If there is someone you would like to invite/send who is not a member, please reach out to us here. We are aiming to keep this event small to maximize relationship building and maintain budget sustainability.



Though small, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) sits only five miles from downtown and is the most convenient way to fly. It’s simple to catch an Uber, taxi, or pick up a rental car in the terminal to get you downtown.

Chattanooga is also only two hours away from Atlanta (ATL) and Nashville (BNA) airports. Groome Transportation offers a wonderful shuttle service between these airports and Chattanooga, making it worthwhile to check other itineraries if flying into CHA is cost prohibitive.


Once an important railroad hub, Chattanooga sits at the crossroads of several interstates. Take I-75 North from Atlanta, I-75 South from Knoxville, I-24 from Nashville, or I-59 North from Alabama.



The Crash Pad
The Crash Pad is an uncommon hostel in the heart of downtown Chattanooga that combines the camaraderie of a traditional hostel with the charm and cleanliness of a boutique hotel. Book a bunk at this unique local business, founded by CO.STARTERS grads, and mention CO.STARTERS to receive 10% off your stay.

Chattanooga has some amazing Airbnb homes and will give you the best taste of the local community. Look for places in the Southside, North Shore, or Downtown neighborhoods for convenient access to the city center.  If you're interested in sharing an Airbnb, connect with other Champions here

The Chattanoogan Hotel
This luxury downtown hotel is easy walking distance to all the Innovation District has to offer. Use this link for a special rate. 

The Dwell Hotel
The Dwell Hotel is a boutique hotel a few blocks from the Edney, where lively meets luxury, and high class meets high comfort. The rooms are retro reimagined, and the service is hospitality redefined. A stay at the Dwell Hotel is the kind of getaway you will not forget.

Treetop Hideaways
Looking for an adventure? Stay in a treehouse. Treetop Hideaways is a boutique treehouse hotel, providing a nostalgic experience resting comfortably in the treetops. Nestled in an old growth forest on the side of Lookout Mountain, Treeptop Hideaways provides visitors with the beauty of nature only a few minutes drive away from downtown.

Past Summits:

Fargo, North Dakota (Fall 2017)

hosted by Emerging Prarie

Tampa, Florida (Winter 2017)

hosted by Tampa Bay WaVE

Baltimore, Maryland (Fall 2016)
hosted by Startup Maryland

Santa Barbara, California (Winter 2016)
hosted by StartupSB

Portland, Maine (Summer 2015)
hosted by Maine Accelerates Growth

Little Rock, Arkansas (Spring 2015)
hosted by The Venture Center

Nashville, Tennessee (Summer 2014)
hosted by the Nashville Entrepreneurial Center


Apply to Host the Next Startup Champions Network Summit