Participating Companies & Speakers

Students who participate in the 2019 Summer Business Experience will have the opportunity to meet members of the Rollins College of Business faculty and staff as well as business leaders from the Chattanooga area. 


Previous Participating Companies

About UNUM:

"At Unum, we're in the business of helping people through difficult times in their lives. We help millions of people gain affordable access to disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision benefits through the workplace -- benefits that help them protect their families, their finances and their futures."

 About PlayCore:

"We are inspired by the creativity and motivation of the communities we meet. By providing playground equipment, fan seating, water recreation products, and more - we help each of these communities realize their dream recreation space, and relish the excitement that is generated from those dreams being fulfilled. PlayCore helps build stronger communities around the world by advancing play through research, education, and partnerships. Our company infuses this learning into our complete family of brands."

About EPB Fiber Optics

"EPB is one of America's largest publicly owned electric power providers. We're also the pioneering communications company that surprised the nation with the first Gigabit Internet speeds, crystal clear television and telephone service utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network. But most of all, we're here to serve Chattanooga with the neighbor-to-neighbor local service you've come to expect from us."

About the Chamber of Commerce INCubator:

"We are 127,000 square feet of startup support on Chattanooga's NorthShore - the largest business incubator in the state of Tennessee, and the third largest in the United States. 

We help entrepreneurs achieve success through a three-year, progressive development program that capitalizes on the synergy of the BDC's unique entrepreneurial ecosystem made up of about 50 startup businesses."

About the Edney Innovation Building:

"The Edney Innovation Center is the front door to Chattanooga's Innovation District. It's a connection point, support base, and catalyst for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Edney is where startups come to accelerate, grow and thrive. Ideas are born here every day at community events and workshops hosted on the Fifth Floor."

About RMJ Tactical:

"RMJ Tactical manufactures full-tang tactical tools, built for use in the most extreme conditions where structural failure is not an option."


About McKee Foods:

"McKee Foods is best known for our line of Little Debbie brand snack cakes. Little Debbie® is America's leading snack cake brand because we provide consumers with quality products of excellent value."


Proposed Speakers

Dan Gilmore, Squire Strategies

As an attorney licensed in Tennessee, California and Texas, Dan has represented clients in all phases of proceedings in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. He has extensive experience in equal employment opportunity matters, employee and management training, alternative dispute resolution, and traditional labor law, including representation elections, arbitrations, and contract negotiation and administration. Since shortly after his return to Chattanooga and the creation of The Company Lab, Dan has volunteered as a dedicated mentor for its various programs, most recently as a lead mentor for 48Hour Launch: Internet of Things Edition and as a judge for the 2016 Startup Awards. Dan currently serves as an instructor for the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and adjunct professor for the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at UTC, where he teaches both Government Regulation of Human Resource Management and Labor Relations and Negotiations.

Candace Litchfield, Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Candace Litchfield is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The CVB promotes and develops visitor experiences for our community's economic and social prosperity.

Sean Slaughter, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

Sean Slaughter is the Area Manager for Enterprise Holdings, Inc., the parent company for Enterprise, National, and Alamo Rent-a-Car. Hired in 2010 into the Management Trainee program, Sean quickly moved up the corporate ladder due to his goal-driven mentality and passion to be successful. Since 2014, he has been tasked with running the Chattanooga and North Georgia rental car markets, spanning from Dalton, GA to Cleveland, TN. With revenue numbers regularly eclipsing $2.5 million/month, Sean manages eleven independent stores as well as the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport locations, with a combined fleet of over 2800 rental cars and a staff of over 100 employees.

Charles Wood, Chattanooga Chamber Economic Development

Charles Wood is the Vice President of Economic Development with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. Charles is responsible for managing and coordinating all efforts related to economic development including business recruitment, existing business, and research. Charles also serves as the Chamber's primary business recruitment officer.

Andrew Bynum, Get Seated

Andrew is the Founder and CEO of Get Seated, a mobile app that tells restaurant wait times. He graduated in Spring of 2015 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Andrew resides in Chattanooga and actively participates in the city's startup scene.

Gabrielle Blades, Blades Creative


Gabrielle Blades graduated from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Graphic Design in 2013. She has three years of experience working with a variety of clients and projects. Her passion for the work she does comes from a lifetime of being an artist who wants to communicate ideas in new ways. Her range of skills goes from logo design and publications to illustrations and typography. Prior to Blades Creative, Gabrielle worked with the City of Chattanooga on the Multimodal Transportation Center Study, began contracting with LAUNCH Chattanooga, and eventually became a full time freelance designer. Beginning with pen and paper, connecting with her clients, and getting it right are just a few things that bring her joy. She also loves serving as Director of Events and Programming for AIGA Chattanooga. When she's not creating things Gabrielle is a wannabe ballerina, cat lover, and professional vacationer.

Jonathan Bragdon, Very


Jonathan is a Partner at Very and enjoys being a catalyst, coach, problem solver, advisor, investor and connector for early stage entrepreneurs and growth companies. Active in the fast-growing Southeast startup community for more than a decade, Jonathan founded or co-founded six companies in multiple industries and two non-profit organizations. His work has been recognized by CNN, Business Week, Governor of Tennessee, Smithsonian Institution, British Parliament and the Prince of Denmark. However, he claims his best advice originates directly from his "unintentional non-profits".

Lane Ford, Skuid

Lane Ford is the Chief Financial Officer of Skuid. He is a financial executive, mentor, and teacher who values relationships as much as results.