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May 22, 2023 | Tom Ballard

CO.LAB names Eric Fuller as its Executive-in-Residence

He's currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Xpress Inc. In his new role, Fuller will be heavily involved with the “CO.LAB Sustainable Mobility Accelerator powered by gener8tor.”

One might say The Company Lab in Chattanooga just landed a big, big catch as it moves aggressively forward on its mobility journey.

In a news release issued and press conference held on Monday morning, the organization, better known as CO.LAB, announced the appointment of U.S. Xpress Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Fuller as the entrepreneur center’s Executive-in-Residence (EIR). The news comes less than two weeks after the organization’s inaugural “CO.MOBILITY Summit” (see coverage here) drew hundreds of attendees and included the formal announcement of its new flagship program – the “CO.LAB Sustainable Mobility Accelerator powered by gener8tor.”

In his new EIR role, Fuller will be recruiting and developing entrepreneurs on a national scale, providing mentorship, creating connections in the freight and logistics industry, and offering strategic guidance. To take on the new opportunity, he will be stepping down from his U.S. Xpress roles in the near future – Fuller said four or five weeks during the press conference – after ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

His departure from US Xpress marks the end of an era for the company founded in 1986 by Max Fuller, Eric’s father, and Patrick Quinn. According to his LinkedIn profile, Eric joined the company in early 2000, rising through the ranks to President and CEO in March 2017. Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings announced an agreement on March 21 to acquire U.S. Xpress for approximately $808 million.

During Monday’s press conference, CO.LAB CEO Tasia Malakasis talked about Fuller’s fantastic career, industry knowledge, and connections that will “take us to places we are on track to go but much faster. He was (already) an advisor to CO.LAB . . . a guide and mentor.”

Fuller said that his role as President and CEO of US Xpress brought him in touch with many start-ups in the transportation, mobility, and logistics sectors during trips to Silicon Valley. “I found personally a lot of passion” for helping them, particularly in terms of pairing their big visions with mentors who could help them scale their businesses.

“Coupled with that was my passion about Chattanooga,” Fuller said, adding that he wants the community to become “a hub of activities for new ideas, new approaches, new technologies, and new companies. We can solve problems (in the sectors) that have not been solved in 30, 40, or 50 years.”

Applications for the inaugural cohort of the “CO.LAB Sustainable Mobility Accelerator powered by gener8tor” close June 30, and the program runs from September 11 to November 15. Two cohorts of six start-ups each are planned on an annual basis, and those selected will receive a $20,000 investment on the terms of their current round with additional funding consideration at the conclusion of the program.

More information can be found here.

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