Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
December 15, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Marcus Shaw leaving CO.LAB, national search launched for new CEO

Marcus Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Chattanooga’s CO.LAB, has announced his resignation after more than three years leading the organization.

In a call with us yesterday afternoon, Shaw said he felt the timing was right as the entrepreneurial support organization completes the actions identified in its most recent strategic plan. He added that the exact date of his departure will be determined once a national search to fill the position is completed.

And, as far as what comes next, Shaw said he was going to take some time to decide where he could best focus his time, talents and energy. When we first interviewed him for this article that published as part of “Startup Week Chattanooga” in 2017, he described himself as a futuristic thinker, innovator, investor, and community champion.

Shaw took the reins at CO.LAB in July 2017, developing the current strategic plan and setting a vision to increase the national exposure for Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Prior to accepting the CO.LAB role, he served as Senior Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a D.C.-based non-profit that helps build diversity and leadership pipelines for corporate institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

“I am honored to have worked with this amazing community of entrepreneurs, ecosystem partners, and the CO.LAB team to make Chattanooga one of the most attractive mid-sized markets in the country to start a business,” he said in a news release. “Chattanooga is also asking the difficult questions and showing the courage to ensure the entrepreneurial spirit is supported in all residents.”

In the last three years, CO.LAB has supported more than 380 companies, which have created more than 1,000 jobs and raised nearly $100 million in capital. Additionally, seven CO.LAB alumni have been accepted into the prestigious Techstars Accelerator. The momentum continued this fall as CO.LAB was awarded a “Build to Scale” grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to launch a regional evergreen investment fund for high-growth companies, focused on reducing the gap in early stage funding in the Chattanooga region.

Other highlights include hosting one of two Tennessee stops on Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest Road Tour” in 2018. That same year, the CO.LAB Capital Network launched and has since provided access to capital for dozens of local businesses through partnerships including Kiva and TVFCU’s “IdeaLeap” program.

“Marcus’ leadership has lifted the profile of CO.LAB and brought national attention to Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said George Brown, Chair of CO.LAB’s Board of Directors. “His enthusiasm for growth and commitment to excellence for founders and business owners has become an integral part of CO.LAB and will remain a part of the organization’s DNA.”

Here’s a link to the job description. Those interested in applying should send a resume, cover letter, and inquiries to

Like what you've read?

Forward to a friend!

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!