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August 01, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Microsoft TechSpark awards $50,000 grant to Chattanooga Chamber

The grant will allow INCubator to hire a Community Engagement Fellow to focus on digital inclusion.

Microsoft TechSpark has awarded a $50,000 grant to INCubator, a Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce-managed program in the Hamilton County Business Development Center, to foster inclusive economic opportunity, job creation, and innovation.

Specifically, the funding will go toward hiring a TechSpark Community Engagement Fellow, who will spearhead local efforts in Chattanooga and Hamilton County, working with local partners to focus on digital transformation. The Fellowship represents the first time TechSpark has collaborated with the INCubator to help start-ups leverage technology to grow, innovate, and compete.

The funding comes after Microsoft announced earlier this year that it was expanding the TechSpark program to tackle digital inclusion in four focus areas: digital access, digital skills, computer science education, and digital transformation with local organizations. Since its inception in 2017, TechSpark has helped its eight communities secure more than $125 million in community funding, skill 55,000 people, and create 3,300 jobs.  

“Our collaboration with Microsoft TechSpark will help fulfill our mission to advance economic opportunity, job creation, and innovation in Hamilton County,” said Bill Lupia, Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the Chattanooga Chamber. “We empower startups to leverage technology to accelerate their growth and contribute to our local economy.” 

INCubator is the largest business incubator in Tennessee and the third largest in the United States.

Chattanooga joins the TechSpark network that includes Cheyenne, WY; Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, TX; Fargo, ND; Jackson, MS; Central Washington; Northeast Wisconsin; and Southern Virginia.

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