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January 17, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Chattanooga’s Urban Vision Initiative introduces inaugural cohort

Several participants share their progress and plans.

A new program helping new businesses in underserved areas of Chattanooga is now training its inaugural cohort.

We posted this article in October that described the reasons for launching the new Urban Vision Initiative (UVI) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Simply stated, the program is designed to support disadvantaged individuals who are developing new businesses in underserved areas of Chattanooga.

In a new blog post, UTC spotlights several of those participating in the inaugural cohort and how the program is benefitting them. One of those individuals is Veatrice Conley whose goal was to create an exclusive bridal studio from whole cloth.

“The Urban Vision Initiative has helped me take a deeper dive into my business plan to identify what I could do better in my business moving forward. Two big takeaways have been to focus on all points of contact I have with potential customers and how to better sell my brand to the marketplace,” Conley says.

Next up for the participants in the inaugural cohort are:

  • An event in early 2023 at Transcard, a Chattanooga-based company that provides payment-processing software and application programming interfaces for financial institutions and technology companies. They’ll share their companies’ status and annual goals, including whatever assistance they require.
  • In late spring, the final UVI milestone is to have all the businesses “in a position where they can move into the managed growth phase if they choose,” says Mike Bradshaw who leads the program. “There may be cases, however, when the entrepreneur decides there is not a workable business model they can pursue.”


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