TVFCU Announces 21 Idea Leap Grant Semifinalists

Entrepreneurs Vie For 5 Small Business Grants, Totaling $50,000

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union announces the top 21 Idea Leap Grant semifinalists. 

“We received applications from more than 200 small businesses throughout our 13-county service area, which is incredible considering it is a newly created initiative,” said Tommy Nix, vice president of business and commercial services at TVFCU. “Our community-based selection committee reviewed the applications and has selected the top 21 businesses.” 

The grant initiative is an extension of TVFCU’s Idea Leap Loan Initiative that was created in October 2016. The Idea Leap Loan fills a void in the community for loans up to $50,000 to emerging businesses. Through the Idea Leap Grant Initiative, TVFCU is reinvesting the Idea Leap Loan proceeds back into the community. 

During the next round, the grant selection committee will interview the 21 semifinalists. From there, the top 10 finalists will pitch their business plans during Startup Week in October. Five businesses will be selected to win one of five grants valued at (1) $20,000, (1) $15,000, (1) $10,000 and (2) $2,500. Full rules and the application are available at  

2018 Idea Leap Grant Semifinalists

Carter Wexler
Big Frog Brewery

Norma Maloney

Jenny Whitener
Bridge Innovate

Eric Landrum
Locals Only

Bailey Cole
Cashew Chattanooga

Michael Rice
Mad Priest Coffee

Laurie Stevens
Chattanooga Language

Rachel McCrickard

Wendy Halsey-Richardson
Chattanooga’s Healthy Hearing

Joseph Bozich
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Chattanooga

Felicia Jackson
CPR Wrap

Kelly Hailey
Pigtails and Crewcuts

Cynthia Wood
Dipped Fresh

Loren Potter
Potter’s Plumbing and Tile

Amanda Nelson-Varnell
Dish T’Pass

Jennifer Hoff
Skye Strategies

Darin Wright
Elea Blake Cosmetics

Ann Dickerson
Tennessee Moonshine Cakes

Jennifer Strain
Good Fortune Soap

Wendy Buckner
The Hot Chocolatier

Drs. Rebecca and Joe Klein
Inspire Chiropractic

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