The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce presented the 2017 Spirit of Innovation Award on Friday to storytelling platform Pass It Down.
“Thank you to the Chamber for this opportunity,” said Chris Cummings. “Thank you to this city. My wife and I moved here two years ago and we feel embraced and at home here because Chattanooga welcomed us with open arms and made it easy to start a company.”
Pass It Down is a digital biography service that preserves family memories. The service includes story prompts that can be answered in video, audio, text or photo from a phone, tablet or computer. These digital stories then become a customized print book. Pass It Down’s greetingStory Memory Boxes include hand-selected questions from the world's top biographers with tips and instructions on the inside to guide friends and family in sharing their stories.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Cummings also unveiled an effort to corral memories about a city or place, to be piloted in Chattanooga.
Silicon Valley native Leslie Miley keynoted the Spirit of Innovation luncheon.
“Don’t let the speed of something get in the way,” Ms. Miley said. “Building a city takes time. Be attentive, go slow, be inclusive. We do better when we work together. As long as you’re doing that, you’re doing the right thing.”
Ms. Miley has worked in engineering leadership roles at Slack, Twitter, Apple and Google, and now works with Venture for America to enable Silicon Valley tech professionals to spend a year in other cities such as Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans or Philadelphia, working with venture capitalists and innovation centers or districts on growing their respective tech communities.
Spirit of Innovation also honored award finalists Society of Work and The TomorrowBuilding apartments, culminating Startup Week by celebrating the region’s most innovative companies.