LAUNCH will hold a fundraising dinner on Thursday, Sept. 7, to celebrate six years of launching entrepreneurs in the Chattanooga community. The event will also feature guest speaker Phillip Fulmer, esteemed coach of the Tennessee Volunteers from 1992 - 2008.
The vision for LAUNCH came from recognizing the potential of a more diverse group of entrepreneurs in Chattanooga. The goal was to focus on those sectors most under-represented in the entrepreneurial community: women, minorities and those living in communities of high unemployment. By assisting individuals in their start-up journey, jobs could be created at a grass-roots level and individuals could be empowered to pursue their dreams. With this goal and backing from the community, LAUNCH was officially born in 2011. Since the first Business Entrepreneurship Academy was held, 182 businesses have been supported and 227 jobs have been created.
Guest speaker Phillip Fulmer is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches in SEC history and a 2012 inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame. Coach Fulmer coached at the college level for 37 years (including 32 years in the SEC) and was the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers for 17 seasons from 1992-2008. He posted a career record of 152-52 and won at least eight games in 15 of his 17 seasons at the helm of the Volunteers.
LAUNCH executive director Hal Bowling said, "I am thrilled that Coach Fulmer will be speaking at our event and helping us celebrate six years of serving our community in Chattanooga. His reputation for identifying talent and coaching Tennessee football has inspired many of us and is synonymous with the work we do at LAUNCH to empower a diverse group of entrepreneurs in our city. It’s going to be a great night.”
The event will open with a reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. where drinks will be served. In addition, attendees will have the chance to experience Flavors of LAUNCH, which will feature small bites from five LAUNCH entrepreneurs with culinary based businesses; Angie Adams with Calamansi Cafe, Abdulwahhab Alabid with Jinan’s Kitchen, Shavonne Flowers with Butter Cre’me, Lesli Washington with Hummbeas Poundcakes, as well as Katie Mitchel with Cup & Quill Specialty Scones. Dinner, catered by BBQ Rowe from LAUNCH entrepreneur Pat Rowe, will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by a presentation.
The fundraiser is open to the public, with both individual tickets and tables available. Individual tickets are $100 and include dinner, along with beer and wine. For those wanting one on one time with Coach Fulmer, as well as an official photo, VIP tables are available for $900, which comes with two tickets to meet Coach Fulmer. Tables of eight are available for $600. Individual tickets are available at LAUNCHchattanooga.org/LAUNCHparty. For table inquiries, please email Sandy Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org.