Spirit of Innovation Keynoter is Leslie Miley, Oct. 20 Event Culminates Startup Week


The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce announces Leslie Miley as the keynote speaker for this year’s Spirit of Innovation luncheon, the culmination of Startup Week, a series of seminars and celebrations for entrepreneurs.

Startup Week is Oct. 16-20, and features events ranging from office hops to happy hours to yoga classes, networking, how-to events and more. 

Miley, a Silicon Valley native, has worked in engineering leadership roles at Slack, Twitter, Apple, and Google. The closing event takes place Oct. 20. 

Miley works with Venture for America to enable Silicon Valley tech professionals to spend a year in 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.

"Leslie Miley has led technology development teams at some of the world’s most innovative companies and is now helping build entrepreneurial communities around the country, focusing on hubs outside of the coasts,” said Charlie Brock, CEO, Launch Tennessee. “We are thrilled to welcome him to Chattanooga to celebrate Startup Week and honor some of the region’s leading innovators.”

Miley began his technology career disassembling cable TV set top boxes, moved on to building his own computers and also taught himself programming languages.

“Leslie Miley brings a message that lands at the nexus of technology and inclusion,” said Sandra Brewer, Vice President, Member-Investor Services, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. “We’re excited that our entrepreneurs and business leaders will have the opportunity to hear that message and act on it in Chattanooga.”

“This year we joined forces with Startup Week promoters to increase our outreach and include as many young, new companies as possible,” Brewer said. “This event provides the perfect opportunity for leaders of new firms to connect with established companies.”


Spirit of Innovation Award finalists are storytelling platform Pass It Down, co-working space Society of Work and The Tomorrow Building apartments.

Spirit of Innovation celebrates Chattanooga’s most innovative companies. Eligible innovations have been implemented within the last five years and are in the revenue-generating stages of their business plan ($50,000+ in revenue).

The Chattanooga Chamber honors finalist companies and names an award recipient at the Spirit of Innovation Awards Friday, Oct. 20 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

This event is comprised of an awards luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an Innovation Fair from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. The Innovation Fair highlights forward-thinking local businesses, sponsors and previous award recipients.

Register for the Spirit of Innovation event here.

Learn more about Startup Week here.