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Chattanooga: Doing the heavy lifting, literally

Holly Ashley

Two Auburn University fraternity brothers build a startup that immediately scales beyond all expectations. The high-growth business catches the eye of influential venture capitalists who recruit the founders to a city engineered for entrepreneurial growth. Where, you might ask? Chattanooga, of course.

The founders are Cameron Doody and Stephen Vlahos and the startup is Bellhops. Not your typical moving company, Bellhops harnesses the energy of college students to provide legendary customer service while eliminating some very real pain points from the moving experience: endless packing, heavy lifting and bribing friends to load and unload moving trucks. Using an on-demand platform accessed through the Bellhops app, customers can schedule a trusty bellhop and a rental truck with 24-hours’ notice and a few taps on a mobile device. Easy peasy.   

Since relocating their startup to Chattanooga, Bellhops has raised a total of $19.5 million in Series A and B investments, created a nationwide network of 10,000 active Bellhops and earned a ranking of 4th on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2015 list of “25 Best Large-Company Cultures.”  And their success isn’t all about the headband.

 “The overall progress of the city and support from the community have been a huge factor in team satisfaction and are really allowing us to recruit top-tier talent to Chattanooga from all over the country,” Vlahos says. From access to capital and talent, to delivering an entrepreneur-approved quality of life, Chattanooga helps high growth businesses with all their heavy lifting.

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