Established in 2017, TechSpark is a Microsoft civic program designed to promote digital skills, increase access to broadband, and foster inclusive economic opportunity.
Since its inception in seven communities across the country, the program secured more than $125 million in community funding – advancing skills for 55,000 people and creating more than 3,000 jobs.
Program funds help drive economic growth in bi-national communities like Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. They’ve supported efforts to bridge the skill divide by advancing manufacturing in cities like El Paso, Texas and fostered digital equity opportunities in cities like Jackson, Mississippi.
The Chattanooga Chamber’s INCubator program housed in Hamilton County’s Business Development Center (BDC) announced its entry into Microsoft’s TechSpark Fellowship – receiving $50,000 to help support its mission of advancing local startups through resources, coaching and workspaces.
“Hamilton County’s Business Development Center has supported hundreds of small businesses in the critical early days of each entrepreneur’s journey. Local entrepreneurs will have even more opportunities ahead by harnessing these digital tools to help grow their businesses,” Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp said.
The fellowship represents the first time TechSpark has collaborated with the INCubator, with the objective of startups leveraging technology to grow, innovate and compete.
Located in downtown Chattanooga the Chamber’s INCubator is the largest business incubator in Tennessee and third largest in the United States
Serving as an integral part of Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial ecosystem for more than 30 years, the program provides 127,000 square feet of startup business support to cultivate sustainable enterprises that create jobs for Hamilton County.
These efforts will now be supported through TechSpark to tackle digital inclusion in four focus areas: digital access, digital skills, computer science education, and digital transformation.
“This collaboration with Microsoft TechSpark will help fulfill our mission to advance economic opportunity, job creation and innovation in Hamilton County,” said Bill Lupia, Director, Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.
Learn more about TechSpark, here.
Learn more about the INCubator and its clients through our Chattanooga Chamber website, here.
Read about the INCubator’s $70 million impact, here.