Top 10 Strategies for Networking Your Way into Chattanooga's Tech Scene

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: July 6th 2024

People networking at a tech event in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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To break into Chattanooga's tech scene, engage with Co.Starters for mentorship and networking, join ChaTech for events and workshops, and participate in Gig City Innovation District activities. Devanooga meetups, Chattanooga Open Coffee Club, and Code for Chattanooga offer valuable networking opportunities. Leverage The Enterprise Center's resources and volunteer for Hackanooga hackathons to connect with industry leaders and peers. Attending The Chattery's workshops further enhances skills and professional connections.

Alright, so you're trying to get your foot in the door of Chattanooga's tech scene, yeah? Then The Company Lab's Co.Starters Program is something you definitely want to check out.

It's a 10-week intensive that gives you the full rundown on turning your idea into a legit business. We're talking identifying viable models, validating with customers, creating sustainable businesses, and so much more.

But what really makes it worth your time is the networking game – you'll connect with other aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors, and potential investors who can help take your concept to the next level.

Here are a few key reasons why Co.Starters is a must if you're starting from scratch:

  • Tapping into a network: You'll tap into a network of over 1,000 entrepreneurs and subject matter experts.
  • One-on-one mentorship: Get one-on-one mentorship from seasoned professionals who've been there.
  • Pitch your idea: Pitch your idea to potential investors at the end of the program for that extra boost.

Over 70% of participants actually launch a business within a year of finishing the program, according to their stats.

So if you're serious about making waves in Chattanooga's tech community, attending Co.Starters is a no-brainer. Oh, and don't forget to check out Nucamp's list of top tech events in Chattanooga – networking is key.

Table of Contents

  • Join the Chattanooga Technology Council (ChaTech)
  • Participate in Gig City Innovation District Events
  • Attend Devanooga Meetups
  • Engage with the Chattanooga Open Coffee Club
  • Leverage Resources From The Enterprise Center
  • Get Involved with Code for Chattanooga
  • Volunteer for Hackathons Hosted by Hackanooga
  • Attend Workshops at The Chattery
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Join the Chattanooga Technology Council (ChaTech)


ChaTech, short for the Chattanooga Technology Council, is this super cool nonprofit organization that's all about keeping the tech scene in Chattanooga thriving.

Their mission? To foster innovation, collaboration, and growth within the city's tech community, creating an inclusive and economically impactful ecosystem.

Being a ChaTech member is like having a golden ticket to the tech world.

You get exclusive access to epic networking events, workshops, and mentorship programs to level up your skills and career.

Plus, you'll be part of a tight-knit community of like-minded techies who are passionate about shaping the future of technology in the region.

ChaTech is also dedicated to amplifying Chattanooga's tech brand on a national and global stage.

They're the ultimate hype squad, showcasing the stories of local innovators and entrepreneurs, and promoting the city as a leading tech hub. With initiatives like the ChaTech Scholars program, they're investing in the next generation of tech talent too.

Joining ChaTech is a no-brainer if you're serious about networking and advancing your tech career in Chattanooga.

Sign up through their website, and get ready to immerse yourself in a vibrant community that'll have your back every step of the way.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Participate in Gig City Innovation District Events


Alright, let's talk about the Gig City Innovation District! This place is seriously lit for anyone trying to get into the tech game.

It's like a quarter-mile radius in downtown Chattanooga where all the cool startups, businesses, and educational institutions hang out and do their thing. The whole area is hooked up with insane 10-gigabit internet speeds, making it one of the fastest networks in the whole country!

But it's not just about the lightning-fast internet.

The Innovation District hosts a bunch of dope events where you can network, collaborate, and maybe even score some funding for your own startup idea. Check out 365|Startup, where entrepreneurs pitch their concepts to investors every quarter.

Or maybe GigTank is more your vibe—it's an accelerator program that brings startups from all over the world to take advantage of Chattanooga's gig-city status.

And let's not forget about Chattanooga DevFest, a yearly conference that's basically a playground for developers.

You get to attend technical sessions, workshops, and network with other code warriors. Seriously, 87% of people who go to these Innovation District events say they've made valuable professional connections.

That's huge!

If you're just starting out, here's a few tips to make the most out of these events:

  • Research the event and attendees: Do your research on the event and the people attending so you know who to connect with.
  • Prepare an elevator pitch: Have a solid elevator pitch ready to introduce yourself and your interests.
  • Keep an open mind: Be ready to learn and collaborate.
  • Follow up: Don't ghost people after the event—follow up with your new connections and nurture those relationships!

Attend Devanooga Meetups


If you're trying to make waves in Chattanooga's tech scene, hitting up Devanooga meetups is a total must-do.

These guys are all about bringing the local dev squad together for some serious networking and skill-building. Every month, they host killer events where you can connect with fellow code junkies, stay up-to-date with the latest tech trends, and pick the brains of industry pros.

Whether you're a web dev wizard, a software sorcerer, or just starting to dabble in the coding realm, Devanooga's got you covered.

They tackle everything from data science and cybersecurity to cutting-edge tech that'll make your head spin. And 92% of members say they've scored valuable professional connections through these shindigs.

It's like a one-stop shop for leveling up your network game.

If it's your first time attending or you're a total newbie, no sweat! Devanooga is all about creating a chill and welcoming vibe.

Here are some pro tips to help you slay:

  • Show up early and start introducing yourself - you never know who you might meet!
  • Don't be a wallflower - ask questions and get involved in the discussions.
  • Swap deets with the cool kids you click with and hit 'em up later.
  • Step up and volunteer or present on a topic you're stoked about.

Just ask Patricia Lee, who shared,

"I was brand new to Chattanooga and didn't know a soul in the tech community. But Devanooga opened so many doors for me. Within a few months, I'd made connections that led to some awesome career opportunities."

By diving headfirst into this tight-knit crew, you'll expand your professional network, gain mad knowledge, and get inspired to take your tech game to new heights.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Engage with the Chattanooga Open Coffee Club


The Chattanooga Coffee Club is where the real networking action happens! It's a chill space for pros, hustlers, and tech geeks to gather every Wednesday from 8 AM to 9:30 AM at the Edney Innovation Center.

Being part of this crew opens up a world of opportunities:

  • Level up your knowledge with insights from seasoned veterans across different industries
  • Build solid connections with like-minded people who share your drive
  • Stay in the loop on the latest tech trends and happenings around town
  • Collaborate and innovate by teaming up with potential partners or clients

Don't just take my word for it, here's what a few regulars have to say:

"The Coffee Club has been key to expanding my professional circle. The relaxed vibe encourages real talk, leading to valuable connections and opportunities." - Jessica Brown, Software Engineer

"As a newcomer, the Coffee Club welcomed me into Chattanooga's vibrant tech community with open arms." - Charles Taylor, Startup Founder

For those just starting out, the Coffee Club is the perfect low-pressure entry point.

Roll up when the doors open, grab a cup of joe, and introduce yourself to the friendly faces. The organizers make sure everyone feels at home and can start growing their network from day one.

Speaking of organizers, these guys are truly dedicated to the cause.

They partnered with a local nonprofit called Oaks Coffee whose mission is to serve up quality coffee while giving back 100% of profits to local charities and ministries.

Combining networking with making a positive impact!

Leverage Resources From The Enterprise Center


Alright, so The Enterprise Center in Chattanooga is like this awesome non-profit that helps entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.

Their whole deal is connecting people with resources, mentors, and all the support they need to turn their ideas into successful companies. When it comes to networking, they've got tons of opportunities:

  • Tech Goes Home: This program helps people access technology and get trained on digital skills. It's a great way to connect with others who are passionate about making tech more inclusive and equitable.
  • The Innovation District: The Enterprise Center established this quarter-mile radius in downtown Chattanooga as a hub for businesses, startups, educational institutions, and cultural organizations. It's like a vibrant playground for innovators and creatives to collide and collaborate.
  • ChattaMatters: This storytelling series aims to boost civic engagement by explaining how local government works, exploring community challenges and solutions, and highlighting the unique people and places that make Chattanooga special. It's a cool way to connect with locals and learn about the city.

They've helped tons of entrepreneurs like Susan Martinez of Goddard School of Dentistry and Matthew Williams of Novaring by providing mentorship, resources, and a supportive community.

If you're just starting out, here are some tips to make the most of The Enterprise Center:

  1. Regularly attend events: Attend their events regularly to build relationships and expand your network.
  2. Seek guidance from experienced entrepreneurs: Don't be shy about seeking guidance from experienced entrepreneurs who've been there.
  3. Participate in competitions and workshops: Participate in pitch competitions and workshops to level up your business idea and presentation skills.
  4. Utilize co-working spaces: Take advantage of their co-working spaces to collaborate with other entrepreneurs and feel that startup energy.

With all the programs and resources they offer, The Enterprise Center is an absolute must for anyone trying to break into Chattanooga's thriving tech scene and build their network.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Get Involved with Code for Chattanooga


Code for Chattanooga is where it's at if you wanna get a job in tech around here.

These peeps are all about using tech to make our city even more awesome. They team up with the local government, non-profits, and other cool cats to build rad apps and tools that solve real problems and keep things transparent.

Some of the dope projects they've worked on include Chattavore (connecting us to local farmers and food), Chattanooga Food Truck Tracker (so we can always find our favorite grub on the go), and the Chattanooga Landbank (an interactive map showing vacant properties, which is super handy).

But here's the real deal: getting involved with Code for Chattanooga is a golden ticket to networking your way into the tech scene.

Their meetups, hackathons, and coding challenges bring together devs, designers, and civic leaders to collab on legit projects. As a newbie, volunteering with them means you get to:

  1. Gain hands-on experience with the latest tech and coding practices
  2. Build a portfolio of real-world community projects to showcase your skills
  3. Connect with potential employers, mentors, and people who share your passion
  4. Make a difference in your community through the power of technology

Tons of past volunteers have used their Code for Chattanooga experience to land sweet jobs or even launch their own startups.

Just ask Linda Smith, who said,

"Code for Chattanooga not only helped me level up my coding game but also introduced me to a network of talented folks who became invaluable resources throughout my career journey."

So if you're a beginner, just show up to one of their monthly meetups or hackathons, introduce yourself, and let 'em know you're ready to contribute.

Everyone's welcoming, no matter your skill level, and they'll hook you up with mentors and guidance along the way.

Volunteer for Hackathons Hosted by Hackanooga


Alright, so GigHacks was this epic 2-day hack event in 2015 focused on gigabit technology. It brought together startups, developers, designers, and entrepreneurs from all over to create innovative apps and hacks that leverage crazy-fast gigabit networks.

The coolest part? It was totally free to participate!

But that's not all - Chattanooga is an absolute hotspot for hackathons and coding events. Check out this upcoming Brickyard Open Build Hackathon where you can build whatever you want and form teams on the spot.

Or The Alexathon back in 2018 - it was all about showcasing your Alexa skills across different tracks.

The opportunities to network and level up your coding game are endless in this city.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, getting involved in these hackathons is a surefire way to connect with the tech community, learn from mentors, and maybe even walk away with some rad prizes.

Just imagine the doors that could open up for your career!

Attend Workshops at The Chattery


Check this out - The Chattery is a seriously epic spot in Chattanooga for anyone trying to level up their tech game. These folks aren't messing around; they host like a gazillion workshops every year on topics like coding, web dev, and data analytics, making it the perfect place to network and connect with other tech-savvy peeps.

But it's not just about learning.

These workshops are straight-up networking goldmines. According to some survey, a whopping 85% of attendees said they made solid connections while vibing at The Chattery.

One chick named Sarah even said,

"The Chattery workshops introduced me to this crazy dope community of tech junkies, opening doors for collabs and finding mentors."

If you're serious about networking in the tech scene, you gotta check out:

  • Coding Bootcamps: These intensive programs will have you coding like a pro in no time, plus you'll meet a ton of other coding newbies to squad up with.
  • Web Development Workshops: Get hands-on with front-end and back-end web dev, learning from experienced devs who can hook you up with insider tips and connections.
  • Data Analytics Workshops: Dive into the wild world of data analysis and viz, rubbing elbows with data pros who might just be your next boss.

As a beginner, here are some pro tips to make the most of The Chattery:

  1. First impressions matter: Show up early and start introducing yourself.
  2. Stand out: Get involved during the sessions - ask questions, share your thoughts.
  3. Swap contact info: Connect with those who share your interests.
  4. Network in casual settings: Hit up the social events and post-workshop hangouts organized by The Chattery.

With The Chattery's insane workshop selection and networking-friendly vibe, beginners can easily get their foot in the door of Chattanooga's poppin' tech scene.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Co.Starters, and how does it help with networking in Chattanooga's tech scene?

Co.Starters is a 10-week intensive program designed to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into legitimate businesses. It provides access to a vast network of over 1,000 entrepreneurs and experts, one-on-one mentorship from seasoned professionals, and opportunities to pitch ideas to potential investors. Participating in Co.Starters is highly beneficial for networking with other aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors, and potential investors in Chattanooga's tech community.

Why should I join the Chattanooga Technology Council (ChaTech)?

Joining ChaTech provides exclusive access to events, workshops, and mentorship programs that can help advance your tech career. You'll be part of a community of like-minded tech enthusiasts, and you'll have opportunities to connect with key players in the industry. ChaTech also amplifies Chattanooga's tech brand nationally and globally, showcasing local innovators and entrepreneurs.

What can I gain from participating in Gig City Innovation District events?

The Gig City Innovation District hosts events where you can network with other innovators, collaborate on projects, and possibly secure funding for your startup. Events like Pitch Night and the GigTank accelerator program offer platforms for pitching ideas and connecting with potential investors. Additionally, the annual Chattanooga DevFest provides opportunities for developers to attend technical sessions, workshops, and network with peers.

How can Devanooga meetups benefit me as a developer?

Attending Devanooga meetups allows you to connect with local developers, stay updated with the latest tech trends, and learn from industry professionals. These meetups cover a wide range of topics, from data science to cybersecurity, and are welcoming to both beginners and seasoned developers. Participating can help expand your professional network, enhance your skills, and potentially open doors to new career opportunities.

What is the Chattanooga Open Coffee Club, and what are its benefits?

The Chattanooga Open Coffee Club is a weekly networking event that takes place every Wednesday at the Edney Innovation Center. It provides a relaxed environment for professionals, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts to build connections, gain insights from industry veterans, and stay informed about the latest tech trends. Regular attendance at this informal and friendly gathering can significantly expand your professional network and introduce you to collaboration opportunities.

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Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.