The Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga is an initiative of LAUNCH, a Chattanooga-based nonprofit focused on empowering underrepresented entrepreneurs. The KIC is the first food-centric incubator in our region. Our hope is to empower and support Chattanooga’s food-based entrepreneurs.donate now
After serving microbusinesses in Chattanooga for many years, LAUNCH started to identify additional gaps in creating access for budding entrepreneurs. 22% of LAUNCH-supported businesses were in the food industry, and it became apparent that finding a commercial kitchen that is affordable and accessible was an immense obstacle for most of the entrepreneurs we serve. In 2019, LAUNCH began evaluating what a kitchen incubator would look like in Chattanooga. We spent time getting to know the needs of entrepreneurs in the food industry and conducting a nationwide study on how kitchen incubators have operated in other cities. The research found that shared kitchen spaces in addition to mentoring programs increase an entrepreneur’s chance for success. In light of this and the significant number of food-centric LAUNCH CHA graduates, we embarked on the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga.
LAUNCH opened the doors to the KIC with just four initial members in May 2020. We accelerated our opening plans in response to a unique opportunity to work with local organizations and funders on a COVID-related food relief program called the LAUNCH Provisions Project. During this project, we provided 80,000 meals to seniors and community members in the most need. This was achieved with the support of local entrepreneurs and community partners. Since then, our membership has exploded, reaching full (pre-renovation) capacity within a year of opening. The KIC currently houses 20 unique food businesses, and we anticipate this number increasing upon the completion of renovations to the facility!view impact report
With 35 years of experience in the food industry, and as a business owner himself, Mark leads the KIC with his expertise and understanding.Get in Touch >
LAUNCH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/FOUNDER
Hal Bowling co-founded LAUNCH over a decade ago. With the help of the Chattanooga community and Hal’s leadership, the Kitchen Incubator opened its doors in 2020. Learn more about LAUNCH below.Get in Touch >
MEMBER SUPPORT SPECIALIST & OUTREACH MANAGER
In addition to his role at the KIC, Pat is also a KIC Member and LAUNCH CHA alumni. His Catering business BBQ Rowe smokes the best turkey legs in Chattanooga!Get in Touch >