About Us

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.

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The History of the KIC
Our Beginnings

After serving microbusinesses in Chattanooga for many years, LAUNCH started to identify additional gaps in creating access for budding entrepreneurs. Twenty two percent 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.

The Initial Stage

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!

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The History of the KIC
Chattanooga has seen significant growth in the diversity of business ownership since LAUNCH stepped on the scene in 2011. Our work, however, is not finished. We envision the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga as a space that drives growth, community, and opportunity for our city's emerging food-based business.
Our Team
Mark Holland

With 35 years of experience in the food industry, and as a business owner himself, Mark leads the KIC with his expertise and understanding.

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Hal Bowling

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.

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Pat Rowe

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!

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DeJuan S. Jordan
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Karen Collins
Director of Programs
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Our Sponsors
Corporate Sponsors
Pinacle Financial Partners
Fiber Optics
First Horizon
Simply Bank
SouthEast Bank
JP Morgan Chase&Co
Acumen Wealth Advisors
Smart Bank
Widgets and Stone
Bridge Pointe
Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
First Bank
US Small Business Administration
Department of Economic and Community Development
Urban Story Ventures
Launch Tennessee
Ewin Marion Kauffman Foundation
WK Kellogg Foundation
Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church
North Shore Fellowship
Christ Church
Gordon Food Service
Urban League of Greater Chattanooga Inc
Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
City of Chattanooga
RDV Corporation
Hamico Inc
Footprint Foundation
Lyndhurst Foundation