2019 Idea Leap Semifinalist Announcement                                                                                                     Skip to content
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2019 Idea Leap Semifinalist Announcement


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 22, 2019) — Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union is proud to announce the top 20 Idea Leap Grant semifinalists for 2019.

 “We know that small businesses are lifeblood of the community,” said Todd Fortner, president and CEO, TVFCU. “We had an array of small businesses throughout our 13-county service area apply. We are honored to announce the top 20 semifinalist and wish them the best of luck as they showcase their businesses for the Idea Leap Grant selection committee.” 

 The grant initiative is an extension of TVFCU’s Idea Leap Loan Initiative that was created in October 2016. The Idea Leap Loan fills a void in the community for loans up to $50,000 to emerging businesses. Through the Idea Leap Grant Initiative, TVFCU is reinvesting the Idea Leap Loan proceeds back into the community.

 During the next round, an independent, volunteer grant selection committee will interview the 20 semifinalists. From there, the top ten finalists will pitch their business plans on Tuesday, Oct. 22, during Startup Week. Five businesses will be selected to win one of five grants valued at (1) $20,000, (1) $15,000, (1) $10,000 and (2) $2,500. Full rules are available at tvfcu.com.


2019 Idea Leap Grant Semifinalists

Anchor Family Counseling

Heather Carver

Cleveland, Tenn.

Live and Let Live

Virgil McGee Sr.

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Blades Creative

Gabrielle Blades

Chattanooga, Tenn.


Alex Guppy

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chambers Welding

Chanda Maldonado

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Peak Performance

Denise Rice

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chatta Cakes

Shannon Anderson

Hixson, Tenn.

Reel Roots

Matthew Lake

Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

Chattanooga Web Design

Christian Webber

Chattanooga, Tenn.

REV Optimal

Matt Smith

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Cognitive Learning

Michelle Davis

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Rustic House

Emily Warr

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Elea Blake

Darin Wright

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Sleep in a Tree

Enoch Elwell

Flintstone, Ga.

Goins Creations

Rebecca Houk

Athens, Tenn.

Southern Rehab

Trace Kennemore

Kimball, Tenn.

Hanks Corner Grill

Doug Hankins

Tracy City, Tenn.


Karen LeBlanc

South Pittsburg, Tenn.

Hutton and Smith

Melanie Krautstrunk

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Terra Running

Brittany Durkin

Cleveland, Tenn.


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