Announcing 21 Idea Leap Grant Semifinalists                                                                                                     Skip to content
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Announcing 21 Idea Leap Grant Semifinalists

August 01, 2018

Entrepreneurs Vie for Five Small Business Grants, Totaling $50,000

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Aug. 1, 2018) — Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union is proud to announce the top 21 Idea Leap Grant semifinalists.

“We received applications from more than 200 small businesses throughout our 13-county service area, which is incredible considering it is a newly created initiative,” said Tommy Nix, vice president of business and commercial services at TVFCU. “Our community-based selection committee reviewed the applications and has selected the top 21 businesses.”

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, the grant selection committee will interview the 21 semifinalists. From there, the top ten finalists will pitch their business plans during Startup Week in October. 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 and the application are available at

2018 Idea Leap Grant Semifinalists

Carter Wexler

Big Frog Brewery

Norma Maloney


Jenny Whitener

Bridge Innovate

Eric Landrum

Locals Only

Bailey Cole

Cashew Chattanooga

Michael Rice

Mad Priest Coffee

Laurie Stevens

Chattanooga Language

Rachel McCrickard Motivo

Wendy Halsey-Richardson

Chattanooga’s Healthy Hearing

Joseph Bozich

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Chattanooga

Felicia Jackson

CPR Wrap

Kelly Hailey

Pigtails and Crewcuts

Cynthia Wood

Dipped Fresh

Loren Potter

Potter’s Plumbing and Tile

Amanda Nelson-Varnell

Dish T’Pass

Jennifer Hoff

Skye Strategies

Darin Wright

Elea Blake Cosmetics

Ann Dickerson

Tennessee Moonshine Cakes

Jennifer Strain

Good Fortune Soap

Wendy Buckner

The Hot Chocolatier

Drs. Rebecca and Joe Klein

Inspire Chiropractic



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About Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU), a not-for-profit financial cooperative, was established in 1936 when 57 Chattanooga TVA employees pooled $500 to create the member-owned credit union. Today, TVFCU serves more than 139,000 members who live, work, worship, volunteer or attend school throughout the 13-county service community. With more than $1.4 billion in assets and 17 branches throughout the area, TVFCU is the largest credit union in the region. For more information about TVFCU, please visit

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