It’s being called the most disruptive nonprofit of our day. In this interview, we’ll find out why. A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga provides free, long-term, reversible birth control to local women. Today I’m speaking with Rachel Schulson, Executive Director, A Step Ahead Foundation Chattanooga, as well as Nicole, who is one of the organization's clients.

Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons are a mother/daughter team on a mission.  As the CEO and CMO of Mixtroz, they want to take the guesswork and awkwardness out of large networking events.  Imagine going to a convention, trade show, or university for the first time. It can be difficult to identify and connect with "your" people.

Globally this year, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 1,150,000 refugees are hoping to be resettled.

This is the first time in the 30 years for which the U.N. has kept records that the number of refugees hoping for resettlement is more than one million people—many of them women and children.

  On Sunday evening, local Christians, Muslims and others came together for an interfaith service at First Christian Church to honor the victims of the nation's latest and deadliest mass shooting. In Florida, a lone gunman killed nearly 50 people and wounded even more, targeting gays and lesbians at an Orlando nightclub. The shooter had pledged his allegiance to the radical extremist Islamic State.

  When David Manser was a boy growing up in Northern England, he could not have imagined that someday people would pay him to work with plants and animals.  It's just what he's always loved doing.  Now, as the owner of Ponds & Plants in Dayton, TN, David travels the world working with zoos and museums to create one-of-a-kind, natural looking habitats.  He's also become something of a zookeeper himself providing a home for exotic fish and animals.

On this episode, David shares with Start It Up Host Monty Bruell how he turned his passion for the outdoors into a business.

  For many not-for-profit organizations, fundraising is a never ending treadmill.  Sometime these groups need help identifying likely donors or knowing how to put their best foot forward.  That's why Jennifer Hoff founded Skye Strategies.

As CEO of Skye Strategies, Jennifer and her team consult with organizations to help them develop plans and write grant proposals that increase their likelihood of success. Today, Jennifer talks with Start It Up Host Monty Bruell about how non-profits of all shapes and sizes should address their funding needs strategically and with purpose.  

  WUTC 88.1 FM has created a program featuring segments from Operation Song, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that empowers veterans, active duty military and their families to tell their stories through songwriting. The Operation Song Memorial Day Special is an hour of music and interviews about unforgettable experiences on the battlefield and back home. Several veterans collaborated with hit songwriters to create the music.

  It's been quite a year for Amanda Varnell and Sarah Hooper, Co-Owners of Dish T' Pass.  In its 4th year, their catering company and recreational cooking school has produced record sales and been named Small Business of the Year by the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. Now this dynamic duo is about to write a new chapter by launching Dish T' Pass Grab & Go Cafe, a retail gourmet food shop located in the 300 Building downtown.

  Welcome Home, a new Chattanooga nonprofit, has the answer. They provide compassionate end of life care to those in need.  Executive Director Sherry Campbell joins us to talk about the unique, vital service they provide to the community.

  For the 4th year, The Company Lab is bringing teams from across the US to Chattanooga to collaborate in its GIGTANK Accelerator.  From mid-May through July, entrepreneurs will explore ways to leverage Chattanooga's high-speed Internet infrastructure to launch or grow their companies.

Wacker Chemical Corporation

Wacker Chemie recently celebrated the opening of their newest polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee.

The Safety Coalition was established by the Mayor's Office in Chattanooga to offer opportunities for people to get involved for a positive change in our communities. 


    Chattanooga, with its long manufacturing history, is now at the epicenter of 3D printing technologies. Graham Bredemeyer, a nationally recognized expert, moved here 2 years ago to be a leader of this movement. As CEO and Founder of Collider, Graham is working to accelerate adoption of 3D printing by established manufacturers.  He is sitting down with Start It Up Host Monty Bruell to discuss how Collider plans to introduce these new technologies to industries big and small.  

  As Jason Bowers and Matt Skudlarek explain it, their goals were pretty simple when they opened The Bitter Alibi.  They just wanted to create an inviting spot for their restaurant industry friends to enjoy craft beer.  Well, things have grown and morphed quite a bit over the past 3 years.

  Since the 1980's Chattanoogans have been actively looking for new ways to connect with the Tennessee River.  Whether looking for a motor or paddle, chances are fun seekers can find a fun activity on local waterways.

Local entrepreneur Nate Wilson has recently launched Chattanooga Cycle Boats downtown at Ross' Landing.  Individuals and groups can now spend an hour or a day pedaling to their hearts' content.  On this episode, Nate talks with Start It Up Host Monty Bruell about his fun, eco-friendly business venture.