Launch Tennessee Selects Lindsey Cox as its Next CEO

Source: LaunchTN | Release | March 1, 2022

Cox returns to LaunchTN after stints with U.S. Economic Development Administration and CO.LAB

LaunchTN is pleased to announce Lindsey Cox as its next CEO. Currently serving as CEO of Chattanooga’s The Company Lab (CO.LAB), Cox has been a long-time employee and partner of LaunchTN. She began her career in the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of State Government Finance before transitioning to entrepreneur development at LaunchTN from 2013 to 2019, rising to its Director of Operations and Government Affairs.

Cox’s experiences leading entrepreneur stakeholder organizations and initiatives at the national and local levels elevated her to the top of several hundred applicants. Her naming concludes a six-month, nationwide search garnering hundreds of applicants. The search engaged dozens of leading stakeholders for the organization, including entrepreneurs, investors and leadership at the state’s entrepreneur support organizations.

“Having been a part of the LaunchTN team in the recent past, Lindsey is very familiar with the organization and brings a wealth of knowledge to the position. I am confident that Lindsey will excel as CEO as LaunchTN continues its mission to promote and support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Bob Rolfe, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and chairman of LaunchTN’s board of directors. “As LaunchTN transitions in leadership, I would like to thank Abby Trotter for her hard work and commitment serving as interim CEO for the past seven months. Abby has set the organization up for tremendous success, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with her as a strong network partner and advocate.”

Cox also served as director of LaunchTN’s flagship conference, 36|86, in 2018 and 2019 leading a push to bring dozens of compelling speakers and a wealth of content to the event, marking its transition to a highly anticipated, nationally recognized, multi-day meeting for startups and investors in Tennessee and beyond.

“Lindsey is the perfect fit to lead LaunchTN into this next phase,” said Bruce Doeg, a shareholder at Baker Donelson and LaunchTN’s vice chairman and head of its recent search committee. “We had quality applicants from across the country who we considered very seriously for the role, but ultimately, Lindsey’s extensive knowledge of and experience working with entrepreneurs and start-ups made her the obvious best choice.”

After departing LaunchTN in 2019, Cox served an 18-month stint at the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship as program manager of the agency’s Build to Scale program supporting entrepreneur support organizations across the U.S. before she moved to Chattanooga to lead CO.LAB.

“I am eager to bring what I have learned as both a LaunchTN granter and grantee back to the organization as its leader,” said Cox. “This is an exciting time for economic growth in Tennessee. Launch TN has a tremendous opportunity to increase our capacity for further job creation and to foster innovation for Tennesseans in every corner of our state.”

About LaunchTN
LaunchTN is a public-private partnership with a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Its mission is to empower a high-functioning network of resources focused on core priorities that support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through its network of Entrepreneur Centers and partner organizations across the state, LaunchTN fosters collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions, and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs.