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Business & Economy

Maximizing Community Infrastructure to Spur Economic Development

Friday, September 23, 2016
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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"Is the internet a necessity or a luxury for people? If we want to build equity, we need to close the digital divide." – Andy Berke

Chattanooga, Tennessee is a center of innovation. Starting in 2008, it began offering "internet faster than Google Fiber" to citizens and businesses. Currently, Chattanooga offers services up to 10-gigabits - which is 1,000 times faster than the average internet connection.

But the city didn't stop there. Chattanooga took steps to further harness the unique advantage of having one of the fastest, cheapest, more pervasive internets in the country. Following a robust public engagement process, the city established an Innovation District - 140 acres in the heart of downtown that houses a catalytic mix of start-up businesses, incubators, and accelerators alongside investors and public amenities.

All of these developments occurred under the leadership of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. How did he do it? Can this success be replicated? Join us for a discussion on how harnessing technology and community infrastructure can spur economic development in mid-sized American cities.

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