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Start It Up Episode 8: A Passion for Languages and Understanding What Investors Want

Teaching Foreign Language Through Fun and Culture

Chattanooga native Laurie Stevens had always loved Spanish, but it was her time spent in Costa Rica that convinced her that teaching languages to others could become a business.  When she returned home, she set about creating the Chattanooga School of Language.

Now Laurie teaches students many more languages than just Spanish, and her students range from interested Francophiles to officers of the Chattanooga Police Department.  Laurie typifies the saying, "If you do what you love, then you'll never work a day in your life."

Making Businesses Pitch Perfect for Investors

Frank Williamson works in finance at the highest levels, but he absolutely loves mentoring startup companies and helping them reach their potential.  As Managing Partner at Four Bridges  Capital, Frank advises more established companies on a wide range of investment banking services.  As a volunteer and board member of The Company Lab, Frank also helps entrepreneurs develop strategies for raising capital.

The path to raising early-stage money begins with The Pitch.  The successful company founder must learn to  engagingly tell his or her story in 7-10 minutes.  Frank has listened to hundreds of pitches and he definitely has a knack for helping startup entrepreneurs set just the right tone.

Susanne Burnham was the Executive Producer of Start it Up from October of 2014 to August of 2015. She is a graduate of The Company Lab’s Accelerator. She is the Founder and CEO of Click Click Boom, a graduate of the University of Georgia and a U.S. Army Veteran (Desert Storm). She launched her career in the mobile tech industry in 2009, and in 2012 relocated to Chattanooga because of EPB’s fiber optic network and to participate in the City’s growth as a tech and startup hub.
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