The 2018 UTC Entrepreneurship Breakfast took place on Wednesday, October 24 on UTC’s Campus in conjunction with StartUp Week Chattanooga. The event was hosted by the Gary W. Rollins College of Business Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence and was presented by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. UTC students, faculty and staff, as well as Chattanooga community members, heard from Dawson Wheeler and Marvin Webb (co-founders of Rock/Creek).
“Webb and Wheeler’s engaging story invited some terrific questions from the diverse audience of students, faculty and community members who attended. Year after year, this event continues to showcase the best of Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial success stories,” said Libby Santin, Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
StartUp Week gives Chattanooga the opportunity to celebrate and showcase its entrepreneurial community. Not only is the city home to some innovative new businesses, but it also offers a network of resources that make it a great place for launching and growing a business.
The Gary W. Rollins College of Business at UTC is part of that network. One of the ways the Rollins College of Business reaches its goal of creating “business-world ready” students is by giving them the chance to interact with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Chattanooga area. Chattanooga’s thriving economy is made possible by individuals like Dawson Wheeler and Marvin Webb. In 1987, Wheeler bought an outdoor store in Chattanooga called Canoeist Headquarters. Webb joined him as a partner about a month later and the company became known as Rock/Creek Outfitters. Over the next 30 years, Wheeler and Webb built an authentic reputation for their Chattanooga-based outdoor retail stores. In addition to gear, Rock/Creek became known for providing knowledge, expertise, and directions to some of the area’s best local and regional outdoor spots. Rock/Creek was named one of the top 25 specialty outdoor retailers by Outdoor Business magazine, and in 2009, SNEWS & “Backpacker” magazine chose Rock/Creek as Retailer of the Year for Best Online Business. Rock/Creek continued to expand and has a total of seven brick-and-mortar locations and an e-commerce site. Wheeler and Webb are also two of the most recent inductees in the Rollins College of Business Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
About the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The CIE was established in 2018 to engage, equip and encourage UTC’s innovators and entrepreneurs. The Center supports the entire UTC community through cross-campus programming and initiatives and addresses UTC’s strategic goal to “Inspire, nurture and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurial initiatives.”