Ted Alling believes in building a community of innovators and achievers. He’s earned the reputation of the “underground mayor of Chattanooga” for doing just that. Since arriving in Chattanooga nearly 20 years ago, Alling has spurred a citywide transportation and logistics revolution that can be felt across the Southeast.
As a partner at Dynamo Venture Capital, Alling started Dynamo Founders Camp in 2018, an annual event that brings together startups to network with leaders in the commerce and transportation industries. Alling said this year’s meetup will be made up of “20 of the hottest logistics startups on the planet.”
Alling’s Chattanooga success started with humble beginnings. Along with friends Barry Large and Allan Davis, Alling founded Access America Transport in 2002 with two goals in mind – make it the best place in America to work and grow it to a $100 million company. What started from the ground up was scaled to over $490 million by 2014. Access America was sold that year to Coyote Logistics, and Alling found success in other ventures.
“The whole community is pulling for entrepreneurs,” Alling said, speaking of Chattanooga’s collective understanding of its importance in the transportation industry.
EPB, the city’s electric and telecommunication company, first offered customers one gigabyte of internet speed in 2010. Since then, entrepreneurs like Alling, as well as others from around the country, have set up shop in “Gig City.”
Alling co-founded Lamp Post Group in 2010, a venture incubator aimed at helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
“We just had an entrepreneur mindset and we believed in people,” Alling said.
He and Lamp Post Group have helped grow successful Chattanooga businesses such as Bellhops, NOOGAtoday and Chattanooga Whiskey Co., to name just a few.
Alling asks himself three questions when investing in a business – Is the CEO charismatic? Can this be a billion-dollar company? Can we bring value?
His standards may seem high, but Alling’s proven that he’s up for the challenge.
Ailing and his wife, Kelly, have also focused their entrepreneurial spirit toward helping Chattanooga’s disadvantaged boys. They co-founded Chattanooga Preparatory School, an all-boys public charter aimed at bringing life-changing opportunities to inner-city boys.
“My wife and I have a passion to serve people,” Alling said.
The Allings currently serve as chair and vice chair on the school’s governance board.
Hear more from Alling at the 2019 Founders Camp. It will be held from September 30 through October 3. There is no cost to attend the event.
Headline sponsors include FreightWaves, Chick-Fil-A, Covenant Transport and Schneider National.
Apply now at https://www.dynamo.vc/founders-camp