Almost 150 people looked on as Dr. George Yu, founder of Variable Technologies, gave his first public presentation of his latest gadget, NODE. Quite possibly the most people ever to pack out 55 East Main St, the energy was palpable at CO.LAB. By the end of the night, George had captured the coveted top-spot as the most “buoyant” startup concept (not to mention NODE was just featured on engadget last night as well!).

NODE is Yu’s brainchild after spending a couple years contracting with NASA-Ames and Department of Homeland Security on mobile devices for national security matters. He took his knowledge of syncing handheld sensors with iPhones and applied it to the consumer and commercial sectors with this “game-changing device.” George says this is a platform device that will allow iPhone application developers to create apps that can do things never before thought possible on the iPhone.

Imagine an app that connects to NODE that can read your child’s forehead temperature from up to 15 feet away. Or a Wii-like controller for mobile games. Or a carbon monoxide sensor for firefighters and other first responders…the list goes on and on. The limit seems to be only the creativity of the app developers!

All six aspiring entrepreneurial teams had five minutes to pitch their concept and three minutes to answer questions from a panel of entrepreneurs and investors. Here are quick descriptions of the other five teams’ concepts: (Kate and Scott Veltkamp) – Your one stop for browsing local caterers’ menus and placing orders online.

Nudge (Phil Beene and Mac Gambil) Powered by Nudge, our innovative community health app, we want to turn college campuses into playgrounds for healthy competition.

SpeakPOP (Justin Frazier) In a world of flashcards and textbooks, SpeakPOP changes the way we learn new languages through novel, accessible game theory, on mobile platforms.

Rocket Link Mobile (Zach Goldstein) A text-messaging app helping individuals earn cash for viewing and sharing targeted coupons alongside their texts.

BOX SEATS (Trevor McAllister) The portable infrastructure for modern street cuisine

Overall, tonight was an exciting night for entrepreneurs in Chattanooga and we can only hope that there are hundreds more innovators just like these six that are in the pipeline to launch their startups right here in the Scenic, er Hipster, er Gig City. More fun to come!