GIGTANK 2013 is just around the corner! Our teams are coming from far and wide to spend the summer in the Gig City — and for good reason. In recent months, there’s been quite a bit of buzz highlighting the GIGTANK program and Chattanooga in general.

Thanks to the media love, we’ve had a lot of Chattanoogans asking how they can plug into GIGTANK this summer. We’re thrilled with the local interest we’re seeing, and we know the success of GIGTANK 2013 will be anchored by the support of our city. Here are a few ways that you can be a part of the program:

1)  Be a mentor. Founders of new companies always need access to great mentors. We are in the process of building a pool of mentors who have business experience, industry knowledge and time availability. Specifically, we are looking for mentors who have experience in a few industries: manufacturing sensors/automation, media, video conferencing and retail technology. To apply to be a mentor, click here.

2) Be a sponsor. GIGTANK Demo Day 2013 will showcase pitches from startup teams as well as R&D teams from around the globe. More than 400 people attended Demo Day 2012, and another 300-plus watched the LiveStream of the event. Last year’s attendees included key management from Alcatel Lucent, Cisco, IBM, Warner Brothers, Mozilla, Ideo, US Ignite, NSF, Revolution Ventures and many more. If your company, organization or foundation would like to sponsor Demo Day, please email Allie O’Connell at allie@colab.is.

3) Be a beta tester. When concepts first enter the market, it’s critical to have potential customers who are willing and able to test new products and services. If you, your  household or your business is interested in beta testing, stay tuned: GIGTANK teams will be announced in just a few weeks. Review their ideas, and let us know if something strikes your fancy — we’ll be happy to connect you to the teams.

We are so grateful for the community support for GIGTANK so far: Lamp Post Group for spearheading the recruitment of the specialists, UTC for providing housing for all the participants, River City Company for making sure everyone gets plugged into the downtown experience and many more. There is no way GIGTANK could happen without the kind of commitment and support for innovative programs we have received. Thank you!