Business pitch competition to award $3,000 for best idea, $1,000 for first runner up




The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is currently seeking applications for its seventh annual ‘Will This Float?’ competition, which showcases up-and-coming startup ideas in southeast Tennessee. Prospective participants must submit their business concepts by Nov. 21 to enter into consideration.

The competition will take place Dec. 8 from 6—9 p.m. at the Chattanooga Zoo. Entry for the event is free but registration is encouraged.

The 2016 edition of Will This Float? will highlight new, high growth potential business concepts in a variety of industries. Entrepreneurs working in all fields and focus areas are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to novel, early-stage ideas that have the potential to grow into highly-successful companies. Submissions will be narrowed to a maximum of eight finalists that best meet a set of five assessment criteria. Cash prizes of $3,000 and $1,000 will be awarded to two winners at the culmination of the competition.

“’Will This Float?’ has a rich history of shining a spotlight on the best up-and-coming ideas in our city,” said Jack Studer, executive director of CO.LAB. “For anyone that has been sitting on a great idea, ‘Will This Float?’ is an awesome way to test it out and get feedback. The competition has also served as a springboard for turning novel ideas into startups, as we’ve seen multiple participants gain momentum at the event and then go on to grow successful companies in our community.”

Established in 2010, Will This Float? is an annual business pitch competition that celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship in southeast Tennessee. Participants each get three minutes to pitch their startup idea before a panel of judges and an audience of local startup leaders, general attendees and potential mentors and business partners. Once all the presentations are complete, the judges will deliberate backstage. At the end of the evening, CO.LAB will announce first and second place winners. The top honoree will receive a cash prize of $3,000, and the runner up will receive $1,000. Both winners will also receive a package of free business services to continue developing their ideas. Those packages include:

  • 10 hours of legal services from Miller & Martin
  • 10 hours of legal services from Chambliss Startup Group
  • 10 hours of accounting services from Henderson, Hutcherson & McCullough
  • Three months of access to co-working space at Society of Work
  • A spot in the CO.LAB Accelerator, GIGTANK Accelerator or CO.STARTERS program

Over the last six years, Will This Float? has showcased approximately 60 entrepreneurs who have raised nearly $38 million in combined capital. The event attracts an average of 250 attendees annually, making it one of the most prominent business pitch competitions in the region. A number of notable entrepreneurial successes have grown out of Will This Float?, including SupplyHog, NODE (Variable, Inc.), RootsRated, Granola and Innovasan. Click here to learn more about Will This Float? or to submit an application. To register as a general attendee, click here.

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