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Reverse Pitch is a new event that turns the table on entrepreneurs by asking organizations to pitch the problems they want startup teams to solve and offer a pathway to funding. With projects varying from reducing energy consumption to replicating gigabit learning experiences in other cities, local entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to collaborate on groundbreaking work that could impact major industries and communities across the nation. Presenters at Reverse Pitch are looking for talented individuals with backgrounds and interests in design, coding, communication, technology, education, and entrepreneurship. To learn more about the projects up for grabs, check out the summaries below.

 

[Pre-registration is encouraged]

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EPB

The Challenge:
A common misconception about sustainable use of energy is that the solution is to use less. Actually, the most important variable in sustainability is the time of day people use electric power. EPB is looking for a way to encourage people to avoid using electric power at peak times by offering fun incentives. This is an industry-wide challenge, meaning those who develop successful solutions to the problem have an opportunity to apply their ideas outside Chattanooga and to provide value to utilities globally.

Ideal Applicants:
The ideal team for this project would have skills in software development, as well as a strong proficiency in design and behavioral science. EPB will commit up to $25,000 to the selected team for the initial project development and proof of concept. Additional funds may be available for the development of a full-scale model depending on the viability and feasibility of the proposed solution.

 

Mozilla’s Hive Chattanooga

The Challenge:
Virtual Reality (VR) technology is generating a great deal of hype right now, but using VR impactfully in a classroom or other education settings isn’t quite plug-and-play. VR still isn’t very user friendly, especially for time-strapped educators. Mozilla’s Hive Chattanooga is asking entrepreneurs and technologists to develop new ways to make VR more approachable and useful in a classroom setting. Solutions might include use cases, an educator playbook, or webVR applications that incorporate low-cost Google cardboards. Applicants selected for this project will have the opportunity to receive grants up to $25,000 through the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund.

Ideal Applicants:
Ideal applicants include thoughtful technologists who have experience working with VR or WebVR technology. Educators would also make excellent candidates, as involving those with intimate knowledge of the classroom in the solution early on is key to success.

 

The Enterprise Center

The Challenge:
In November 2014 and March 2015, educators at the Hamilton County STEM School collaborated with researchers at the USC School of Cinematic Arts to conduct a cross-country learning experience using Chattanooga’s gigabit network and GENI rack. This first-in-the-nation experience gave local students the opportunity to interact with 4k video microscopy, view microorganisms in real time from more than 1,800 miles away, and conduct original projects in aquatic microbial ecology with researchers at USC. Today, The Enterprise Center is challenging local entrepreneurs to find a way to replicate this learning experience in other gigabit-enabled cities across the U.S.

Ideal Applicants:
Ideal applicants include those with backgrounds in programming, networking technologies, education, business development and entrepreneurship. The makeup of the team will include strategic thinkers and technologists, ideally from varied backgrounds in education. This startup team will have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming cycle of GIGTANK 365. Initial funding will come in the form of grants.

 

The Company Lab (CO.LAB)

The Challenge:
Entrepreneurial ecosystems are fundamental to entrepreneurial growth, yet communities across the nation are struggling to capture the full impact of these networks and resources on the entrepreneurial experience. In order to better understand the interaction of entrepreneurial resources and economic outcomes, CO.LAB has begun tracking them closely in order to provide insight into which resources and social conditions have the greatest impact on local economies. To make its findings accessible to the public, CO.LAB is looking for a team of collaborators to launch a programmable data visualization project that allows other startup communities to better investigate their own ecosystems.

Ideal Applicants:
Ideal applicants are those with backgrounds in data science and data visualization, as well as those with strong design experience. Grant funding will be available to selected team members, as well as the opportunity to apply their work in startup cities across the U.S.

 

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