October 19, 2020 // 12 p.m.

CO.LAB is excited to announce the 2020 Will This Float?: Black Founders Edition! This year’s competition will be hosted virtually during this year’s Startup Week Chattanooga.

Will This Float? is a business pitch competition designed to support up-and-coming ideas and companies.

Why Black Founders?

In this period of economic volatility and increased discourse on racial equity, the importance of supporting entrepreneurship in the Black community has reached a new high. Studies highlight that entrepreneurship is among the most significant pathways to creating wealth in the Black community. Now more so than ever it is critical to provide a platform and pathway for Black founders to showcase innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.


Submissions are narrowed down to the top 6 finalists, who will present their concepts and businesses in a 3-minute pitch to an audience and panel of judges. Finalists based on the current status of their companies will be divided into 2 categories: Launch ($0-25k in annual revenue) and Up and Running ($25k or more in annual revenue). We use a combination of feedback from our panel of judges as well as crowdsourced voting to determine which idea floats best!


Any interested applicants can apply here by filling out a brief questionnaire and submitting a video. In the 1-minute video, include your name, your business name, the current stage of your business, and how you would use the top cash prize if you win.



Founders with business concepts or revenue-generating businesses who meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as Black
  • Located in the surrounding region, including Middle and East Tennessee, Atlanta/North Georgia, and Birmingham/North Alabama

1st Place Prize – Up and Running Category

  • $3,000

Audience Choice

  • $1,000

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