GigTank Winner Sets Up Headquarters In Chattanooga

Thursday, January 3, 2013

CO.LAB on Thursday announced that Banyan, winner of the 2012 GigTank competition, has secured its first round of funding from the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, as well as Chattanooga and Silicon Valley angel investors.

Banyan CEO Toni Gemayel said the company will move its Florida headquarters to downtown Chattanooga in the coming weeks.

“Chattanooga’s robust startup culture and supportive investment community have played an integral role in Banyan’s early success,” Mr. Gemayel said. “We’re excited to establish our headquarters here, and we’re confident that the city will act as a catalyst for Banyan as we take the company to a new level.”

Banyan is a cloud-based version control system that caters to the research industry, where the U.S. spent $67 billion in 2011. With a modern user interface and integrated productivity tools, Banyan facilitates information sharing between researchers and eliminates the need for countless iterations of a project.

“Last year, 1.5 million research papers were published in the U.S., with an average of 10 collaborators per project. Those researchers need more efficient means of exchanging data,” Mr.Gemayel said. “Our partnership with the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund and other valuable investors will allow us to fill the void we’ve identified in the massive research industry.”

Banyan’s first round of funding comes on the heels of the 2012 GigTank, a summer-long startup accelerator and competition co-hosted by CO.LAB and Lamp Post Group. The company was awarded GigTank’s top $100,000 prize.

Banyan’s GigTank success drew the attention of multiple investors, including the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund. Founded by a group of local business leaders, the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund is a formalized angel capital fund that focuses on the city’s entrepreneurship and economic growth.

CRF has raised more than $3 million from dozens of Chattanooga area investors as well as six general partners, who manage the investments and oversee the vetting process.

“CRF is pleased to contribute to Banyan’s growth, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with the company’s management team,” said David Belitz, a general partner of the fund. “This investment will help Banyan build a solid foundation, and on a larger scale, will further CRF’s mission to foster Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial culture.” 


Yoga East Wellness Center To Open Second Studio At Cambridge Square

Yoga East Wellness Center (Yoga East) will open a second location in Cambridge Square, a mixed-use community located at the corner of Ooltewah-Georgetown Road and Lee Hwy. in Ooltewah. Yoga East will be locating in what is now the 2500 square foot Beyoga Ooltewah studio. The proprietors of both studios worked together to facilitate the transition "We would first like to thank ... (click for more)

Chief Justice Lee, Chancellor Lyle Launch New Court To Business And Legal Community

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Lee and Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle launched the state’s first Business Court to the business and legal communities at a gathering in downtown Nashville Thursday. The event brought together more than 120 leaders in the business and law arena at the Baker Donelson Center to learn how this initiative will enhance the ... (click for more)

New Attorneys Have Not Decided On Whether To Seek Mental Evaluation For Hixson Woman Facing Possible Death Penalty

New attorneys for a Hixson woman facing a possible death penalty in Catoosa County, Ga., said they have not decided whether to seek a mental evaluation of Catherine Joann Goins. Police said she lured a 30-year-old woman to a friend's house and killed her in order to steal her newborn. After District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin opted for the death penalty, two attorneys ... (click for more)

Mobile, Ala., Firm Alerted To Send Tug To Cart Off Eyesore Casey Barge

Bankruptcy Trustee Jerry Farinash said Thursday afternoon that a Mobile, Ala., firm has been told to start work on removing the Casey barge from the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga. He said Coast Guard officials inspected the barge earlier Thursday and "seemed pleased with the condition it is in." The attorney said the Coast Guard will make a re-inspection just before ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Would Mr. Summers’ Clients…

It was a beautiful day at Orange Grove Friday as the nationally-famed center, which cares for over 1,000 intellectually disabled children of all ages, celebrated its annual “Lunch of Champions” with a packed house in the Bucky Williams Gymnasium. Jerry Summers, who insiders know has done more for Orange Grove than any other man alive, not only emceed the event as he does every year, ... (click for more)