The Company Lab Announces New Focus For GIGTANK 2014

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Company Lab Thursday announced that Additive Manufacturing (3D printing), Healthcare and Smart Grid Development will be the three focus areas of GIGTANK 2014, an annual entrepreneurial accelerator that leverages Chattanooga's advanced fiber infrastructure to build next-generation business models. These three industry verticals represent regional economic strengths in which the Chattanooga area has dramatic potential to excel, officials said.

CO.LAB will coordinate the Additive Manufacturing vertical, as well as the Smart Grid track with support from EPB, while ProjectLift will serve as a lead facilitator for the Healthcare track. UTC will provide housing for all GIGTANK teams. 

Now preparing for its third iteration, GIGTANK is the world's only startup accelerator connected to a living, metro-wide fiber optic network. The program takes place each summer between May and August and is hosted by CO.LAB. Applications for the 2014 accelerator will open Jan. 15 and close March 14.

“Chattanooga is a hub for manufacturing and home to the nation’s most advanced smart grid network,” said Mike Bradshaw, executive director of CO.LAB. “Our foothold in these areas creates an entirely new domain of possibilities when combined with our gigabit Internet service. For startups in the healthcare industry, Chattanooga’s broadband opens new territory for developing next-generation telemedicine and medical imagery applications. For those exploring applications in advanced manufacturing and smart grid technologies, we offer a robust network of experts and industry contacts. This is an especially valuable resource to startups looking to pilot new business applications in active, networked industry settings.” 

GIGTANK 2014 will facilitate those opportunities, explained Mr. Bradshaw. At the same time, the program will connect local companies with innovations that could potentially redefine their industries and give them an edge on their competitors.

Partnerships with local manufacturers will be key to the GIGTANK experience, especially among those interested in exploring opportunities related to 3D printing, said officials. With the addition of the Additive Manufacturing track, GIGTANK becomes the nation's first startup accelerator to offer a program focused on launching 3D printing applications in the conventional manufacturing space. The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has already agreed to support this process by providing GIGTANK teams access to its state-of-the-art additive manufacturing equipment. Chattanooga State will also contribute resources to support the Additive Manufacturing track.

To learn more about GIGTANK 2014, visit For information about becoming a GIGTANK partner, mentor or program participant, click here.

Clint Powell: Setting Expectations Is Crucial

Setting expectations is crucial.  In all relationships.  Now I am not willing to help you set expectations in your personal relationships…that is on you.  Lie away if you want to.  Tell them you will be rich and famous and give them a life of luxury or that you are super smart only to disappoint them later…all that is on you.  (It worked for ... (click for more)

Community Organizations Celebrating Milestone Anniversaries

Three organizations committed to the betterment of Cleveland and Bradley County are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce is turning 90, and both Cleveland Associated Industries and Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region will celebrate golden anniversaries. Combined, these organizations represent 190 years of service. “Our ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)