World’s Leading Expert On 3D Printing Industry To Keynote GIGTANK Demo Day

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Terry Wohlers, the world’s leading expert on the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry, will be the keynote speaker at the Company Lab’s annual GIGTANK Demo Day July 29. 

The event marks the culmination of GIGTANK 2014, a national startup accelerator that helps launch next-generation businesses focused on 3D printing/additive manufacturing, smart grid development and healthcare. Mr. Wohlers’ keynote will be the second installment of the Chattanooga Spirit Series, a new string of speaking engagements that feature national voices on topics that highlight emerging innovation opportunities in the Chattanooga area.

 Mr. Wohlers is recognized as the foremost authority on the global 3D printing market. For the last 19 consecutive years, he has authored the industry’s leading study on trends, data and market growth (the Wohlers Report).  Mr. Wohlers’ research is frequently cited throughout the additive manufacturing industry and has also been featured in major media outlets such as CNBC, NPR, Fox Business, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV, CBS Radio News, Australia’s Sky News and China’s CCTV. 

“I’m very excited about participating in the event,” said Mr. Wohlers. “Interest in the subject of additive manufacturing and 3D printing has never been greater. The industry nearly tripled in size over the past four years, and growth reached 34.9 percent in 2013 alone. 3D printing presents unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurs and startup companies, as well as some of the largest corporations and brands worldwide. And we have only skimmed the surface of what’s possible.”

Mr. Wohlers also serves as the principal consultant and president of Wohlers Associates, Inc., an independent consulting firm that has worked with more than 240 organizations across 24 countries in the last 28 years. In 2007, TCT Magazine (UK) named Mr. Wohlers the No. 1 “most influential person in rapid product development and additive manufacturing.”

“Terry Wohlers is the most authoritative voice in the additive manufacturing industry today,” said Mike Bradshaw, director of GIGTANK and executive director of the Company Lab (CO.LAB). “We’re honored to bring his insights to Chattanooga as our community pursues its own foothold in this rapidly-developing space.”

Now completing its third program iteration, GIGTANK is recognized for becoming America’s first startup accelerator for the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry earlier this year. The summer-long program, which is also designed for innovative healthcare and smart grid companies, is most prominently known for being the only accelerator to offer bandwidth-intensive startups access to metro-wide gigabit Internet service. Participants in GIGTANK typically come from across the country and globe. Selectees must form teams and spend 10-12 weeks in Chattanooga collaborating as they prepare next-generation businesses to go to market. 

The experience concludes with GIGTANK Demo Day, where startup teams pitch their business concepts to a select audience of investors, partners, media and community supporters. The event typically attracts high profile guests and visitors from across the country, functioning as a showcase for those interested in providing seed funding, pilot partnerships or additional resources to GIGTANK teams, as well as for industry leaders and media who have a vested interest in remaining abreast of emerging business innovations in the sectors they represent. In past years, national guests at Demo Day have included Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet and GIGTANK’s keynote speaker in 2012, and leaders from Mozilla, Warner Brothers, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, IBM and US Ignite. In addition to featuring startup pitches from each GIGTANK team, Demo Day also addresses broader opportunities in entrepreneurship and industry through panel discussions and breakout sessions with special guests.

To register for GIGTANK Demo Day, click here. Space is limited. For more information about GIGTANK, visit www.thegigtank.com.

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways To Spot Suspicious Calls

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.   These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They ... (click for more)

Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Names Alex Perkerson Government Affairs Specialist

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, a trade group representing the interests of electric cooperative members across the state, announced that Alex Perkerson joins the association as government affairs specialist. In this role, Ms. Perkerson will assist with the association’s legislative and grassroots efforts. “Tennessee’s electric cooperatives work to inform ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)