Asili Labs Wins Grand Prize At 'Will This Float?' Business Pitch Competition

Monday, October 16, 2017
Marcus Shaw (Chief Executive of CO.LAB), Gabriel Wamunyu (Asili Labs), Jason Oteng-Nyame (Asili Labs), Tony Maina (Asili Labs), Seth Hill (SWAYY), Stephanie Cummings (Please Assist Me)
Marcus Shaw (Chief Executive of CO.LAB), Gabriel Wamunyu (Asili Labs), Jason Oteng-Nyame (Asili Labs), Tony Maina (Asili Labs), Seth Hill (SWAYY), Stephanie Cummings (Please Assist Me)

The Company Lab (CO.LAB) announced three emerging companies as the winners of its eighth annual ‘Will This Float?’ business pitch competition yesterday evening. Asili Labs took the first place prize for their product Tryall, winning $1,000 in cash, an Interactive Pass to SXSW, 20 hours of free business services, a spot in a CO.LAB program and three months of access to co-working space at Society of Work.

Please Assist Me, led by Stephanie Cummings, and SWAYY led by Seth Hill, both emerged as the second place winners, each earning $500 in cash and the same business service, co-working and CO.LAB prize packages as Asili Labs. Asili Labs also received $250 and a Double Color Cloud Hammock for winning the People’s Choice Award.

‘Will This Float? 2017’ took place from 6—9 p.m. at River Place. Over 150 people attended the event, which featured business pitches from seven aspiring entrepreneurs from across southeast Tennessee. A panel of five judges selected the winners, assessing candidates according to their pitches and a set of five FLOAT criteria.

About the 2017 Winners

Asili Labs – First Place & People’s Choice

Tryall is a web and mobile platform that allows users to test subscription-based products without the typical stresses of free trials. The platform helps users find and easily manage free trial subscriptions, receive personalized recommendations for other free trials, and track expiration dates to avoid incurring charges for products and services the user does not want to purchase. // Presenter: Jason Oteng-Nyame, Asili Labs

1st Place Prizes awarded: $1,000 cash, Interactive Pass to SXSW, 10 hours of legal consultation, 10 hours of accounting consultation, three months of co-working space from Society of Work and a spot in a CO.LAB program

People’s Choice Prizes awarded: $250 and a Double Color Cloud Hammock

Please Assist Me – Second Place

Please Assist Me is a tech-based platform that allows customers to outsource their weekly household chores to a team of trusted professionals. The service offers a comprehensive solution to people with busy lifestyles, managing everything from their groceries, laundry, dry cleaning, mail, housecleaning and more at an affordable price. // Presenter: Stephanie Cummings

Prizes awarded: $500 cash, 10 hours of legal consultation, 10 hours of accounting consultation, three months of co-working space from Society of Work and a spot in a CO.LAB program

SWAYY – Second Place

SWAYY is a design and manufacturing company that produces fully-insulated hammocks. The company aims to minimize the gear used in overnight camping while also providing comfort for a variety of seasons. // Presenter: Seth Hill

Prizes awarded: $500 cash, 10 hours of legal consultation, 10 hours of accounting consultation, three months of co-working space from Society of Work and a spot in a CO.LAB program

About the 2017 Finalists

Flaming Monkey Flying Circus is a Chattanooga-based artist collective that creates interactive art installations and breaks from the traditional artist compensation model. The group will develop large-scale exhibitions in tourist-heavy areas and elsewhere, paying artists a percentage of ticket sales and then exporting their creations and concepts to other cities. // Presenters: Raquel Mullins and Kevin Bate

Infinite Closet is an on-demand, micro-storage service that gives urban residents access to their personal belongings without having to maintain physical possession of them. For a low monthly price, customers receive durable, plastic storage containers, unlimited pickup and delivery service, and storage space in a secure, climate-controlled environment. // Presenter: Kevin Cherrick

InfinityCo, LLC is the creator of Interactive Intellectual Room Assistance (IIRA), a guest-room software for the hospitality industry that allows customers to use their phones to control their room’s environment. Guests at hotels and other participating sites can use the platform to adjust the lighting and temperature of their rooms, unlock doors and more. // Presenter: JaQuar McMickle

The House is a 'what's going on tonight' app for restaurants and bars. The platform showcases daily happenings and exclusive offers at all the best spots in town for happy hours, specials, events, live music and more. // Presenter: Matt Patterson

Woorly is a social CRM mobile app that connects the smallest of businesses with their existing customers while helping them find new ones. The platform also enables customers to quickly find exceptional service providers and rewards them for sharing their experiences. // Presenter: Aaron Welch

Established in 2010, Will This Float? is an annual business pitch competition that celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship in southeast Tennessee. Over the last six years, the event has showcased approximately 67 entrepreneurs who have raised nearly $42 million in combined capital. The event attracts an average of 250 attendees annually, making it one of the most prominent business pitch competitions in the region. A number of notable entrepreneurial successes have grown out of ‘Will This Float?’, including SupplyHog, NODE (Variable, Inc.), RootsRated, Chattanooga Sports Leagues, Granola and Innovasan. Click here to learn more about the competition.

The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurial growth in southeast Tennessee. Established as the region’s front door for entrepreneurs, CO.LAB works to increase the viability of startups and strengthen the ecosystem of support behind them. In doing so, the organization helps entrepreneurs refine their business models, test their ideas with customers, pursue capital and partnerships, and connect with a community of mentors, peers, and business experts. Visit http://colab.co/ to learn more.



Couple Launches Hat Company; Gives Part Of Proceeds To Public Schools

Olivia Connor was a resident in the local Project Inspire teacher residency program when she realized the need for more funding for Chattanooga's public schools so that students have every possible opportunity to learn inside and outside the classroom. She and her husband Ty came up with a creative, innovative way to add more funding to the Hamilton County Department of ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Department Sponsors Crime Prevention Training For Business Owners And Managers

The Chattanooga Police Department is sponsoring free crime prevention training primarily designed for business owners and managers who are interested in making their facility and employees as safe as possible. A nationally-accredited Crime Prevention specialist from the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center will cover the following topics during the four-hour ... (click for more)

Police Call Incident At Hamilton Place Mall "Aggravated Riot"; One Juvenile Injured During Stampede

Chattanooga Police are terming an incident at Hamilton Place Mall on Saturday night an "aggravated riot."   Police said there has been no confirmation that any shots were fired, but there was a stampede out of the mall after word spread of a gun incident.   One juvenile was injured and taken to the hospital during the panic and scramble from the mall.   ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Student Leaders Plan Action Against Gun Violence

Students from across Hamilton County gathered at 901 Lindsay St. on Sunday to discuss the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and make plans to take action against gun violence. The student leaders decided to encourage local participation in the National School Walkout on March 14 and the March for Our Lives event on March 24. The group’s next meeting will be held next Sunday ... (click for more)

The Logic of Hysteria: A Hometown Look from A Thousand Miles Away

There was a shooting recently in my hometown, in the parking lot of the mall. It made the national news and I was reading the user comments on the story. Someone was giving their experience about how they heard some rounds fired near the Sears. The next comment was, “They still have a Sears?”   So what the heck happened? The police say there was never an active shooter, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why CNN Is Gonna Croak

I believe CNN (Cable News Network) has become one of the most disappointing news sources America has ever known in the last five years. The bastions of sound journalism no longer exist as the once-great organization has gone the way of liberal loathing. Its new basis-of-fact cannot be trusted and the overwhelming bias against conservatives in our nation is as morbid as it is frightening. ... (click for more)