A Night in the Big Gig City

StevenwtfCHA

I attended the 2013 Will This Float? competition in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Nov. 19th, meeting some entrepreneurs who pitched their dynamic new startups while seeking a prize that included legal/financial consultancy and a cash reward.

The event was won by Granola Products, a Chattanooga company dedicated to manufacturing high quality, environmentally sound backpacks for the student set. The competition is several years in from Co.Lab, a business startup incubator that helps entrepreneurs.

I was the guest of Chanté Newcomb, my friend who is a rising star in digital media in Chattanooga. I can’t say enough great things about her. She’s as sharp as a tack and has a genuine love of conversation, which makes her a natural in marketing. She’s a blast to spend time with.

I really feel drawn to Chattanooga, even more than Atlanta. To quote an article that was on CNBC.com yesterday:

“It has the fastest Internet speeds in the Western Hemisphere. It boasts the world’s only automotive factory with LEED Platinum certification, the EPA’s highest green-building rating. And Outside magazine named it ‘The Best City Ever.’ Their town is now called Gig City, after making a big comeback. The nickname comes from its fiber-optic network, the nation’s first to support Internet speeds of one gigabit a second, which is probably more than 100 times faster than the connection you’re using th read this now. Chattanooga’s gig network has helped attract $4 billion in foreign investment since the downturn and a flock of new entrepreneurs to the city, who revel in its green spaces, hip cultural offerings — and clean air.”

Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such a place?