November 22, 2011 By News Staff
You could be $1,000 richer if you find a geek who’s picked to join a think tank that’s exploring how to best utilize Chattanooga, Tenn.’s ultra high-speed broadband network.
All you have to do is tag one of your friends in the comments section below this Facebook video explaining the Gig Tank, which will build applications, find uses and build business models for the city’s “gig-a-second” fiber-optic network. “Geeks are a furtive kind and can be difficult to track,” the video explains.
The $1,000 “bounty” (really, a finder’s fee) is an attempt to recruit talent, no matter the person’s physical location.
Chattanooga and its business community has started a project called the Gig City — a newly trademarked nickname. The public-private effort includes the Gig Prize, a $300,000 cash pool, as well as additional seed money that will be awarded to the best entrepreneurial plans and ideas generated through the venture, which is essentially functioning as a business accelerator.
The finishing touches were put on Chattanooga’s 1 Gbps network earlier this year. The system was built by EPB, the publicly owned electric power system in the area. According to the Gig City’s official website, Chattanooga claims to be the first community in the Western Hemisphere with a 1 Gpbs network available to all residents and businesses. The coverage area is 600 square miles.
J.Ed. Marston, vice president of marketing and communications for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday, Nov. 22, that the city government is already using the gig network to connect smart traffic lights and water systems as well as other smart grid projects.
As many as 15 $1,000 recruitment bonuses will be awarded, Marston said.
The Gig Tank will meet in summer 2012, and the groups will be divided between entrepreneurs and students.
A description of the contest on the Gig City website said: “Each team selected for the Gig Tank will be offered $15,000 in investment capital to come to the Gig City this summer, develop their gigabit business idea and test it on a live residential and business test market. The 10 teams chosen for this competition will be mentored by teams of entrepreneurs, VCs [venture capitalists] and angel investors. Ultimately, the smartest, most disruptive business plan will capture a cash prize of $100,000.”
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