5th annual event to highlight startups focused on outdoor recreation and sustainability

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (October 22, 2014) – The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is currently seeking applications for its fifth annual Will This Float? competition, which showcases up-and-coming startup ideas in the Chattanooga area. Prospective participants must submit their business concepts by Nov. 9 to enter into consideration.

The competition will take place Nov. 18 from 6—9 p.m. on the 4th Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library. Tickets cost $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Food and beverages will be served. Click here to register.

The 2014 edition of Will This Float? will incorporate a special emphasis on startups that focus on outdoor recreation and sustainability. Entrepreneurs with business ideas in these areas are strongly encouraged to apply, as well as those with startup concepts of all kinds. Submissions will be narrowed to a maximum of 10 finalists that best meet a set of five assessment criteria.

“One of the things we love most about Will This Float? is that it gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to test the waters with their ideas, and it gives us insight into the broader idea market percolating in our community,” said Mike Bradshaw, executive director of CO.LAB. “Over the last few years, we’ve come into contact with a number of entrepreneurs who are pursuing businesses focused on outdoor recreation and sustainability, including two of our former Will This Float? winners – RootsRated and Granola. Our goal with this year’s competition is to bring more of these entrepreneurs together to share ideas and pursue new business opportunities.”

Established in 2010, Will This Float? is an annual business pitch competition that celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Chattanooga area. Participants each get three minutes to pitch their startup idea before a panel of judges and an audience of local startup leaders, general attendees and potential mentors and business partners. Once all the presentations are complete, the audience votes on the best idea via text message while the judges deliberate backstage. At the end of the evening, CO.LAB will award winners across three categories – Best Overall, Best Outdoor/Sustainability Idea and Best General Business Idea. The top honoree will receive a cash prize, and all three winners will receive a package of free business services to continue developing their ideas.

Over the last four years, Will This Float? has showcased approximately 38 entrepreneurs who have raised more than $6 million in combined capital. The event attracts an average of 400 attendees annually, making it one of the largest 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 and Granola.

Click here to learn more about Will This Float? or to submit an application.