Former Oprah Winfrey Network executive to speak on detecting opportunity in rapidly-evolving environments

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 23, 2015) – Robert Tercek, a global thought leader on digital media innovation and a former executive at MTV, Sony and the Oprah Winfrey Network, will be the keynote speaker at The Company Lab’s annual GIGTANK Demo Day July 28.

The event will take place from 2 – 9 p.m. at Girls Preparatory School, with the main showcase beginning at 6 p.m. Click here to view the schedule.

Demo Day marks the culmination of GIGTANK 2015, a startup accelerator for entrepreneurs developing applications that can thrive on advanced broadband networks. Participants, who have spent the last two months preparing next-generation businesses for market entry, will pitch their concepts to an audience of investors and potential corporate partners who can help move their work forward. Demo Day typically attracts high-profile guests and visitors from across the country, as well as national media and the hundreds of people who come to see these cutting-edge startups firsthand.

In his address at GIGTANK Demo Day, Tercek will shed insight on how to create opportunity in a business landscape increasingly marked by change.

“Robert Tercek is deeply in tune with the rapidly-evolving tech environment our GIGTANK startups have embraced,” said Mike Bradshaw, executive director of The Company Lab (CO.LAB), which produces GIGTANK. “He has a knack for spinning emerging technologies into successful business applications, which is exactly what our entrepreneurs are working to do at GIGTANK.”

Widely recognized as one of the world’s most prolific creators of interactive digital content, Tercek has created breakthrough entertainment experiences on nearly every digital platform. He has served in executive leadership roles at a number of major media companies – most recently as President of Digital Media at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and previously as Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Sony Pictures Entertainment, following an earlier role as Creative Director at MTV: Music Television. He also co-founded five startup ventures, including 7th Level, Inc., which went public in 1993.

In 2009, Tercek was named one of the “25 Executives to Watch” by Digital Media Wire. Variety has named him one of the “Digital Dozen” most influential players in new media. The Industry Standard has dubbed him a “TV Anarchist.”

Now in its fourth year, GIGTANK attracts entrepreneurs from across the world to Chattanooga for a summer of intensive startup development. The program has earned global recognition for becoming the world’s only startup accelerator wired to a metro-wide gigabit network. Last year, GIGTANK made national headlines for becoming America’s first startup accelerator to launch a program designed specifically for the 3D printing industry.

GIGTANK 2015 comprises a cohort of 14 startups and research projects, as well as five specialists who support their work. The applications they will present at Demo Day address opportunities in virtual reality, big data analytics, 3D printing, beacon and sensor networking, and the Internet of Things, as well as several other areas of rapid evolution.

In past years, national guests at Demo Day have included Terry Wohlers, the world’s foremost authority on the 3D printing industry, Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, and leaders from Mozilla, US Ignite, National Science Foundation, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, IBM, USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and Warner Bros.

To register for the event, click here.


GIGTANK is a boutique accelerator for startups developing ultra high-bandwidth business applications. The program is located in Chattanooga, Tenn. – home of the nation’s only metro-wide fiber optic network. Held annually each summer, GIGTANK is a 100-day experience packed with on-the-ground guidance from industry experts and national thought leaders in broadband and entrepreneurship. GIGTANK culminates with a Demo Day, where startup teams pitch their business concepts to an audience of investors, partners, media and community supporters. GIGTANK is an annual production of The Company Lab (CO.LAB). Visit to learn more.

About The Company Lab (CO.LAB)

The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is a nonprofit startup accelerator that supports entrepreneurial growth in southeast Tennessee. CO.LAB operates under the belief that entrepreneurial thinking is the foundation of our community’s future. We work with founders, business leaders, corporations, foundations, civic and government organizations, thought leaders and a broad range of regional and national partners to connect entrepreneurs with practical resources needed to launch new companies. To learn more, visit