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Front Page - Friday, February 16, 2018

CO.LAB opens applications for startup accelerators

CO.LAB’s new Lifestyle & Consumer Goods Accelerator will focus on outdoor recreation and the food and beverage production industry. - Photograph provided

Applications are now open for The Company Lab’s Summer 2018 startup accelerators. Entrepreneurs have until April 1 to apply for CO.LAB’s new Lifestyle & Consumer Goods Accelerator and its annual Gigtank Accelerator, which focuses on next-gen internet applications.

Both programs will take place May 15-July 31. The accelerators are designed for high-growth startups working to scale their companies through the pursuit of pilot partnerships, angel or venture capital and new customers. Entrepreneurs can apply at colab.co/accelerator. Prospective mentors or corporate partners can become involved at colab.co/get-involved.

Established in 2012, Gigtank is an accelerator for startups developing applications that require high-speed, low-latency networks. The program invites entrepreneurs from across the globe to leverage Chattanooga’s fiber optic network and 10 gigabytes-per-second internet service to test and develop next-gen internet applications. Past participants have included entrepreneurs working with virtual reality, telemedicine, sensor networks and connected devices, artificial intelligence, big data and more.

CO.LAB’s new Lifestyle & Consumer Goods Accelerator will focus on outdoor recreation and the food and beverage production industry. “CO.LAB will offer entrepreneurs the ability develop ideas and products with support from a network of mentors involved in these sectors,” says Marcus Shaw, chief executive of CO.LAB. “We believe Chattanooga’s recent growth reflects an opportune moment for companies looking to break into a ripe consumer market.”

Qualified candidates for the Lifestyle & Consumer Goods Accelerator must demonstrate a completed proof of concept. Prospects may include, but are not limited to, those working in the following areas: pre-packaged food and beverages; SAAS products designed for the retail space; outdoor and recreational equipment and apparel; e-commerce platforms; brewery, distillery and restaurant expansion concepts; and 3D printing applications for consumer products.

Entrepreneurs accepted into CO.LAB’s Lifestyle & Consumer Goods Accelerator will work alongside Gigtank companies, sharing some mentors and resources while also working with industry-specific experts.

“As we deepen our understanding of how low-latency networks can transform business models, we’re interested in developing opportunities around connected devices, streaming video, artificial intelligence and big data applications,” says Shaw. “We’re also excited about other uses for our advanced network, particularly those related to e-gaming, augmented reality and virtual reality.”

To qualify for participation in Gigtank, entrepreneurs must have a minimum viable product and a technical lead on their team.

Some housing will be intermittently available to summer program participants, courtesy of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Entrepreneurs will also enjoy access to free workspace and web services, such as HubSpot for Startups, SendGrid, Amazon Web Services and Zendesk. The program will culminate with a Demo Night, during which entrepreneurs will pitch their companies to an audience of potential investors, corporate partners, media and members of the public.

Source: CO.LAB