Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, Double Cola back contests to aid Chattanooga startups

Startup Week shifting from this fall to next spring

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Tommy Nix, left, vice president of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, talks to Double Cola CEO Alnoor Dhanani at the Miller Plaza Waterhouse Pavilion on Wednesday. The Chattanooga companies are sponsoring "Idea Leap" and "Will It Float?" competitions this fall to aid startup businesses.

Chattanooga's Startup Week is shifting from this fall to next spring as its main sponsor, the Company Lab, develops plans for what officials say will be a bigger weeklong celebration and training for startup businesses next year.

But the pitch competitions that have often been the highlight of Startup Week will continue in October to help propel business ideas and startup ventures.

To help celebrate its 100-year anniversary this year, Double Cola will sponsor pitch competitions for both youth and adults in the annual "Will This Float?" competition, which has helped recognize and launch business ideas since the "Shark Tank"-like event began in 2010.

At the same time, Chattanooga's biggest credit union, the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, is expanding its "Idea Leap" program this year to provide a total of $100,000 in grants to startup businesses judged to be the most promising for growth.