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You need only a solid idea and basic proposal to pitch at this startup competition.

The Company Lab's annual Will This Float event returns Dec. 10, focused on entrepreneurs who are building concepts in music and entertainment. Applications are due Dec. 1 and can be accessed through colab.co/willthisfloat/.

"Following the pattern from last year, we were looking at themes that resonate with larger things going on in the community, areas that have wider legs in the community," said Mike Bradshaw, Co.Lab's executive director. Last year's event focused on the outdoors and environment.

If you go

What: Will This Float? Startup pitch competition

When: 6-10 p.m., Dec. 10

Where: Revelry Room, Chattanooga

Cost: $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Buy tickets here.

Applications due: Dec. 1 at colab.co/willthisfloat/

This year, applications involving 3-D projection, augmented reality and other technologies that enhance the entertainment experience or could utilize ultra high-speed networks will get more consideration, according to Co.Lab. But pitches are not limited to music and entertainment or tech-driven businesses.

Local groups have increased focus on building Chattanooga's music scene, and that spurred Co.Lab staff to pursue a theme of music and entertainment, Bradshaw said. "SoundCorps is just getting launched, the Choo Choo property is being developed with a music venue. One of the roles we play is to coalesce energy."

SoundCorps is a Chattanooga-based nonprofit aiming to build the city's music economy. Co.Lab's director of communications, Tia Capps, is on its board of directors. The organization is pushing the creation of a downtown music-and-entertainment district, among other goals. And several changes are continuing on the Choo Choo property, including the relocation of Comedy Catch and Track 29, along with the opening of Revelry Room.

Eight finalists will be invited to pitch on Dec. 10, selected based on how novel their ideas are, how much those ideas meet unfilled needs and whether they would generate a solid customer base.

Each finalist will have three minutes to pitch his or her startup idea before a panel of three judges and an audience that includes general attendees and local business and startup leaders. There will be three winners: best overall idea, best music/entertainment idea and best general business idea. The audience will weigh in with one-quarter of the vote in each category. The best overall winner will get $1,000, and the other two will get $250 each. All three winners will get a package of free business services to continue developing their ideas.

Since its inception, Will This Float has showcased 47 entrepreneurs who have raised nearly $6 million in combined capital, according to Co.Lab. It has given footing to several successful Chattanooga startups including Granola, RootsRated, SupplyHog and Variable. Last year, Knoxville-based Innovasan took the top spot.

The competition will be 6-10 p.m. at Revelry Room, in Chattanooga. Tickets cost $7 in advance or $10 at the door.

Contact Mitra Malek at mmalek@timesfreepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @MitraMalek.

 

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