Community News Walker Rocks Start-Up Challenge opens second round of applicants; winner will receive $5,000

Community News Walker Rocks Start-Up Challenge opens second round of applicants; winner will receive $5,000

August 16th, 2019 by Patrick Filbin in Community Metro

Cody McCutcheon paddles along the West Chickamauga Creek at Lee & Gordon's Mill on June 20, 2018, in Chickamauga, Ga. Walker County announced their "Walker Rocks" marketing initiative at the mill. The initiative is designed to promote the outdoor actives available in Walker County.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

Walker County residents and business-minded people who think they have the next big idea to help the local economy have a chance to turn those dreams into a reality.

The Walker County Chamber of Commerce has announced the second round of the Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge, a "Shark Tank"-style pitch competition aimed at helping a recreational, tourism or hospitality-related business get started or expand services in Walker County.

The second round of the challenge kicked off Wednesday. The grant competition returns with another $5,000 in funding to help the winning business get started with its idea.

The grant is funded through a partnership between the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and Peach State Federal Credit Union.

"This year, we will also consider other types of businesses, non-profits, civic and community organizations which add to the quality of life and contribute to the cultural vibrancy of the local economy," Lacey Wilson, president of the Walker County Chamber, said in a news release.

David Bridges, owner of Battlefield Outdoors, won last year's contest after he pitched the idea of adding a passenger van to his business to transport outdoor enthusiasts to hiking, biking and kayaking destinations in Walker County. The van was also wrapped with the Walker Rocks logo, creating a mobile billboard to promote tourism in Walker County.

The competition is part of Walker Rocks, an initiative focused on promoting the area's outdoor amenities. The county is home to renowned caving, rock climbing, kayaking, biking and cycling opportunities.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 23. Finalists will be announced Oct. 1 and the pitch competition is scheduled for Oct. 17.

For rules, judging criteria and more information on how to apply for the Walker Rocks Start Up Challenge, visit