Over 500 people came from across Tennessee and across the USA to Chattanooga TN Wednesday and Thursday for GigTank’s Demo Day.
GigTank is a 90 day accelerator program based in Chattanooga with an emphasis on using Chattanoga’s 1GBPS internet. Chattanooga was the first city in the United States (edging out Kansas City and Google by a year), to implement 1gbps internet. Every resident and business in a 600 square mile radius has 1gbps fiber optic line straight to their home or business.
Chattanooga was able to set up the 1gb fiber by rolling out a smart grid that provides communications from utility meters at every home and business back to a central location. Citizens of Chattanooga can elect to get data and tv services from the 1gb fiber pipe in their homes on a monthly subscription based model.
Chattanooga’s GigTank accelerator featured two separate tracks. The entrepreneur track was a traditional 3 month accelerator model with a seed investment, and access to services, mentors, office space and other resources. The student track was similar to the entrepreneur track but without the seed investment. Students participated in a pitch contest in Chattanooga Thursday where they competed for a $50,000 prize.
The winner of the entrepreneur track was a Tampa Florida startup called Banyan. The Banyan team was Toni Gamayel, Travis Staton and TJ Weigel.
Banyan is a cloud based collaborative research system. This allows researchers who are working on the same project to keep their research together. It also solves major pains for those managing the research.
During Gamayel’s pitch he brought up an instance where two students at the University of Kentucky were working on the same exact research one floor above each other and didn’t even know it. With Banyan the research manager would have easily been able to identify this duplicate research.
In another instance a Stanford professor had been working on some research. The need arose to validate that the particular research he was working on was being performed at the school rather than at home or another lab. With Banyan they could have easily identified the source of the actual research.
Banyan took a $100,000 check back to Tampa where they plan on using it to beef up their development and marketing. Gamayel is very active in the Tampa startup community. He was a judge for a recent Startup Weekend in Florida and is well known as a resource and mentor in the region. In fact he has provided mentorship to Feathr a Gainesville based startup that is working on eliminating the paper business card.
Check out Banyan’s complete pitch below: