The final day of Chattanooga Startup Week highlighted the future of innovation by shining a spotlight on students. CO.LABs’ first GigCity Innovation Challenge invited college students from all over the country to solve real-life challenges developed by event sponsors EPB, TVA, and Greenspace.
The case presented to the students sought innovative ideas to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the Chattanooga region and was given only 48 hours to develop solutions.
On Friday, before Startup Week on October 16th, the student team received a challenge case at the opposite pitch to the sponsor and was able to ask questions about the case, the Chattanooga area, and EV recruitment challenges.
During the weekend, experts in EPB, TVA, CO.LAB, and Green Space coverage continued to answer questions from the team as they worked on the solution. On Sunday afternoon, October 18, each team submitted a slide presentation and a four-minute video explaining their approach to the task. Eight solutions were selected and transferred to TVA, EPB, and Greenspace for review, resulting in the selection of four finalists to present during Startup Week.
EPB, which operates one of the country’s most advanced smart grids, participated in the event as part of its community-oriented mission. EPB is working on a pioneering effort to position Chattanooga as a leader in adopting sustainable technologies such as electric vehicles, said Lance Irwin, director of energy solutions technology at EPB. We worked with our partners to encourage college students to develop their best ideas on this very important topic.
Throughout the process, teams were identified by elements of the periodic table, so reviewers and judges were unaware of their school affiliation.
At the final pitch on October 23, the team attended a virtual event to answer the judges’ questions after each pre-recorded video was played. All presentations were exceptional and the final decision was difficult, but 20 minutes later, the judges chose three winners.
1st place Team Zinc (Northwestern University) 2nd place Team Copper (STEM School Chattanooga) 3rd place Team Cobalt (University of Tennessee Chattanooga)
Award-winning recommendations include ways to raise awareness of the benefits of EVs, counter common misconceptions, partner with car dealers to host events and give community members the opportunity to see and test drive EVs. The method was included.
University teams from six states (Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee) participated in the challenge.
Congratulations to the winners and all the teams that participated in the challenge, said Dumprat, Vice President of Customer Delivery at TVA. Your innovative strategy will help address barriers to EV adoption and enable the communities we serve to benefit from the use of electricity.
The leadership of CO.LAB, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, is the event of the recently formed Chattanooga Smart Community Collaborative, of which CO.LAB and EPB are members. He said it was in perfect agreement with the CSCC) mission. ..
CSCC is an initiative of multiple organizations, including academia, businesses, and governments, whose mission is to develop and implement solutions related to existing assets in the region in the areas of energy, mobility, and health. This year’s GigCity Innovation Challenge follows last year’s Freight Tech Innovation Challenge and Unum HBCU Innovation Challenge, focusing on mobility and healthcare solutions, respectively.
CO.LAB CEO Marcus Shaw is pleased to be able to attract top emerging talent from several countries through this challenge and looks forward to future innovation events to support the energy sector. I am. Our Challenge Sponsors, EPB, TVA, and Greenspace, have gained great insights and ideas about the steps needed to make Chattanooga an EV-friendly city. Looking forward to leading more idea-based competitive challenges to support local industry leaders and attract participants to Chattanooga, which is known to be the perfect place to grow your business and career. I am.
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