The Company Lab will showcase two pitch competitions during the third week of October, when Startup Week CHA typically takes place.
Presented by Double Cola, Will This Float? will focus on idea-to-early-stage businesses that are looking to accelerate their growth. The pitch competition will take place Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m. and focus on consumer packaged goods.
There will be two opportunities for entrepreneurs to present their ideas to local judges and an audience – one for adult founders and another for students.
Founders who win Will This Float? will receive a $5,000 prize, quarterly consulting guidance and free passes to next year’s 3686 Entrepreneurial Festival in Nashville.
Student participants will be awarded with consulting services from local experts, including Malakasis, who scaled and sold artisan goat cheese company Belle Chevre, as well as Double Cola’s top leaders.
On Oct. 18, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union will host its annual Idea Leap Grant pitch competition, which will culminate with five entrepreneurs winning a total of $100,000 in grant funds.
After pitching their business to a panel of local judges, these entrepreneurs will win one of this year’s grants – which include a grand prize of $50,000, a $20,000 prize and three $10,000 prizes – to expand their business and boost growth.
TVFCU received nearly 150 applications and then narrowed them down to 23 quarter finalists in July. The panel of community judges is in the process of selecting 10 semifinalists to move to the next stage of the competition.
TVFCU’s Idea Leap Grant is an extension of the credit union’s Idea Leap Loan initiative, which TVFCU created in 2016 to support early-stage small businesses.
To date, TVFCU has funded more than $4.2 million in loans to over 175 entrepreneurs through this program. Additionally, TVFCU has awarded nearly $200,000 in Idea Leap Grants to dozens of local businesses since the program’s inception in 2018.
Past winners include The Hot Chocolatier, Hutton & Smith Brewing Company, Chatt Taste Food Tours, Locals Only Gifts & Goods and Mad Priest Coffee Roasters.