The Wild Tactic: Chattanooga is the only city in the western hemisphere where every resident has access to gig-a-second Internet, and it’s hoping to take advantage of its status as "Gig City."
“We’re literally 10, 15 years ahead of the rest of the country,” explains Sheldon Grizzle, the founder of Chattanooga’s The Company Lab, which provides resources to entrepreneurs. “If your city had electricity 10 or 15 years before the rest of the country, what would you have done with it?”
Grizzle realized that if they were going to do anything with it, they needed to scoop up a lot of bright minds. “We have to think a little more creatively than places like Boston, New York or Silicon Valley,” he says. “Chattanooga is not on the beaten path, and it's certainly not for tech entrepreneurs.”
So Grizzle came up with a neat idea: give tech entrepreneurs cash. As part of an initiative called "GeekMove," Web developers who move to Chattanooga can have up to $10,000 discounted from their mortgages. Ten startups can get $15,000 for incubating their product in Chattanooga, with a $100,000 grant given to the best. And from a select group of students who are spending the summer in town for a hacker think tank, one will leave with $50,000. Residents who take part in a “Geek Hunt” can score a $1,000 finder’s fee if a tech person they've recommended is accepted to the program.
The Pitch: A chance at a $100,000 prize, and mind-blowing bandwidth.
The Problem: Where exactly is Chattanooga?
See homes for sale and for rent in Chattanooga.