The Internet connectivity in Chattanooga, TN is fast. Like, ridiculously fast. As in, one full gigabit per second — the fastest city-wide connection in the Western Hemisphere, they say.
Looking to use their monstrous pipe as a sort of siren song sung at a frequency only geeks can hear, Chattanooga has launched an accelerator/think tank that they’re calling the “Gig Tank”. It’s focused on finding people with ideas that make full use of all that tasty, tasty bandwidth — and if you can point them in the right direction, they’ll kick down a $1,000 finder’s fee.
Here’s how it works: if you know someone who’s particularly brainy and willing to relocate to the land of Choo Choo, you can tag them on Facebook (in the comments of this video) or on Twitter (with the #GeekHunt hash tag.) If your friend then applies and is accepted, the Gig City project will send a thousand bucks your way. There are caveats, mind you; you’ll need to have been the first person to tag that respective geek, and said geek will need to actually apply/be accepted — so no, tagging Zuck or John Carmack probably won’t work.
Of course, by tagging your friends you’re sort of saying “I think you’re terribly smart, but we’re not really close enough that I care if you move away for a while”. It’s okay. They’ll probably forgive you after they’ve used that one gigabyte pipe to download the entire Internet.
As for Gig Tank itself: accepted teams (up to 4 people) get private workspace in Chattanooga’s Southside district, access to that one gigabit per second line, $15,000 in capital, access to their team of mentors, and a shot at a $100,000 cash prize at the end of the 14-week program. In exchange, they’ll ask for a 7% stake (or up to 10%, if you’re willing to give a bit more to the mentor team) in whatever you build while you’re there.
You can find more details on Gig City here.