In the next step in the quest to develop innovative uses for Chattanooga's high-speed Internet, local and national leaders have invited computer whizzes from across the country to the Gig City for a 48-hour hack-a-thon called Hackanooga.
"This particular event is for people that have hardcore tech development and coding skills," J. Ed. Marston, vice president of marketing and communication for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, said. "Certainly we will be communicating with the broader public, but the people that are going to participate need to have those technical skills."
Mozilla, a nonprofit that coordinates hacker events around the nation, has partnered with the local chamber and other organizations to facilitate the September event.
Leaders with Mozilla are reaching out to experts in the field from their network, and local leaders are engaging the Chattanooga-area community, Marston said.
Those selected will gather in Chattanooga on Sept. 14-16 for a 48-hour event, where they will build applications and technical solutions that can solve large-scale challenges or benefit the community.
"This is focused on coding and applications, and these are community-benefit applications," Marston said. "It's not meant to be [business ideas] per se."
In June, Chattanooga, also known as the Gig City, was chosen as one of 25 cities nationwide to partner in a White House initiative called US Ignite, which aims to promote United States leadership in developing uses for high-speed broadband Internet.
EPB is also involved, and leaders have already done some work.
Danna Bailey, with EPB's corporate communications, said that leaders met to brainstorm in June.
Some ideas included ways to make energy efficiency interesting and entertaining or ways to utilize data that city leaders have.
As many as 80 developers are expected to come to the event, which will be at a church on Main Street.
Hackanooga comes on the heels of the Gig Tank competition, which was a competition that brought college students and entrepreneurs to Chattanooga to create businesses and find applications for the city’s high-speed Internet.
The worldwide search for the college students was dubbed the Geek Hunt.
After the hunt, the geeks joined the entrepreneurs in the competition.
A $100,000 cash prize and investment capital went to the team of entrepreneurs with the most viable business idea on Demo Day.
Hackanooga is similar The Company Lab's 48-hour launch events in spirit, Bailey said.
"It's not about ideas," she said. "It's about solutions. It might not be the end-all concrete solution, but it's about actually starting to implement something."