It's Global Entrepreneurship Week—the world's largest celebration of job creation and innovation—and Chattanooga's business community has much to commemorate.
Today, leaders with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will honor four local companies and present one of them with the 2012 Spirit of Innovation Award.
This year’s honorees are American Bicycle Group, Motion View Software LLC, Sherman + Reilly Inc. and Woople LLC.
The Spirit of Innovation Award recognizes companies for innovative products, services and ways of doing business in the Chattanooga region, leaders said.
At the event, leaders will also officially announce the city's second Gig Tank event.
At last year's event, leaders announced the first Gig Tank, which is a competition to develop the best business idea that utilizes EPB’s 1-gigabit-per-second Internet speeds.
About a year after that announcement, some people questioned the benefits of the gig.
Also coinciding with the week's entrepreneurship celebration, The Company Lab, a local business development incubator, will host its Will This Float? event Thursday night, where 20 different entrepreneurs will pitch ideas.
The winner with the best tech idea will have a chance to pitch to 500 Startups, an accelerator program in Silicon Valley, for a spot in their program and up to $250,000 in investment capital..
Charlie Brock, executive entrepreneur of The Company Lab, said that Chattanooga has developed a "fantastic entrepreneurial ecosystem" that more and more people are starting to take notice of.
"[Entrepreneurship] brings innovation to an area," he said. "It brings job opportunities. It brings a sense of energy and activity and hope."
There are events going on around the state this week to celebrate entrepreneurship.
And President Barack Obama recently issued a proclamation naming November 2012 National Entrepreneurship Month, according to UnleashingIdeas.org.
“This month, and during Global Entrepreneurship Week, let us renew the spirit of innovation that has fueled more than two centuries of American progress and promises to drive us in the years to come," the president said in the proclamation.
Brock said that every day is about entrepreneurship for people at The Company Lab, but this week is a nice chance for budding business owners and innovators to get extra attention.
"I think a lot of people in Chattanooga are just becoming more and more aware of just how active our entrepreneurial ecosystem is," he said. "[This week] is a great opportunity to highlight and plan activities."
Updated @ 3:17 p.m. on 11/15/12 to make a factual correction: The winner of Will This Float? will receive a chance to pitch to 500 Startups, not automatically win $250,000 from The Company Lab, as originally reported.