Leaders with The Company Lab announced Wednesday that Daniel Ryan-who was the director of frontend development for President Barack Obama’s 2012 election campaign-will join Gig Tank 2013 as the program’s technologist-in-residence.
“As the largest city in the country with gigabit service, Chattanooga has the opportunity to be at the forefront of something,” Ryan said in a prepared statement. “Gig Tank provides an avenue to push boundaries and to make Chattanooga an example for other cities. I’m truly excited to be a part of it.”
Local leaders formed the Gig Tank competition to inspire next-generation Internet apps and businesses and to challenge young entrepreneurs to find innovative ways to use the city’s high-speed, 1-gig-per-second Internet.
Last year, they got about 150 applications from students and entrepreneurs who wanted to participate in the 100-day business accelerator and mentorship program.
Gig Tank 2 is scheduled for this summer. Progress and products will be presented to investors, potential customers and strategic partners Aug. 6 at Demo Day; and successful startups will go on a national roadshow to pitch to investors and market their business.
Ryan will advise Gig Tank startup leaders and specialists on a daily basis, helping with Web development needs as they use and create large-scale Web applications, according to a news release.
As director of frontend development for the Obama campaign, Ryan oversaw the development of online tools and technology that helped raise $690 million online, recruited hundreds of thousands of volunteers and registered more than 1 million voters.
Under his leadership, two dozen developers employed a multiscreen strategy to produce the first responsive website in presidential campaign history.
Originally from Lakeland, Fla., Ryan moved to Chattanooga in 2000.
While in Chattanooga, he served as the advertising and branding chair of the Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga, which nominated him for Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010.
He also served as the founding director of BarCamp Chattanooga, a forum for the Web community to share ideas and discuss various topics.
“I first got wind of Gig Tank 2012 when I was working on Obama’s campaign, and after meeting with some of the startups, I wanted to get more involved this year,” Ryan said. “A lot of accelerators are focused on building the next social network, but Gig Tank is different. It really encourages participants to build things that will change people’s lives.”
Ryan will be working alongside Gig Tank Entrepreneur-in-Residence Mike Bradshaw, who is responsible for overseeing progress of the startups and engaging mentors.
In addition to his role with Gig Tank, Bradshaw recently became co-director of CO.LAB and will be handling operations and mentorship programs going forward.
Other Gig Tank 2013 mentors will include Mike Tatum, a Chattanooga native and longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who will assist the Chattanooga-based lead mentors for each team.
Representatives from global companies such as Alcatel Lucent, IBM, Mozilla, Cisco Systems, Warner Brothers and Xerox Corp also will serve as mentors during Gig Tank.