At Wednesday's Reverse Pitch Night, two Chattanooga groups outlined ideas for new services to local developers and entrepreneurs in hopes that the ideas can come to life.
A traditional pitch event has individual entrepreneurs pitching ideas to investors and other potential stakeholders. But at The Company Lab's Reverse Pitch, leaders from EPB and The Public Library gave pitches to try to find the right people to make their ideas a reality.
After the Reverse Pitch Night, developers and entrepreneurs will create partnerships and teams to help the organizations with their ideas.
Here is an outline of each organization's ideas:
The Public Library
The library’s request for proposal asks for help expanding its low-latency audio capabilities.
Audio latency is the delay between the time a sound is created and when it is heard. Low-latency audio allows online users to interact in real time.
The Chattanooga library already has low-latency audio capabilities and has done a few musical activities for kids with groups in other states using the technology. But with the help of developers, officials hope to have a mobile package that can be taken to schools or communities to do events or lessons with.
"We’re looking forward to seeing the proposals and then getting to work," Mary Barnett, library public relations and special projects coordinator, said.
EPB is looking for an internet system that would allow patients to have direct contact with their health care providers without going to the doctor’s office.
EPB has requested a service that operates separately from public internet sources to prevent potential hacking issues and something that has low latency so that patients can talk to their doctors on video calls in real time.
However, EPB’s vision for specifics on whether this service will be placed in homes or more public places is open.
"We hope that this helps people connect with their provider, since many may not be able to travel to one," Shane Sexton, EPB’s corporate technology consultant, said.
EPB’s video concierge
EPB is also requesting an online tool that allows customers to find a package of video streaming services that fits what the customer wants and can afford.
The idea is to create an online experience that helps customers navigate EPB's video content and allows them to find the ideal package based on their viewing preferences and budgetary needs.
"We want to make customers’ lives easier," Colman Keane, director of fiber technology, said.
Click here for more information on the request for proposals.
How it works
Each group of developers will be asked to make a bid that includes an outline of the work that will need to be done and an estimated cost. The group with the best bid will get to work on the project.
To help fund the projects, US Ignite has donated $20,000 toward implementation. EPB, the Mozilla Gigabit Fund, Friends of the Library and The Enterprise Center matched the donation with another $20,000.
US Ignite invested in Chattanooga because the city is self-motivated and has a good track record with return on investments, Scott Turnbull, national technology leader for US Ignite, said.
"Chattanooga is one of the most reliable cities we’ve ever worked with," he said. "Chattanooga is unlike other cities in that it is not looking for someone to make them do this. They just need some extra sauce."
Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She is also currently attending UTC, where she is the news editor for the school newspaper, The University Echo.
Updated @ 2:04 p.m. on 2/16/17 to correct a factual error: The article originally reported only EPB had contributed matching funds.