Will this Float?

Aug 1, 2010

Through the financial and staffing support of the City of Johnson City, the local university (East Tennessee State University), private businesses, and other organizations, the first-ever Will This Float (www.willthisfloat.com) Business Pitch Competition was held in November 2008. The mission: have fun, bring people and ideas together, and to change the world. In this competition, the judges are most interested in ideas that will FLOAT: Few or no direct competitors, Low adoption/switching costs for users, On-time, Addresses unfilled need or want/solves a real problem, and Target market is identified and large. In its first year, more than 20 entrepreneurs submitted ideas to pitch on-stage in a game show format complete with stage and sound and visual effects. Five ideas were selected for the actual event. The entrepreneurs pitched to a panel of three judges who critiqued the ideas; however, ultimately it was the audience members who chose the winner via text messaging. An innovative Web site named Fellowtip (www.fellowtip.com) – a forum where users could actually tip each other for shared information – won the first-ever Will This Float competition. The winner received $1,000 to help in start-up costs as well as support from the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Innovation Lab business incubator.

This document was submitted to the Alliance for Innovation for consideration for a 2010 Innovation Award.

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