Dalton could crown its next big business on Tuesday.
The second annual PitchDIA (Dalton Innovation Accelerator) will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Stage 123 on West Gordon Street in downtown Dalton. It is open to the public and there is no charge to attend. A block party outside the venue will start at 5:30.
PitchDIA is modeled on the TV show "Shark Tank" in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to potential investors. The PitchDIA winner as selected by a panel of judges will receive $5,000 and free office space for six months in the Dalton Innovation Accelerator in the Landmark Building in downtown Dalton. Last year's winner, Dalton Middle School student Tripp Phillips, went on to appear on “Shark Tank,” where he reached a deal with investor Kevin O’Leary to buy into his company Le-Glue, which makes a non-permanent glue that holds Legos and other building blocks together without damaging them.
This year's finalists, as described by contest organizers, are:
• Critterbox, which created an IoT (internet of things) device to enable automated live bait feeding marketed toward reptile owners that comes with a mobile app allowing owners to feed their pets from anywhere.
• Elite Lineman Training, which trains people for entry-level line work positions in the electrical lineman industry.
• Musicbük, a hyper-local mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to facilitate the connection between qualified music instructors and prospective students.
• Rugxite, which sanitizes and deodorize rugs, and is specially designed to keep bathroom rugs feeling clean while killing mold and bacteria, avoiding frequent rug washes.
• Scrap Sports, a sports scrapbooking media platform that allows parents to easily create, store and share their children’s sports activities.
The judges for this year's contest are:
• Piet Dossche, president of USFloors and executive vice president for hard surface at Shaw Industries.
• Jamie Hamilton, managing director of Atlanta Seed Co., a venture capital firm.
• Marilyn Helms, dean of Dalton State College's Wright School of Business.
• Santosh Sankar, founding partner of Dynamo Ventures, a Chattanooga-based venture capital firm.
The four teams that were finalists in Dalton Public Schools' recent student innovation contest will also have an opportunity to make their pitch to the audience.