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October 20, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Two Chattanooga coffee shops capture top prizes in “Idea Leap Grant Pitch Competition”

Two Chattanooga coffee shops captured the top prizes during this week’s annual “Idea Leap Grant Pitch Competition” sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU).

  • (Be) Caffeinated, a chain of drive-through coffee shops, won the top prize of $50,000; and
  • Sleepyhead Coffee, which has a single location in the downtown area, took second place and the $20,000 prize.

In addition to the prize money awarded to the top contenders, three other finalists won $10,000 each. They were:

  • Mountain View Low Vision Services that offers a wide variety of high quality low vision products to people with vision loss;
  • Neutral Ground Chattanooga,  New Orleans-style po’ boy and yaka mein restaurant; and
  • NewTerra Compost that provides homes, restaurants, education centers, hotels, businesses and events a better solution for disposal of food residuals and compostables.

TVFCU received nearly 150 applications from start-ups wanting to compete and whittled to applicants to 23 quarterfinalists, then 10 semi-finalists and eventually the five finalists.

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