Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe to headline Gig Tank’s Demo Day

Authored By Chloé Morrison

Leaders with The Company Lab, which is hosting Gig Tank 2013, announced Tuesday that the inventor of Ethernet Bob Metcalfe will be the keynote speaker at Demo Day, which is the last day of the summerlong accelerator program. 

“I am looking forward to being in Chattanooga . [for] Gig Tank Demo Day,” Metcalfe said in an email, according to a news release. “Are we not all engaged in gigafying the Internet?”

For the next three months, the program’s participants will build and test applications, taking advantage of Chattanooga’s 1-gigabit-per-second Internet speeds.

Last year, leaders got about 150 applications from students and entrepreneurs who wanted to participate in the 100-day business accelerator and mentorship program. 

At the end of Gig Tank 2, during Demo Day, participants will present their progress and products to investors, potential customers and strategic partners; and successful startups will go on a national roadshow to pitch to investors and market their businesses.

The announcement that Metcalfe will speak on Demo Day comes on the heels of Ethernet’s 40th anniversary, which leaders celebrated at the Ethernet Innovation Summit on May 22 in Mountain View, Calif.

Metcalfe’s invention enabled computers to connect and communicate with one another, laying the foundation for the modern-day Internet.

Currently, Metcalfe is the professor of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin.

As a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, he became a pioneer of the Internet.

Three years later, he invented the Ethernet and received his Ph.D. from Harvard.

In 1979, he founded 3Com Corporation, which is now part of HP. He has also spent time as a venture capitalist and is a self-described “publisher-pundit.”

Metcalfe has received multiple awards over the course of his successful and varied career, including ACM Grace Hopper Award in 1980, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 1988, the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1996, the National Medal of Technology in 2005, induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Fellow Award from the Computer History Museum in 2008.

“Bob is one of the leading innovators in the world on broadband technology,” Sheldon Grizzle, director of Gig Tank, said. “I can’t express how honored we are to have him come speak to our entrepreneurs and community on Gig Tank Demo Day.”

To request an invitation to Demo Day, click here.