What is Best in the west?

Best in the West is a contest sponsored by theCO to connect local entrepreneurs to two essential ingredients for success: Collaboration and Funding. This video pitch competition offers locals an opportunity to present their ideas for startup and early stage businesses, ultimately competing to win $10,000 in cash and professional services.



Announcing our 2015 Winner:

We are thrilled to announce BG Innovative Safety Systems LLC won with The Lighting Bug!





Wesley Long, Owner and Founder
Finding the right people, at the right time, in the right place can be hard to do if you are a General Contractor. BidStates allows General Contractors to find the right Subcontractors wherever and whenever their next job might be. Simply type in the zip code of the project site and instantly find a list of licensed and bonded subcontractors in the area. Request quotes from all  of the Subcontractors in our list that you choose through our easy to use online interface and get the job done. Subcontractors can open themselves to a whole new market of General Contractors from across the US with BidStates. 


The Lighting Bug

Marcus Boykin and Andre Gist, executives
BG Innovative Safety Systems LLC developed innovative technology designed for the automotive industry and marketplaces. Their newest technology, "The Lighting Bug" trademarked and patent pending is a plug and play module made for all headlights. It sustains safety by maintaining the operation of two headlights at all times, even if one should fail while the vehicle is in use. The modules allow one of the lights to function as an auxiliary safety, low bean light when one fails simultaneously alerting the driver of the conditions. 


Jackson Escape Rooms

Jared & AlLee Dauenhauer and Lee & Beth Wilson, Owners and Co-founders
Innovative entertainment that is decidedly not digital. It's time for West Tennessee to take a step forward out of the same tired options for a night out with friends, family, and coworkers. That's where Jackson Escape Rooms comes in. Once you've stepped into one of our themed rooms, tackled some of our challenging puzzles, and solved a mystery or two, you'll be hooked. Come play a Jackson Escape Room -- unlocking a door will never feel the same again.



Who can compete in Best in the West?

Best in the West is open to existing businesses poised for growth and new business concepts located in, or intending to locate to West Tennessee. theCO is looking for contestants from all sectors and industries: technology, social entrepreneurship, artists and creatives, medical innovations, consumer products, student entrepreneurs, app development and more. Applications for 2015 Best in the West have closed.


How does the CONTEST work?

Contestants will complete the simple application and theCO will contact you to set-up a time to meet to discus your project more in-depth. theCO will then select Semi-Finalists, based on the judging criteria (below).

Each Semi-Finalist will then submit more in-depth information on their business to be reviewed. Based on that info and scores from the initial voting, theCO and a small panel of judges will select the Finalists.

Each of the Finalists will work with a local videographer and theCO to create a 60-90 second complimentary promotional video. This video will premiere at the Best in the West event  in front of a judging panel and community.


Judging Criteria



  • Three-month CO:Membership ($225 value)
  • Promotional Video ($1,000 value)


Grand Prize Winner

  • $5,000 cash
  • 12-month CO:Worker Membership ($3,600 value)
  • theCO: Event Space Rental for One Day ($1,500 value)



*Finalists should be aware that one component of the criteria for the Grand Prize involves the Audience Choice, so all in attendance at the Best in the West event will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite Finalist.