The second night of Propeller’s fourth annual PitchNOLA competition went off last night without a hitch. The Lots of Progress competition selected the top 11 applicants to choose from 49 vacant lots around the city and to then pitch an idea that utilizes the vacant lot to benefit the community. In true, crazy New Orleans fashion, two goats even showed up last night.
Propeller along with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), Tulane University, and the Metropolitan Opportunities Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation were hosts to Lots of Progress. The celebrity judges for last night’s competition included Chef John Besh, Jeff Hebert, Executive Director of NORA, and Dr. Maurice Cox, Director of Tulane City Center.
The following 11 companies pitched last night: MagNOLA ONE, Bring the Bromeliads, Organ Donors, Y’ Herd Me? Property Maintenance, Get Fruity About Trees, Little Champion’s Square, Develop Abundance, PlayBuild NOLA, Fee-Fi-Fo-Farm! (also pitched at Community Solutions), Gentilly Community Gardens, and Goats of Progress.
The rules of Lots of Progress were the same as the rules for Community Solutions. Each applicant was allotted only three minutes and three slides maximum. The three top choices of the judges could then pitch again with a one minute response and then a two minute question and answer with the judges. Judges looked for three things during the pitch: viability, organizational sustainability, and social community benefit.
The three semi-finalists were Get Fruity About Trees, Develop Abundance, and Goats of Progress. Get Fruity About Trees would use vacant lots to plant a sustainable grove of fruit trees provides sustainable healthy fruit for the community. Develop Abundance would, “demonstrate the effectiveness of hydroponic, aquaponic, and aeroponic technologies in providing resources to communities in need.” Lastly, Goats of Progress would provide land-clearing services by harnessing the goats’ natural appetite for undesirable vegetation.
First place winner, Get Fruity About Trees, took home the $5,000 grand prize. Goats of Progress came in second, winning $3,000 and Develop Abundance took home $2,000.
For more information or to make a donation to any of these ventures, visit gopropeller.org.