Propeller recruits between 10 and 15 early-stage ventures each year to participate in the accelerator program. The Propeller Gala, which was held last Thursday evening at the Propeller Incubator, gave this year’s 12 companies a chance to pitch to crowd.
“Since June 2012, 12 Propeller-supported ventures have been working hard to improve the health and vitality of New Orleans,” announced Propeller. “Our theory of change involves identifying gaps within our target sectors, building a strong pipeline of social innovators, and accelerating the most promising solutions through our Social Venture Accelerator.”
Past and present Accelerator companies have propelled job creation, wealth, and scalable social impact, according to Propeller. Beyond that, now over 40 organizations and 75 individuals have signed on as members of the Incubator. It’s currently the only coworking space in the city for socially minded businesses.
Meet the 12 ventures that pitched their ideas-turned-sustainable companies at the gala:
Healthy School Food Collaborative
- Entrepreneur: James Graham
- Pitch: The Healthy School Food Collaborative is a Propeller-funded School Food Authority (SFA) serving healthy food to charter schools in New Orleans. They want to hold vendors accountable to raise nutritional standards.
Louisiana Lost Lands Environmental Tours
- Entrepreneurs: Lindsay Pick, Marie Gould
- Pitch: Lost Lands leads small-group kayak tours to educate locals and tourists on the importance of the Louisiana wetlands.
The Well Integrative Medicine
- Entrepreneurs: Sarah Galos, Arwen Podesta, Sarah Mason
- Pitch: The Well Integrative Medicine unites psychiatry, primary care, behavioral health and evidenced-based complementary medicine to foster wellness and support healing.
- Entrepreneurs: Latona Giwa, Dana Keren
- Pitch: Birthmark provides physical, emotional and informational support to women and their families during pregnancy, labor at the postpartum period.
VEGGI Farmers Cooperative
- Entrepreneurs: Khai Nguyen, Daniel Nguyen
- Pitch: VEGGI Farmers Cooperative incubates new farmers and teaches sustainable urban agriculture to former Vietnamese fisherman who lost their livelihoods after the BP oil spill.
- Entrepreneurs: Douglas Jacobs, Kevin Morgan-Rothschild
- Pitch: VertiFarms builds and operates aquaponic and hydroponic farms that sustainably grow greens onsite.
- Entrepreneur: Wesley Ware
- Pitch: BreakOUT! seeks to end the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) youth, who are targets of both street-based and state-based violence.
The Fine Arts & Wellness Center
- Entrepreneur: Emily Wolff
- Pitch: The Fine Arts & Wellness Center (FAWC) is a capital project that will convert a blighted space into a community cultural center.
Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana (JAC)
- Entrepreneurs: Ameca Reali, Adrienne Wheeler
- Pitch: JAC helps locals get back to work instead of back to prison by providing non-violent criminal record expungements and working to reform the expungement policy.
New Orleans Master Crafts Guild
- Entrepreneur: Jonn Hankins
- Pitch: The New Orleans Master Crafts Guild (the Guild) seeks to revive the building trade traditions of New Orleans families and provide apprenticeship training for new generations of Master Craftsmen through cooperative business practices.
- Entrepreneur: Megan Webbeking
- Pitch: Nola Tilth is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm with a mission to sustainably cultivate vacant lots to provide healthy, clean, delicious produce and flowers to the community.
- Entrepreneur: Yaye Fatou Sarr
- Pitch: Smiles2Geaux (S2G) is a nonprofit public health organization that utilizes mobile dental clinics to provide high-quality, affordable oral healthcare to underserved and disadvantaged children and seniors in New Orleans.
For more information, visit gopropeller.org.