Every year, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation hosts a series of issue-specific PitchNOLA events showcasing ventures tackling a variety of social and environmental problems in the New Orleans area.
Propeller has partnered with early-stage education startup incubator 4.0 Schools to launch PitchNOLA: Education, a live pitch competition that will award cash prizes to entrepreneurial solutions to increase equitable education outcomes for all New Orleanians.
Ten semi-finalists have been selected to take the stage on November 4 to pitch to a panel of judges and an audience for the chance to win $10,000. An additional $500 will go to the audience favorite.
Propeller and 4.0 Schools are seeking concrete solutions with sustainable revenue streams addressing key challenges in education.
Meet the 10 education startups:
Catalyst:ED – helping education organizations access short-term talent for long-term impact by leveraging the expertise already present in the education sector to help create better academic and life outcomes for all kids. Entrepreneur: Leona Christy.
College Bridge New Orleans – helping New Orleans public school graduates enroll and succeed in college by providing assistance with financial aid applications, summer support with the enrollment process, and experienced guides who work directly with students as they transition to college the first year. College Bridge also provides micro grants to students for emergencies through college graduation, and data tracking for partner institutions. Entrepreneur: Paris Woods.
Young Creative Agency– providing youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in the creative economy. Entrepreneur: Alberta Wright.
RAE Grooming Barbershop, LLC – preventing youth in the juvenile justice system from entering a cycle of incarceration by mentoring young men into manhood through a paid apprenticeship program and a pathway to long-term stable self- employment in barbering and personal grooming. Entrepreneurs: Jerome Morgan and Daniel Rideau.
Electric Girls – developing girls into confident leaders and role models in technology. Entrepreneurs: Flora Serna and Maya Ramos.
The Southern History Project – building a school-to-policy pipeline, increasing the number of students from the American South who graduate college to enter fields of law, advocacy, and public policy through development of engaging, relevant social studies curricula tailored to southern schools. Entrepreneur: Sheila Sundar.
The Resilient Teacher – supporting and empowering new teachers to thrive in high needs, urban schools by providing them access to high quality mental health and counseling services. Entrepreneur: Stephanie Choy.
College Writing Buddies – digitally uniting university and low-income students in the fight to bridge the writing achievement gap. Entrepreneurs: Hilah Barbot and Adam Kohler.
The NewlyMinted: Leader – a video-based online leadership academy that provides engaging lessons to busy, neophyte leaders in the crucial competencies needed to disrupt inequitable school practices, develop fractal leadership schools, and empower others to transform their communities. Entrepreneur: Nicole Williams.
NOLA Go! – increasing access to public transportation and a coordinated system of youth services and resources, ranging from the New Orleans Public Library, to recreation centers, to after-school programs. Entrepreneur: Alexandra Becker.