Five startups made it to the final round after being narrowed down from upwards of 30 applications from entrepreneurs with ties to the area. The Challenge was created to identify, engage with, and assist the up-and-coming innovators.
FreshCane, a startup that produces sugar cane water, won the pitch competition, taking home prize package worth nearly $65,000 in cash and donated business services. The judges scored the pitches on presentation, innovation, ability to answer questions effectively, Jefferson Parish impact and company scalability.
The company was founded to make people aware of the benefits of natural, unprocessed cane water. “In its natural form, Cane Water has many essential nutrients, such as abundance of potassium and fibers, and a low glycemic index,” shares Arpit Bhopalkar, founder of FreshCane. “As a natural hydrant, Cane Water provides a sustained source of energy.”
“Winning the JEDCO Challenge is a big boost and validation from the people and entrepreneur community that Cane Water is indeed a special beverage,” said Bhopalkar. “We are grateful to represent the entrepreneurial spirit of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish community.”
Other participating startups included AxoSim Technologies, Kudoboard, MashBall, LLC, and Scandy.
Kudoboard, an online service to replace the greeting card that gets passed around a group and signed, came in second place, winning an insurance consultation with Daul Insurance and legal assistance through Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. Their package is valued at over $5,000.