Each year, The Idea Village in partnership with different universities hosts the IDEAcorps Consulting Competition during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW). Student teams are paired with local technology startups over the course of the 34-hour challenge.
Teams from Loyola University (LSU), Tulane University, and Louisiana State University were brought in this year to work with three New Orleans entrepreneurs.
At the end of the challenge, each team and their respective entrepreneur presented about their findings and how they helped the startups. Judges included: Mike De Boer, CIO, GE Capital Tech Center; Brent Godfry, Past IDEAcorps Operations Director; Katie LaGardeur, Managing Director, JP Morgan; Gay LeBreton, Managing Director, Chaffe & Associates; John Payne, CEO, Caesars Entertainment; and Hank Torbert, Principal, RLMcCall Capital Partners.
Students from Loyola were paired with TOURED and founder Karynn Verrett, who won the competition for working to bring the startup the furthest throughout the competition. The company has created modern, travel-guide app designed to make traveling easier for everyday people by curating highly personalized travel experiences on the go.
ECHO, the social app founded by Tim Kappel that lets users rediscover and share their musical pasts, was teamed with LSU. GradSquare, co-founded by Marco Altamirano, is an online career hub for people with advanced degrees. He was paired with Tulane.
“Since 2006, IDEAcorps has been connecting top MBAs with New Orleans startups to provide direct strategic consulting services,” said Tim Williamson, Co-Founder and CEO of The Idea Village. “The program has catalyzed the New Orleans entrepreneurial community and created a real-world experience with entrepreneurship.”
To date, The Idea Village and IDEAcorps have engaged over 500 MBAs from schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth College, Northwestern and Cornell.