Meet the People Behind the Scenes at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

On the last day of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), we wanted to take some time to recognize the people who made the festival of entrepreneurship, innovation, and advanced thinking happen.

From several pitch competitions to exciting keynotes and panels, the festival is now in its ninth year and bigger and better than ever before. Events throughout the week include Propeller’s Water Challenge, an “Ask Me Anything” chat about scaling beyond New Orleans, the Tulane Business Model Competition, a talk by billionaire investor Jim Coulter, a panel on how entrepreneurship can drive equity and inclusion hosted by trepwise, and even a little bit of drama.

Meet a few of the many the people behind the scenes at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week making it all happen:

Adriana Lopez

Adriana has been writing about entrepreneurship in New Orleans for more than five years on sites such as Forbes.com, NolaVie, and Silicon Bayou News. Her column in Forbes, called Southern Draw, covers topics including startups, technology, and film. “Being completely immersed in a new, growing entrepreneurial community has given me insight into some of the most promising innovators, as well as all the aspects of growing a new business,” she shares. “I hope to inspire other entrepreneurs, ecosystems, and organizations with all the entrepreneurial news coming out of the south.”

Chris Reade

Chris is a huge supporter of the entrepreneurial community in New Orleans through his sponsorship of NOEW, among other things. A few years back, he split up his company Carrollton Group into two sister companies, including the Enterprise Services division of the company called Carrollton Enterprise Services and renamed the software development division LookFar. The investment arm LookFar Ventures has invested in startups in addition to providing resources to startups in exchange for equity. Chris also runs Entrepreneur Mortgage Finance, a mortgage banking company dedicated to helping self-employed people to access the market.

David ibnAle

A former colleague of Jim Coulter at TPG Capital, David now runs his own venture capital firm called Advance Venture Partners. He’s this week from San Francisco to connect with local entrepreneurs building cool companies. The firm has invested in companies such as EVRYTHNG, Gigya and Mediamorph, all deals David was directly involved with. He has twenty years of experience as an investor in small and mid-sized growth companies in the technology, media and communications sectors.

Emily Madero

As acting CEO of The Idea Village, Emily plays a major role of the festival of entrepreneurship know as NOEW. She has been with the organization for nearly a decade and was previously the Chief Operating Officer. Emily oversees the staff in addition to the team that works exclusively on NOEW throughout the year. In addition to working directly with entrepreneurs through The Idea Village, she also previously taught entrepreneurship at local universities such as Tulane and Loyola.

Summer Suleiman

Summer is editor of The Distillery, a blog that was recently spun out of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week that covers real stories from entrepreneurs. The site was relaunched this week with a fresh look and new content. She previously worked at The Idea Village, producers of NOEW, and before that was working for CNN in Atlanta. Check out the all new site here. Summer is also all about health and wellness and regularly leads meditation classes in town.

The Team at Bond Moroch

Bond Moroch, formerly Bond Public Relations and Brand Strategy, is handling the PR for NOEW, which includes tons of content creation and interview scheduling with the media and key speakers throughout the week. Keep an eye out for Bond Moroch staff around the NOEW campus, including managing supervisor Camille Breland, partner Brad Hunter, and senior account executives Kelsey Hyde and John Beisner.

Victoria Adams Phipps

Victoria is one of the people literally behind the scenes making magic at NOEW. As the Executive Producer, she manages the $1.3 million production budget, sponsorships, vendors and staff. Under her leadership, the festival has grown in attendance has grown from just over 1,200 attendees in 2011 to more than 13,000 in 2016. She studied music and business at Loyola and went straight to work in industry nearly a decade ago, working at companies such as The Recording Academy and Ultimate Records.

There are a ton of other people who help make this all happen, so much so that this list could go on forever. Meet the rest of The Idea Village staff here, and check out the festival’s website for all the details on remaining events.