New Orleans social innovation hub Propeller hosts an annual event showcasing the best local education ventures. The organization’s live pitch event took place on November 17 and awarded a total of $11,500 to entrepreneurs narrowing the achievement gap in the city.
This year’s event featured five early-stage entrepreneurs as well as five alumni ventures. The panel of judges included: Amanda Kruger Hill, Executive Director, Cowen Institute; Tayanna Teel, Principal Community Relations Associate, Capital One; Aaron Walker, CEO, Camelback Ventures; and Nadiya Williams, 11th Grade Student, KIPP Booker T. Washington High School.
Excellent Readers was awarded the first place prize of $5,000, as well as the audience favorite award of $500. The venture is piloting an early education intervention program that addresses reading difficulty.
The $1,000 runner-up prize went to WhereWeGo, a matchmaking app designed to help first generation and low-income students find the right college.
Each of the alumni entrepreneurs, who have graduated from Propeller’s accelerator, were awarded $1,000. The companies include: Brothers Empowered 2 Teach, Healthy School Food Collaborative, Royal Castle Child Development Center, STEM Library Lab, and Sugar Roots Farm.
For more information about Propeller and its programming, visit gopropeller.org.