SENO Announces Fellows For Its Social Startup Accelerator Program

The Social Entrepeneurs of New Orleans, or SENO, has been a leading champion for social entrepreneurship in New Orleans for the past few years.   Led by Andrea Chen, SENO has sponsored pitch nights, highlighted and supported social entrepeneurs and social business plan competitions, and acted as a catalyst for social entrepeneurship in the city.   And now SENO joins the ranks of the Idea Village and Launch Pad Ignition with its very own accelerator program.

The purpose of SENO’s New Ventures Accelerator Program is to significantly accelerate early-stage social startup’s impact and financial sustainability.  SENO considered ventures in the areas of blight/housing, healthy food systems, infrastructure and transportation, and education.   The Accelerator provides hands-on support from paid consultants in areas of need, pro-bono professional services, a large network of mentors and experts, timely connections, peer learning opportunities, and increased exposure for the venture.  Participants receive assistance developing a business plan, finding new funding, financial coaching and back office administrative support, market and feasibility analyses , and executive coaching for management challenges.

The deadline to apply was back in April, and SENO is now ready to announce their select ventures.  Without further ado the 2011 SENO New Venture Fellows….

Sarah Baird // Take A Shine
K12 Public Education
Takeashine is an online crowdfunding platform for underprivileged students who risk missing out on higher education because they cannot meet their college costs. One of the biggest burdens faced by families today is the inability to pay for a student’s higher education. Takeashine uses the proven crowdfunding method to enable students to raise up to their calculated Estimated Family Contribution, entirely online, ensuring that they can close the gap between the “demonstrated” and true financial need. Making the leap from high school to higher education shouldn’t be cost dependent: we’re here to see no child misses out on college due to its high price tag.

Lori Burge// New Orleans Food Co-Op
Healthy Food Access
The mission of the New Orleans Food Co-op is to open and operate a community-owned grocery store in a “food desert” neighborhood that adheres to: community, environmental responsibility, healthy lifestyles, self-determination, local empowerment, diversity, and equitable economic development.   We are a group of people working together to open a grocery store on St. Claude & St. Roch to increase access to healthy, affordable groceries, and support local and regional food production in New Orleans.

John Burns // Jack and Jake’s
Healthy Food Access
Jack & Jake’s, LLC, has created an innovative local food distribution and retail market business that solves limited community access to safe, healthy, fresh food at an affordable price – a new local food system within 65 miles of New Orleans.

Nolan Marshall, Jr. & Nolan Marshall, III // Good Citizen
K12 Public Education
Good Citizen provides support in developing structures and executing strategies to identify and engage key stakeholder groups in support of public education. Our mission is to create a value added relationship between the school and the community in order to achieve accountability, programmatic support, and resource development.

Kendra Jones Morris // Rural Revolution Co-Op
Arts & Culture
Rural Revolution Co-Op is a company committed to helping sustain rural and urban women one business venture at a time. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a budding entrepreneur wanting to start a home business, Rural Revolution Co-Op is the perfect fit for women with an international flare and a desire to help people help themselves.

Thaddaeus & Tamara Prosper // Sheaux Fresh
Healthy Food Access
Sheaux Fresh Sustainable Foods, L3C is a family owned company that grew out of a love of gardening for our family.  We also want to help others grow fresh, healthy food for their families and offer what we’ve grown to those who cannot do so for themselves. We see no reason for anyone to lack access to food the way it was meant to be eaten – fresh.  “Plant the Earth, feed the world!”

Casie Reiss// Future Prep
K12 Public Education
Future Prep is a counseling service that guides and empowers students, families, and schools to navigate the complexities of school choice in New Orleans. Our mission is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for families to make informed, deliberate school decisions and secure the best possible future for their child. We serve in local public schools to facilitate the high school application process, increase parent engagement, and maximize student achievement through collaborative partnerships.

William Stoudt // Youth Rebuilding New Orleans
Youth Rebuilding New Orleans (YRNO) is a not-for-profit organization that was created in response to Hurricane Katrina. The group, started by youth and for youth, allowed students to take a hand in their city’s recovery. Over five years have passed since our creation, and our mission has constantly matured to better serve the community that we are all so passionate about. We execute today’s mission by purchasing and rebuilding homes, repairing them using volunteer participation, and selling the properties to deserving teachers that could otherwise not afford the homes.

Tippy Tippens // MATTER L3C
Arts & Culture
MATTER L3C, an exciting new Industrial Design & Consulting Group based in New Orleans, creates meaningful solutions to develop social needs initiatives. Creating new pathways for sustainable business focusing on innovative collaborations which enrich the well being of community and environment, our mission is to raise awareness and support for social change as needed locally and by our neighbors around the world.

Matthew Tritico //
Economic Development
Localsource.itis an online hyper-local directory of talented individuals and companies from all aspects of the digital media eco-system. Its goal is to bolster the local start-up, technology, and social entrepreneurship ecosystems, as well as to facilitate the realization of great new ideas here in New Orleans.


2011 SENO New Ventures Accelerator Associates:

Alan Fisher & Oliver Delery // Green Taxi Company
GTC NOLA looks to provide safe, comfortable, affordable and ecologically-responsible transportation that reduces the environmental impacts of automobility while making New Orleans a more appealing place to live, visit and do business.  GTC NOLA was also a participant in the Idea Village’s 2011 Entrepreneur Challenge.

Cesar Harada // Protei
The BP oil spill badly damaged the Gulf Coast environment, nature as resource and livelihood, people’s health, and the economy of the region. Protei is a fleet of wind-propelled sailing drones that sails with the wind to capture oil from oil spills.  As an oil spill moves down with the wind, Protei moves with the ocean and wind currents to capture the oil.  In developing this revolutionary oil spill cleaning technology for the BP oil spill, we also hope to turn this environmental crisis into an expertise and develop technologies that we may even be able to export to remedy future oil spills.

Andreas Hoffman // Greenlight New Orleans
Green Light New Orleans invests energy in people by assisting New Orleans residents in-person, one household at a time. Our volunteers install free energy efficient light bulbs to demonstrate that a mass movement of individual actions creates a significant impact on our environment and community.

Sarah Mack // Tierra Resources
Tierra provides scientific, financial, regulatory, and eco-asset development advisory services for landowners, companies, nonprofits, and government entities managing, adapting, and mitigating the effects of climate change through water resource management to create environmental solutions that offer co-benefits to society.

Jeff Schwartz & Zach Lamb // Transport for NOLA
Transport for NOLA is working to create a world-class transportation system in the Greater New Orleans region that is based on equity, accessibility, and best-practices. We are a think-and-do tank of New Orleanians who also are transit riders, planners, engineers, bicyclists, and designers. We advocate for transit that enhances equitability and accessibility for New Orleanians by promoting transit best practices to transportation and planning agencies, and educating decision makers, community members, and other stakeholders.

Amber Seeley // Spark InSites
Spark InSites is a market analysis firm that studies the New Orleans real estate market in an innovative and comprehensive manner. We are an information resource for real estate developers, bankers, investors, philanthropists, and public entities that are seeking to understand how their investments can be successful while contributing to neighborhood recovery and stabilization.

Dylan Tete // Bastion
Bastion is an innovative, intergenerational community that helps military families and service members readjust and thrive after the hardships of war. Our vision for social innovation includes bereaved military children and widows, wounded warriors, returning veterans and retired seniors who live, work, and learn together.  In a place-based setting, the conditions will be set for emotional healing through daily interaction, program support and services, and education.  Bastion will be a place of restoration where those who want to give and those who have already given so much can find redemption, meaning, and purpose in their lives.

Nat Turner // Our School at Blair Grocery
Healthy Food Access
In the face of despair, poverty, high crime and dropout rates, blight and food deserts, we are innovating upon internationally recognized models of success from Brazil, Growing Power, and The Edible Schoolyard. Our Food Security Academy is growing the growers to provide food security to our community through cross partnerships while simultaneously developing the foundation for our youth to participate in the full range of related green economy careers needed to lead the good food revolution.

Overall, it looks like a very strong group of entrepeneurs with some refreshing and exciting ideas for social change.  SENO is also building an army of pro-bono professionals who will pledge 10-15 hours of volunteer professional services over the next year to help these early-stage New Orleans social entrepreneurs.  Check it out and good luck!