Idea Village To Award Up To $100,000 To Winning Startup at The Big Idea

The fourth annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week kicks off this Saturday with an Opening Celebration hosted by James Carville & Mary Matalin, followed by a week of over 75 action-packed events, all culminating on Friday, March 16 at the first annual Big Idea, presented by IBERIABANK and hosted at Manning’s.

The Big Idea is The Idea Village’s biggest idea yet! A first-of-its-kind pitch competition featuring 19 of New Orleans’ most promising startups  as they vie for up to $100,000  allocated by an audience of over 1,000.  A limited number of tickets are also available online via The Idea Village website for purchase.

The Idea Village is excited to introduce you to the 19 Big Idea participants below.  These entrepreneurs have been nominated by a variety of local entrepreneur eco-system partners and represent the best and brightest startups in the city.  We hope that you can join us, emcees Fletcher and Travers Mackel, and our celebrity judging panel, including Mary Matalin, Irvin Mayfield, & Wendell Pierce for the big event on Friday, March 16th!

AMPS | Douglas Jacobs
What if New Orleans grew all of the salad greens and vegetables that its citizens consume? 

AMPS designs, builds, and operates recirculating farm systems that can be built almost anywhere from empty lots to rooftops to supply produce year-round using 90% less water and nutrients, regardless of climate.  The systems can be built at, or near, farmers markets, grocery stores, and other food retailers, eliminating costs associated with transportation, as well as allowing food vendors to provide the freshest greens and vegetables possible to their customers Facebook

Be Well  | Billy Bosch & Matt Mouras
What if Be Well Nutrition was a household name synonymous with a healthy lifestyle and our products could be found in refrigerators across the US?

Be Well Nutrition seeks to produce a nutritionally conscious, all-natural, functional beverage that enters the market with a strict emphasis on the health-conscience consumer and added focus on social activism. Twitter Facebook

Bissap Breeze, LLC | Esailama Artry-Diouf & Tryone Henry
What if by offering the highest quality of beverages available, we could help people live longer, healthier, more pleasurable lives and help keep the performing arts alive? 

Bissap Breeze LLC is a non-alcoholic beverage company whose current beverage, Bissap (pronounced Bee-sap) Breeze Concentrate, is a smooth blend of brewed organic roselle hibiscus flowers, organic volcanic agave nectar, and natural extracts and spices. The distinctive beverage concentrate can be enjoyed as a spritzer, iced tea, cocktail mixer or added to creative culinary recipes. Facebook

Bluebag | Mehmet Ergelen
What if we could bring the world’s largest and most loved Home Furnishings Store (IKEA) to small and medium sized markets such as New Orleans?

Bluebag specializes in everything IKEA. It’s IKEA “delivered.” Twitter  Facebook

ChapterSpot | Joe McMenemon & Brendan Finke
What if all organizations built a private social network for their members?

ChapterSpot solves the problems of group management on an online application that allows groups to communicate efficiently, collect membership dues, share important files, maintain a member database and design a website all on one platform. Facebook Twitter

Classroom Blueprint | Jessica Bialecki
What if teachers could have instant access to best practices in classroom setup and design from around NOLA, the nation, and the world?

Classroom Blueprint enables teachers to painlessly construct the classrooms of their dreams by facilitating the sharing of best practices around classroom design and setup on one easily accessible online platform. Tagging, social media, and shopping cart applications together create a self-sustaining community around classroom design. Twitter Facebook

Connect for a Cause| Jason Nicosa
What if you could have lunch with top business executives and VIP’s while supporting a good cause at the same time?

Connect for a Cause is an auction website that makes it easy for a person to get a lunch meeting with a high-profile executive, VIP, or even Celebrity who might otherwise be impossible to reach, and donate to a cause at the same time. Nonprofits can solicit their board members, or high profile supporters to donate their lunch hour, and then anyone can bid on that lunch using Connect for a Cause. Twitter Facebook

Dash | Aliya Bhatia
What if instead of scribbles on a clipboard, teachers could instantly translate a fleeting thought to call a parent into a playlist in their phones and further increase impact on student performance?

Dash Technologies Inc. is developing innovative tools to increase student achievement by accelerating parent engagement in K-12 education. Dash, a Parent Relationship Management system made for teachers by teachers, is a smartphone application that serves as a to-do list linked with parent phone numbers a data-conscious. Twitter Facebook

DesignerSocial | Francine Ballard
What if you could buy authentic luxury designer goods for a fraction of its retail value safely on the Internet? Whatif you could sell the things you no longer need or use instantly- with the click of a button from your phone? 

DesignerSocial is fashion’s first global marketplace, connecting buyers and sellers of pre-owned designer merchandise via the Internet and social media. Twitter Facebook

DIG*IT | MarkAlain  Dery
What if using your smart phone to manage your healthcare were as easy as managing your finances while preventing thousands of Americans from dying prematurely due to poor medication adherence? 

DIG*IT is a comprehensive, input-based medical mobile platform that is designed to empower consumers to better manage their daily medical routines through personalized reminders, positive/instant feedback, and delayed gratification – all of which leads to establishment of good habits, behavior modification, improved medical adherence, saved dollars and most importantly, saved lives. Twitter

Giftmeo | Martin Roth, Michael Angle 
What if you could use your social network to get multiple people to pitch in a micro-gift toward a common friend or loved one?

Giftmeo is a group-gifting platform that combines and consolidates transactions of all sizes (even as little as $1) in the form of a gift card through a web-based platform. In addition to offering a safe, secure destination for consumers to shop for gift cards for themselves and others, Giftmeo’s deep integration with social platforms like Facebook and Twitter makes the entire process fun, social and communal. Twitter Facebook

Kinobi | Chapman Snowden
What if new teachers could get meaningful feedback on lessons and tactics whenever they’d like?

Kinobi turns new teachers into great classroom managers quickly by enabling them to not only study, but also practice proven classroom management techniques. Together, the Kinobi application and the Kinect are able to provide immediate feedback to help new teachers develop muscle memory with the foundational classroom management techniques, such as body posture, word choice and physical gestures.  Twitter Facebook
Volnado  | Travis Laurendine
What if entertainers had their own platforms to create and share interactive experiences with their fans? What if this platform’s revenue model fixed the current broken economics of the entertainment business?

Volnado is the technology that finally enables the sustainable monetization of the artist-fan relationship.Twitter Facebook

LiaMolly | Seema Sudan
What if we could bring the art of knitting back to the USA starting right here in New Orleans with one small design company?

Furst designed in 2008, the LiaMolly knitwear collection is deeply rooted in a culture of craftsmanship and artisanal traditions. LiaMolly Women’s Collection can be found online and in more than 200 privately owned boutiques across the country, and the LiaMolly Kids’ Collection is currently sold at Anthropologie. Twitter Facebook

MATTER | Tippy Tippens
What if products help create social change & make the world a better place?

Eco-intelligence, creativity, and innovative philanthropy unite at MATTER L3C, an industrial design & consulting studio based in New Orleans that is uniquely focused on raising awareness and funding initiatives that advance social change. A portion of all proceeds go to causes that impact the health, happiness, and sustainability of our communities both locally and for our neighbors around the world. Twitter Facebook | Lovey and Brett Wakefield
What if we could ship New Orleans culture to everyone’s front door, anywhere around the world? is the number one ecommerce site that provides Louisiana and New Orleans specialty food products to customers around the world. Twitter Facebook

SOLarchitect  | Alex Landau, Scott Oman
What if every homeowner in America could quickly and accurately assess how much solar energy their homecould produce, how much solar panels would cost them, and how long to expect to see a return on theirinvestment, without ever talking to a human being? 
SOLarchitect Studio provides a free, web-based tool that enables users to assess the feasibility of installing solar panels on their homes. Facebook

Tierra Resources  | Dr. Sarah Mack
What if there was a way to give industry the opportunity to invest in wetland restoration to offset their emissions and gain billions of dollars for wetland restoration to make Louisiana sustainable?

Tierra Resources’ consulting services enable landowners, corporations, nonprofits, and government clients to understand the regulatory, financial, and scientific landscape to preserve and restore wetlands, monetize wetland offsets, and reduce liabilities

Unawkward | Gerard Ramos
What if there was a simple way to meet new people and make plans with friends online to have a blast together offline?

Unawkward works with local business venues like restaurants, museums, and tour companies to create our users experiences to connect people to unique experiences using location, interest, and life stage. People tell us what they enjoy doing, places they want to go, and events they want to be apart of, and we suggest other users to join them or they can invite friends. Twitter Facebook