March Net2NO Recap: A Gumbo of Entrepreneurial Awesomeness

Next week is New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, and this month’s Net2NO meet-up prepared for the coming season of all things start-up. Panelists from the Idea Village, 504ward, and Launch Pad shared a self-described “gumbo” of events designed build local businesses and recruit talent to the city.

Jessica Shahien, Executive Director of 504ward, encouraged everyone to attend BizCamp.  BizCamp is an “un-conference”. Attendees not only learn from watching presentations; they also have the opportunity to present on any topic of their choosing.  The schedule and topics are determined that morning as attendees choose what to present. BizCamp will be held at the IP Building on Saturday, March 10th from 10:00AM to 3:30PM. Registration begins at 9:15AM.

Cameron Yancey, Communication Manager for the Idea Village, focused on the capstone of the week’s events, the Big Idea.  The Big Idea is a pitch competition with a twist. Although there are expert judges, the audience chooses one of twenty local start-ups that will receive up to $100,000 in funding.  The event will take place at Manning’s on Friday the 16th beginning at 4:00PM, and tickets are available on Eventbrite.

The White House is also making an appearance during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. The White House staff, not the building, will be reaching out at the Young Professional Public Forum sponsored by 504ward and the Idea Village. The forum will address the issues facing those relatively new to the working-world such as job prospects, the cost of living, and student debt.  The forum is located Gallier Hall on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM.

Peter Bodenheimer, co-founder of Launch Pad, geared everyone up for Launch Pad Ignition.  Launch Pad Ignition is an accelerator program for tech start-ups looking to polish their business and raise capital. The program culminates on May 3rd with Launch Fest.  Launch Fest is a day-long event for connecting speakers, mentors, and investors to the community. Bodenheimer will also be speaking during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on managing remote development teams.

All the panelists stressed the importance of getting involved and getting out next week. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week provides a great opportunity for the enthusiasm of the city and its residents to make a lasting impression on visitors (like those involved in the NOLA Bound project) that draws talent and businesses to the Silicon Bayou. The full slate of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week events is available on the Idea Village website.