New Orleans exports entrepreneurial spirit to Japan

New Orleans has recently been gaining substantial national recognition with its growth in film and digital media, influx of entrepreneurs and visionaries from around the country, and the development of innovative startups. Both the media and federal government have been looking at our city as a model in business progression.

Tim Williamson of the Idea Village is in Japan this week speaking on entrepreneurship’s role in disaster recovery.

Now, New Orleans has been recognized as a global thought leader: Tim Williamson, CEO and co-founder of The Idea Village, will be representing Louisiana when he travels to Japan this week to speak on building a sustainable entrepreneurial community.

At the request of the state of Louisiana, Williamson will be participating in a countrywide speaker program as part of the U.S. government’s public diplomacy efforts in Japan.  The program, organized by the U.S. Embassy in Japan, includes a speaker series with selected experts to help clarify and educate Japanese audiences regarding American politics, economics, society, culture, and values.

In the wake of the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Williamson will be leading a program titled “Opportunity After Disaster: New Innovation in New Orleans.” The particular topic is one that bonds us with the Japanese, and gives our city the opportunity to demonstrate how entrepreneurship has contributed to our long-term recovery.

“New Orleans has become a leader in economic revitalization and in creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship in the wake of disaster,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu about the city’s representation in Japan. “We are honored to help share our knowledge with other communities going through a recovery process.”

In a few months, The Idea Village will be kicking off its annual Entrepreneur Season and will continue to engage the city’s most promising innovators, network of partners, and community to further foster the regions business culture and strengthened economy. The efforts have already generated more than $100 million in annual revenue and created more than 2,000 jobs in the community since The Idea Village’s inception in 2000.

“Over the last 12 years, New Orleans has fostered a strong entrepreneurial community and we believe that this invitation is great validation that The Idea Village is solidifying itself as a global thought leader in building such robust entrepreneurial ecosystems,” said Williamson.

We can now expect Williamson to ask ask the question, “ What if it works, world?”