As part of the annual New Orleans Film Festival, the 50 minute NOLAbound documentary was screened last night at the Joy Theater, showcasing the city as an entrepreneurial hub. 27 people were chosen from four fields — arts-based businesses, digital media, biosciences, and sustainable industries — to come to the city back in March and see what it’s all about.
“You should count your blessings that you live here,” said Charles d’Estries, one of the cohorts. Eight other of the NOLAbounders showed up to last night’s film screening of the documentary, and two have already made a permanent move here. One of the two, Chris Boyd, has only great things to say about the program and the city.
“NOLAbound was the experience of a lifetime, life-altering, and one I am so grateful to have been involved in,” he said. “To have been given that kind of access to ask really important questions to VIP members of the New Orleans business community was priceless. People always ask me what the prize for NOLAbound was, what we got for moving to New Orleans, like it was some sort of game. And I always say the prize was the experience. The reward was being able to participate.”
The premiere was filled with guests who absolutely love the city of New Orleans. Senior Business Development Associate at GNO, Inc., Curry Smith, said the turnout was great. “The enthusiastic reception by the audience was thrilling. The red carpet event was the perfect cap on well over a year’s worth of hard work. From the beginning, the three partner organizations—GNO, Inc., DDD, and Idea Village—were supported by a stellar team, whose dedication, passion, and intelligence made the NOLAbound project such a success. We look forward to this film continuing to carry a message to the world that the New Orleans region is open for business.”
Entrepreneurship in Louisiana, especially New Orleans, is on everyone’s radar. Boyd agrees, saying, “It seems like more and more people are taking the leap and starting their own business in the wake of the Great Recession. And with all of the talk about small businesses being the core of the economy (and recovery) there’s never been a better time to take that chance. In Louisiana we have a tremendous amount of pride in our local businesses, from seafood to startups. One thing that I feel sets Louisiana apart from other business environments is the camaraderie and support you have, even amongst competitors. We all want everyone to win here.”
For more information about the film and program, visit BeNOLAbound.com. Who knows, there might be a chance that this once-in-a-lifetime experience can happen for more of us.