NOLA Meetup Preview: Four Entrepreneurs in Love with New Orleans

NOLA Meetup is excited to announce its four guest speakers for this evening, Ralph Maurer, Executive Director of Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship and a Professor at Tulane; Gerard Ramos, Founder of Unawkward and Revelry Labs; Andrew Legrand, contributing SBN writer and Founder of Andrew Legrand Law, LLC, a virtual firm; and Abid Hussain, also a lawyer and Founder of Hussain Law.

Whether you want to learn more about converting to a corporation, entrepreneurship and its connection to Tulane, or more about hiring and working with a developer, this event is a must. We caught up with each speaker to find out their role in the entrepreneur community in New Orleans and what they hope to get out of speaking at NOLA Meetup.

Maurer came to New Orleans after his wife was offered a position Tulane and has since been an integral part of the entrepreneurial community. He was able to get back into research and teaching through returning to the Levy-Rosenblum Institute after a visit a few years back. Maurer’s favorite part of the tech and entrepreneurial community is the access we all have here. No one is off limits, which is a strong factor New Orleans has when competing against other innovation hubs. “Tulane is a fabulous place to work,” says Maurer, “and New Orleans has to be the most interesting city to be in at this time in history.”

Legrand, along with most New Orleans residents, agrees that there has never been a better time to live here. He’s spreading the word about his firm and helping small businesses and startups understand the why registering as a corporation is almost always the best bet. As far as his words of wisdom he tells entrepreneurs, he says you must always be learning. “Every entrepreneur will fail at one point, but the successful entrepreneurs are the ones who learn from failure and come back stronger the next time.”

In a city as one-of-a-kind as New Orleans, it’s important to stay true to that uniqueness when looking to start a company. Hussain has helped set up more than 150 small businesses and he tells them to remain true to the city’s DNA. “Don’t play it safe. Be unique and stand out,” he said. He has eight years of high-tech and web development experience, and some of his knowledge he will be sharing with us tonight. He hopes to provide valuable information and services to help many more small businesses grow over time.

Ramos had many reasons to move back to the city. Lagniappes, Hack Night, and the fact that many of the residents are underdogs on their way to doing something epic are some of those forces that bring people here and keep them here. He will be speaking on behalf of the developer community here and the importance of its need to keep getting bigger. “The city is very developer friendly. We definitely have top talent here, but we need more. The awesomeness of the city and low cost of living is not enough to justify engineers taking lower salaries to move here.  As entrepreneurs we need to think bigger, tackle more challenging problems and build companies that will entice top talent to move and stay here.”

One of the things each speaker wants to get out of tonight’s meetup is networking, bridging the gap between work communities and personal circles, startups and other entrepreneurs, universities and businesses. Another is how New Orleans is clearly on the cusp of something, ever-evolving into new forms of entrepreneurship and success. We look forward to seeing everyone tonight at 6:00 pm!