The Silicon Bayou has been buzzing with tech and entrepreneurial news. Here are the most popular stories published on Silicon Bayou News in the past seven days:
Thirteen years after the Idea Village was founded, over one hundred global leaders gathered for the 2013 Entrepreneur Ecosystem Summit at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week to discuss the city’s growing ecosystem. After tragedy comes clarity and rebirth. Post Katrina, New Orleans is showing the country what it looks like when people come together to fix old problems in new ways. The city is an economic engine of entrepreneurship, according to Mayor Landrieu. Whether in education, healthcare, or technology, New Orleans is experiencing a new wave and a reorganization that, “happened because of the entrepreneurial spirit.” Walter Isaacson proposed a third wave of entrepreneurship in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu said, “we had a first wave and we had a second wave…obviously we can have a third.”
If you have big dreams and crazy ideas, New Orleans is the place to make them happen. On the last day of Entrepreneur Week, thousands gathered to support the remaining events, including The Big Idea, where 15 companies were vying for $50,000 in seed capital. As Tim Williamson, CEO and Co-founder of Idea Village, prepared to announce the winner, he first announced, “a little twist.” He said, “We’ve actually got another $50,000 that’s been donated.” So both Lorenzo Castillo from Education Everytime and Erik Frank from Your Nutrition Delivered walked away winners at the Big Idea.
March 18th, 2013 marked the third annual Water Challenge Day, a collaboration between The Idea Village and the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) that aims to identify and support entrepreneurial solutions that apply innovative approaches to how we live with water. The theme of the day is inspiration, innovation, and leadership.Webster Pierce of Pierce Industries won the $50,000 in seed funding at the 2013 Water Challenge for his patented coastal protection and restoration system. “As you know, Louisiana has a serious problem with coastal restoration,” said Pierce. “I have a vision where we can stop coastal erosion and we can protect it as well.”
Six minority-owned businesses participated in the inNOLAvation Challenge this afternoon, all vying for the first and second place prizes, $12,000 and $7,000 respectively. inNOLAvation was created to encourage and facilitate innovation within the minority community. Private communication platform Memorandom won the top prize after being selected to participate in the lightning round. Second place went to Snapp, an app that contained user-generated “snapcons.” An additional $3,000 was donated and went to Joyhound, an app that allows users to, “search, discover, and share the best of today,” took home the prize.
The Urban League of Greater New OrleansWomen in Business Challenge is focused on educating and empowering women entrepreneurs in the city. The Challenge Pitch that took place last week is the culmination of the Urban IDEACenter four-month business program that selected ten women to participate in the inaugural 2013 cohort. Nicole Balthazar, Founder of DyverseCity took home the $10,000 prize. Her company operates an affordable space for a cultural arts program. The warehouse is home to creative art-and-culture-focused entrepreneurs.
Eight schools were chosen this year to participate in the Idea Village’s nationally recognized MBA experiential learning program, IDEAcorps. Teams of MBAs from Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Loyola, Stanford, Tulane, and Yale are providing direct strategic consulting to New Orleans entrepreneurs throughout New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW). The Tulane MBAs were assigned to work with IDEAxcelerator company eTax Credit Exchange, which recently launched in the Louisiana market to be the premiere online marketplace for buying and selling tax credits.
March 19th marked the inaugural Gleason Challenge at Gallier Hall which seeks to, “challenge inventors, entrepreneurs, investors and scientists to create technology that provides solutions for people with disabilities, right here in New Orleans.” “Steve Gleason is an inspiration to our community and now he’s an inspiration to the entrepreneurial community,” said Tim Williamson, CEO of Idea Village. Gleason has framed the problem of lack of technology solutions and is having these entrepreneurs catalyze it.
Louisiana’s Online Lagniappe last week covered Amanda Trotenberg’s #NOEW2013 tweets, 3D Na’tee, and Key Models & Talent Agency. The lagniappe’s lagniappe went to Louisiana’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Bayou Regional which happened over the weekend. Is your Louisiana-based business doing absolutely wonderous things online? Send Flynn Zaiger of Online Optimism a note at Flynn@onlineoptimism.com and it just might be included in next week’s column.
There is still tons of additional content on SiliconBayouNews.com about Entrepreneur Week, including videos, quick pitches, and more information about the challenges and winners. For more, click here.