Another influx of technologists, business owners, and startup enthusiasts are in New Orleans this week for Inc Magazine’s Grow Your Company Conference (GrowCo). In a mix of business presentations, book signings, networking, and a pitch competition, Inc hopes to help attendees see potential in business and work towards a successful future with help from seasoned entrepreneurs.
The fast-paced, 90-second pitch competition, Enrich Your Pitch, wrapped up Thursday’s sessions during GrowCo. Inc’s all-star panel of seasoned experts included Howard Tullman, Nord Brodsky, and Allison Fass and was hosted by Scott Case.
Ten companies were vying for a prize package valued at $3,390 including a private mentoring session with a GrowCo speaker, coverage of their company on Inc.com, a check for $2,000 courtesy of Miller Lite, and two passes to the 2013 Inc. 500|5000 Conference. Companies were judged on the follow criteria: presentation (15 points), problem solving (35 points), capability (35 points), and quality of ask (15 points).
An indoor inflatable playground and party space company called BooKoo Bounce took home the prize. Gene Sausse founded the company in 2008 with one location in Harahan and is looking to expand now with help from the pitch competition.
BooKoo has held over 4,000 birthday parties and now average around 27 parties per weekend. BooKoo won Innovator of the Year Award from New Orleans City Business and is a recent graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Sausse said franchising is their ultimate goal.
Sausse did not mention exactly how much BooKoo needs to raise to open a second location, but the second location is likely to be a hit. They already operate on an online Point of Sale system that he says works well with their current traffic and revenue, said to be around $650,000 per year.
For more information about BooKoo, visit Bookoobounce.com
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