Week in Review: July 29, 2013

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:


We’re Excited to Announce the First-Ever NOLATech Fest!

A dedicated group of New Orleanians from all professions and parts of the city have been working together to plan the first ever “NOLATech Fest,” which will celebrate and highlight all of the amazing ways that New Orleans can, will, and already does implement technology to better everyone’s personal and professional lives. NOLATech Fest is for the entire city. It is intended to help every business and individual realize how exciting New Orleans’ involvement in the world’s tech community already is, and how much more it can become. Events will range from job fairs and keynote speakers, to happy hours and hackathons. For a quick overview of NOLATech Fest, click here.

New Orleans Private Equity Group Spear Point to Jim Cramer’s TheStreet: “We Will Bayou!”

New Orleans-based private equity group Spear Point announced  that on July 9th, 2013 they sent a letter to the Board of Directors at TheStreet, challenging its current strategy and suggesting a rework. Spear Point suggested that TheStreet hire an outside financial advisor to seek alternatives for the company, including a potential sale. Spear Point Founders Ron Bienvenu and and Nic Perkin respect the company’s fundamentals, but largely see untapped value. The Co-CEOs see the potential and have even mentioned that they will make a bid for the company.

Crowdfunding Platform Equity Endeavor Seeks 5 Companies for New Orleans Launch

Using the idea of a crowdfunding user network to grow businesses, one startup is taking the search for funding to the local level. Founded by two Harvard Business School students, Broderick McClinton and Eric Sonnier, Equity Endeavor is city-specific, rewards-based crowdfunding platform that has targeted both Austin and New Orleans as pilot cities. The founders said they chose New Orleans because of its high rate of entrepreneurial activity, the city’s connectedness among the community, and their personal connections to the city. To launch, Equity Endeavor is seeking five companies to sign up in each city. Quality over quantity is key for Equity Endeavor, according to McClinton.

Dr. Karen DeSalvo Keynotes at Health 2.0

New Orleans’ health tech scene continues to grow as seen at Health 2.0’s inaugural meeting at the BioInnovation Center. The anticipated keynote speaker was Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Commissioner of Health in New Orleans and Professor of Medicine at Tulane School of Medicine. “Data is so important. Innovation is critical,” said DeSalvo in front of a packed audience. DeSalvo spoke of the impact of Hurricane Katrina on producing opportunities to change the health sector.

Software Development Company Susco Announces Search for Two New Hires

Neel Sus, CEO of custom software development company Susco, has announced the company is hiring two developers. “I’m happy to say that Susco is growing fast and we are looking to go from 13 to 25 employees over the next 12 months,” said Neel Sus, CEO at Susco. Sus says they are currently hiring .NET developers and project managers, both are full-time, based in New Orleans positions.

Codemkrs Founder Honored at White House Open Government and Civic Hacking Champions of Change Event

Serial entrepreneur Travis Laurendine was  recognized at the White House as an open government and civic hacking “Champion of Change” event last week. Alongside other entrepreneurs, innovators, organizers and community leaders, Laurendine was highlighted at the event for building high-tech tools to help, “health workers and disaster-response crews better serve communities; piloting innovative programs to involve traditionally disengaged communities in local governance; using new technologies to enhance government transparency and collaboration; and more,” according to a statement made by the White House.

LAHC: A New Health Plan Comes to Louisiana to Benefit Startup Employees and Freelancers

Louisiana Health Cooperative’s (LAHC) mission is to promote community health and well-being by engaging the members and providers it serves in the valued delivery of high quality, integrated health care services. LAHC will provide an affordable and accessible health insurance option for Louisiana’s technology professionals, especially those that do not benefit from group health insurance. The non-profit was selected in September 2012 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create and operate a Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan (CO-OP) statewide.

Proxus Management Selects New Orleans-Based 365 Connect Platform for Services

New Orleans-based 365 Connect, an online technology platform provider for the multifamily industry, announced it has been selected by Proxus Management to provide its online marketing, leasing and resident services platform across its managed portfolio. Proxus was founded in April 2012 and uses the latest technology to streamline and minimize overhead and operational expense.

Senator Landrieu Holds Roundtable to Support Startups and Entrepreneurs in Tax Reform Debate

Louisiana native and brother to Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Senator Mary Landrieu, Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held a roundtable last week to help give small businesses a voice in the tax reform debate. The roundtable, entitled “Small Business Tax Reform: Making the Tax Code Work for Entrepreneurs and Startups,” is one of the many ways Senator Landrieu works to increase the number of startups and assist existing small businesses.

Bossier City’s ArcMail Teams with Tech Industry Leader Gartner, Debuts e-Newsletter

In partnership with information technology research and advisory firm Gartner, Bossier City-based email archiving solution company ArcMail has announced the availability of the ArcMail Enterprise Archiving e-newsletter titled “No File Left Behind: Information Governance In An Evolving Business World.” The e-newsletter will feature exclusive and complementary tech industry research from Gartner  titled “Organizational Collaboration and the Right Retention Policies Can Minimize Archived Data and Storage Demands,” on the topic of best practices for information archiving and data retention for businesses.