10 Promising Startups to Present at Propeller’s PitchNOLA: Community Solutions Competition

PitchNOLA 2013Ten semifinalists have been chosen to participate in the 2013 PitchNOLA: Community Solutions social entrepreneurship challenge. Propeller, in partnership with Tulane A.B. Freeman School of Business and Tulane University Social Innovation Initiatives, have chosen individuals to pitch their sustainable solutions for solving pressing social or environmental challenges in front of a live audience.

2012 PitchNOLA keynote speaker Bill Bohnett provided last year’s entrepreneurs with advice: “Out of chaos comes clarity and opportunity. When you think you have something, go for it, and go for it aggressively.” He inspired the companies and audience to progress in their early stage ventures and to continue trusting their crazy ideas.

The organizers encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs to do the same. The PitchNOLA: Community Solutions semifinalists will pitch on November 19th, 2013 at the Freeman Auditorium on Tulane’s campus. Each company will be pitching for $5,000 and technical assistance from Propeller in front of the following community judges: Judy Reese Morse, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff of the City of New Orleans; Leslie Jacobs, Educate Now! Founder, New Orleans Startup Fund CEO; and John Frazee, Senior Vice President, News Services, CBS News.

In addition to the grand prize winner, the audience will have the opportunity to vote on an Audience Favorite Award with an amount determined by how much is donated the night of the event.

Find out more about each of the ten entrepreneurs pitching below:

  • Troi Bechet – Center for Restorative Approaches – CRA provides communities with training, consulting and direct services which improve communication, build relationships, and allow those most impacted by conflict and crime to develop their own solutions for repairing harm and strengthening their communities.

  • Brandie Burris – Gradient – Gradient provides training and tools to support educators in writing and tracking high-quality goals for students with disabilities.

  • Howard Conyers – iSTEMNOLA – iSTEMNOLA combats the lack of representation in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) of minorities and women by exposing youth to STEM professionals and opportunities.

  • Anushka Das – NOLA Eye Care – We are a social venture seeking to conduct free eye screenings and provide assistance with obtaining prescription glasses to an uninsured, disadvantaged demographic that lacks adequate access to vision care.

  • Collin Ferguson – Where Y’art – Where Y’Art is a curated digital gallery, marketplace and educational resource for artists, craftsmen and designers in New Orleans.

  • Larry Irvin – Brothers Empowered 2 Teach – BE2T works to incentivize choosing education as a career path for black men and close the achievement gap for school-age at-risk children by providing in-class role models.

  • Michelle McCarthy – DrinkOnUs – DrinkOnUs aims to create a portable device that is able to discretely detect common date-rape drugs in alcoholic drinks in order to reduce sexual assault

  • Karina Nathan – I Heart Louisiana – I Heart Louisiana LLC provides a model of economic, ecological and cultural sustainability by elevating creativity, increasing community involvement and connecting Krewes to locally sourced Mardi Gras throws.

  • Teddy Nathan – Crescent City Connections – Crescent City Connections customizes volunteer experiences in New Orleans for visiting and local groups to offer support to local non-profits.

  • Andrew Ryan – BeneFit – BeneFit motivates individuals to live healthier lifestyles by allowing them to donate money, based on the number of calories they expend, to organizations that alleviate world hunger.

For information about PitchNOLA: Community Solutions, click here.