Week in Review: November 11, 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:


Nominations Now Open for the 2013 Silicon Bayou 100

We’re excited to announce the nominations are now open for the 2013 Silicon Bayou 100, a list of 100 people who have done the coolest stuff in Louisiana entrepreneurship and tech and have most influenced Louisiana’s startup, entrepreneurial, tech, and digital communities this year. Nominate yourself or someone else by filling out this form. The launch party for the 2013 Silicon Bayou 100 will be held at Eiffel Society on December 12th, 2013 in partnership with NOLA Meetup and Net2NO.

Mark Cuban Sells His Slice of Naked Pizza

After three months of finalizing back in 2009, billionaire investor Mark Cuban had invested in New Orleans-based Naked Pizza through the Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan, which was open source funding for companies that needed an extra push to become cash flow positive within 90 days, among other criteria. Mark Cuban spent the last year and a half working to fix what was broken, through a change in ownership and operations, but is ready to move on. Roughly two weeks ago, Cuban sold his shares in Naked Pizza to the owners of the franchise in Washington, D.C.

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

Ten 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. 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 three community judges.

Apptitude to Unveil a Parking and a Food Truck App

Apptitude has announced the release of two news apps created for local companies Premium Parking and the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition. Join Apptitude, Ben Montgomery from Premium Parking and Taylor Jackson from the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition at the “Super NOLA App Launch Party” from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, November 12th. Click here for more details about the app reveal.

Cajuns Call for Cramer’s Head

New Orleans-based private equity firm Spear Point Buyout Group is spotlighting Wall Street financial news and services website TheStreet.com. In a series of letters, Spear Point challenges the company to rework its current structure, including maximizing value for the Common Shareholders. Part of that means going after Jim Cramer, host of CNBC‘s Mad Money and a Co-founder and Chairman of TheStreet, Inc., who co-CEO Ron Bienvenu and team believe is overpaid and underperformed.

Be Well Nutrition Wins ‘Greaux GNO’ Business Plan Competition

Nine finalists pitched at the first “Greaux GNO” business plan competition sponsored by Capital One Bank, in partnership with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans Region and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans on October 18th, 2013. Back in July, Capital One announced the cash awards would go to the owners of the businesses whose plans appear the most creative, innovative and likely to succeed to grow their businesses and create jobs in greater New Orleans. Be Well Nutrition, makers of healthy lifestyle beverage ICONIC, took home the top prize of $20,000.

Startups and Sales Reps

Technology consultant, entrepreneur and newest Silicon Bayou News contributor Michael Johnstone provides his two cents about startups and sales reps. He writes, “Sales are a key vital sign of a business. It’s like taking your temperature. Too hot or too cold and you’re in trouble. A lack of sales is a warning sign that things need to change. So your startup has no sales? Hire a sales rep. Right? Maybe not. Hiring a salesperson for a startup requires a lot of thought and planning. If it’s not the right time, you run the risk of distracting your team, wasting money, and disappointing potential customers.” Click here to continue reading.

Indywood Launches Louisiana Film Series, Plans in the Works for Local Movie Theater

Indywood intersects the film industry and technology, providing crowdfunding for film financing for companies throughout Louisiana. Their goal is to make local filmmaking more creative and lucrative for all parties involved. To add to their online platform for independent films, Indywood is hosting screenings that will take place at the Art House on Saint Claude Avenue. Indywood also eventually wants to build a movie theater to celebrate Louisiana film and music.

Idea Village Launches ‘Food Challenge’

Contributor Jesse Jones announces The Idea Village newest program in his latest post. Taryn’s Crab Cakes Factory, NOLA Pie Guy, Garden District Bloody Marys, Feed Me Eat Pretty, or Creole Crackers have all been selected to take part in the inaugural New Orleans Food Challenge, created by The Idea Village. The Food Challenge, a program that will take place during the 2014 entrepreneur season, is a venture aiming to accelerate the entrepreneurial climate of the food and beverage industry, in partnership with Reily Foods and Rouses Markets.

Play-i Launches Campaign to Fund Robot That Teaches Programming to Kids

Mountain View-based Play-i recently launched a fundraising campaign to help take their robots that teach children programming and computer literacy, Bo and Yana, to the next level. The project that teaches problem solving through hands on playtime is beneficial to all because it will help shape future innovators, leaders, thinkers and creatives. Donations will go towards bringing robots to schools and other organizations. Many Louisiana companies could also benefit from the robots, including Teen Tech Day, Maker State and more.

Entrepreneurship Endeavors Part 2 of 4: Getting Your Business off the Ground

Last week in the first part of the new series written by Hibernia Bank focused on starting a business in New Orleans. This week, the bank discussed the very first week of work. They list a few key tools to help you get started. Find out more here.