Week in Review: November 25, 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:


Custom Volunteer Experience Venture Wins Thousands at PitchNOLA

The 2013 PitchNOLA: Community Solutions took place last week with ten semifinalists pitching for $5,000. The Center for Restorative Approaches, which is working in schools to build positive cultures and provide character building solutions to conflict and violence, Crescent City Connections, a venture that customizes volunteer experiences in New Orleans, and NOLA Eye Care, which seeks to conduct free eye screenings and provide assistance to the disadvantaged demographic, all made it to the second go-around on stage to face the judges. Crescent City Connections was then announced the winner of a $5,000 cash prize, pro bono technical assistance, and consulting through Propeller.

MiniVax Wins 2nd Annual BioChallenge During Innovation Louisiana Conference

Innovation Louisiana, the life science entrepreneurship conference for regional researchers, investors and startups, kicked off yesterday with the second annual BioChallenge. Four emerging companies pitched at the event hosted by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. Local biotechnology startup MiniVax took home the top prize package worth more than $20,000 in cash, legal services, office space and consulting services. The company is developing a treatment for Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), a deadly fungal infection that affects immunocompromised patients.

With Tremendous International Support, iPad App for Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan is Released

Three years ago, Louisiana’s Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit provided $2.5 million in funding for Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) to develop the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan. Utilizing New Orleans architecture firm Waggonner and Ball, along with international water management experts, the plan was developed. GNO Inc. and the Royal Netherlands Embassy have announced the launch of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan iPad app, which is now available for download in the Apple Store.

Silicon Bayou Highlighted on BBC News

Last week, BBC correspondent and videographer Leigh Paterson headed south to talk tech and revitalization in New Orleans. She visited the city to see how technology is making an impact eight years after Hurricane Katrina and nearly 300 years after the city was founded. Paterson interviewed key players in the tech scene including Brent McCrossen, CEO of Audiosocket, Kenneth Purcell, Founder and CEO of iSeatz, Jen Medbery, Founder and CEO of Kickboard and Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. Watch the video here.

Eight Finalists Picked for 4th Annual Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge

Google for Entrepreneurs and The Brees Dream Foundation, in partnership with The Idea Village, announced the eight high schools accepted into the fourth annual  Trust Your Crazy Idea Challenge. The after-school entrepreneurship program is designed to inspire young entrepreneurs. Schools participating in the 2013-2014 program include: Cohen College Prep High School, Edna Karr High School, International High School of New Orleans, Isidore Newman School, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School, St. Augustine High School and St. Martin’s Episcopal School.

Louisiana Press Association Partners with GistCloud

The Louisiana Press Association has partnered with GistCloud to provide a new press release distribution service. The partnership will incorporate GistCloud’s intermedia communications and press release platform, including video, audio, documents, photos and web pages, with the statewide and regional distribution service provided by the Association.

UNO Computer Science Faculty Earn National Awards at Information Security Conference

Six of the University of New Orleans computer science department faculty members took home national awards at the annual international conference covering research theory and applications of information security in Dallas. Four members won best paper at the Information Security Conference (ISC) and two earned the outstanding research awards by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Click here for more details.

Gartner Includes ArcMail in Annual Enterprise Information Archiving Report

Email archiving solution company, ArcMail Technology, has announced its inclusion in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving (EIA) for the second year in a row. According to the Magic Quadrant for EIA, released on November 5th, “Organizations that have successfully implemented email archiving have seen associated benefits in their ability to better organize their data, eliminate PC-based storage, find information when they need it, produce it in response to a discovery request, and, as a side benefit, reduce the size of their primary and secondary storage environments.”

Health Tech Panelists Say Digital Healthcare in New Orleans is Growing

Contributor Catherine Nguyen wrote, “While consumers are showing more interest in wearable health devices and entrepreneurs are proposing novel ways to cut cost in the medical system, there are still several opportunities (and obstacles) for players in the digital health sector according to the participants of Tuesday’s healthcare tech panel at the life science entrepreneurship conference, Innovation Louisiana. The panelists include VoiceHIT CEO Dr. Peter Ragusa, LHCQF Director Colby LeMaire, and Alisa Chestler, attorney at Baker Donelson Attorneys.” Find out what the panel, led by Health 2.0 New Orleans Co-founder Rahlyn Gossen, had to say here.

Verizon App Challenge Seeks Best STEM-Related Apps Created by Middle, High School Students

The Verizon Foundation, in partnership with the Technology Student Association, has launched the second ever Innovative App Challenge. The challenge targets middle and high school student who will create apps focused on engaging students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. The STEM-related app concepts should aim to solve real-world problems in the students’ community or school. Submissions will be accepted now through December 3rd, 2013. To submit an idea, visit  www.verizonfoundation.org/appchallenge.

Entrepreneurship Endeavors Part 4 of 4: Growing a Business

The final part of Hibernia Bank’s entrepreneurship endeavors series is dedicated to helping New Orleans & Louisiana entrepreneurs make sense of their financials as they grow their business from launch. If you missed any of the first three parts, make sure you learn about starting your businessyour first week, and your first taxes. “Most new businesses close within five years of operation. It is a risk that comes with the territory, but it may arrive as a shock nonetheless. Managing a business takes hard work, determination and a little bit of luck. Everyone has a grand idea when they open a business. Our first three weeks covered how to turn that idea into reality. This fourth and final article will discuss how to turn that reality into your dream.” Read more here.