Week in Review: December 2, 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:


Launch Pad Proposes Arts and Entrepreneurship Hub for Vacant ArtWorks Building

The failed ArtWorks building, a side project of the Arts Council of New Orleans, has experienced a mainly negative buzz surrounding the project ever since its conception in the 1990s. Fresh plans from a number of bidders will breathe life back into the space. The building will be sold to the highest qualified bidder who will maintain the arts-related, public purpose use of the space. Chris Schultz and other Launch Pad Co-founders, Will Donaldson and Barre Tanguis, intend to support the original spirit of the ArtWorks building. Their plans for a creative hub that includes coworking space, maker space, artist studios, public presentation of arts, large-scale event space and a restaurant could come to life as early as August.

On Demand Car Request Service Uber Receives Praise and Backlash from Local Officials

Word has rapidly spread that Malachai Hull, Director for the City of New Orleans’ Department of Safety and Permits Taxicab and For Hire Vehicle Bureau, and others have threatened Uber with arrests and fines if they enter into the New Orleans market. Uber is a venture-funded, on demand car request service, not a taxi company. The New Orleans community is fighting back. After a cease-and-desist letter was sent to Uber, long before operations in the city were set to begin, dozens have expressed pro-Uber opinions, evencreating a petition to bring the car service to Louisiana.

LSU’s Second Annual Elevator Pitch Competition Won By Grub Drop

Six entrepreneurial-minded students from Louisiana State University (LSU) each presented 90-second business pitches to the four judges, all successful local entrepreneurs, during the annual Elevator Pitch Competition. Grub Drop, a web and smartphone app that allows students to place delivery orders from over 45 local restaurants surrounding campus, took home first place. The idea was created by civil engineering grad student Ayan Mehrotra, who said that 90% of the restaurants in the area do not offer delivery services.

SeNSE’s Shark Tank Flounders Making No Cents

This is a guest post from an anonymous Baton Rouge entrepreneur going by the pseudonym Big Red. Big Red attended SeNSE’s high stakes pitch night during Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week featuring entrepreneurs from Indie Plate, Pixel Dash Studios, TRUE-SEE Systems and Deluxe Temple Extensions. Big Red questions, “Is this truly the best that the Baton Rouge community has to offer?” See the rest of the post here.

Financial Fridays: Marketing Your Business This Holiday Season

Following up on the Entrepreneurship Endeavors column, Hibernia Bank beginning a new chapter for Silicon Bayou with Financial Fridays, where we’ll cover a different financial or sales-related topic every Friday to help Louisiana businesses. Click here to read more.