Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) has announced they have opened applications for the second ever JEDCO Challenge, a pitch competition showcasing the brightest entrepreneurs living and working in Jefferson Parish with unique ideas that have the high potential to grow and positively impact the area. The Challenge will be held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on March 25th, 2014. The application is now open online.
“The goal is really to engage with a lot of the entrepreneurs that live and work in Jefferson Parish and to provide them with a platform to promote their businesses,” said Kelsey Scram from JEDCO. “It’s also an opportunity for our business leaders and investors to see what kind of new talent we have in our community.” It’s about increasing the economic activity in the community through entrepreneurship, Scram continued.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Must live, work or have a strong presence in Jefferson Parish
Must generate less than $1 million in revenue
Must have less than 10 employees
Must be a for-profit company
“Entrepreneurs are the future of Jefferson Parish and we will do everything we can to best assist them as they grow,” says JEDCO Executive Director Jerry Bologna. “This entrepreneur challenge provides us with a platform to better connect with the future leaders of our Jefferson Parish business community. It is exciting for JEDCO to play a role in helping these companies find success in Jefferson Parish and we look forward to providing a continuous support system in the future.”
Applications are due by February 7th, 2014. Finalists will be chosen at the end of February, leaving them with an additional month for pitch preparation and business plan assistance. They will then have a chance to pitch in front of a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders for seven minutes each.
Scram also mentioned the excitement brewing this year after the tremendous success the first annual competition was. Last year’s competition was created out of a challenge designed by Cordina New Orleans Cocktails, dubbed the Cordina Challenge. The winner was Billy Bosch of Be Well Nutrition, who received over $50,000 in capital and in-kind services.
Information about criteria, event sponsorship and more is available here.