Week in Review: January 13, 2014

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:


Three New Orleanians Grace Forbes 30 Under 30

On January 6th, Forbes released its annual lists of the top 30 under 30, which includes 450 game-changing individuals and teams across 15 industries. Two of the top 30 millennials overhauling education are New Orleans-based. Katie Beck is the COO at 4.0 Schools, the local education incubator. Elliot Sanchez founded mSchool to provide community centers with effective online learning tools. Shane Kupperman, Director of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans, topped the sports list, ranking among other big names such as Shaun White, Lebron James and Rob Gronkowski.

JEDCO Launches Pitch Competition to Engage Local Entrepreneurs

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.

Teen Tech Day is Back and Better than Ever

Teen Tech Day is a one-day interactive conference, created in 2011 by New Orleans Tech, to emphasize math, science, and engineering as tool to enable teens to use technology anywhere from a hobby to a career. It’s designed to help the teens interact with the speakers and each other to get excited about technology. The fourth annual event will be held Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at Delgado Community College.

Yellow Jacket Creates Buzz at CES

Baton Rouge-based Yellow Jacket is the maker of the first-ever stun gun smartphone case. Founders Seth Froom and Sean Simone displayed the older iPhone 4/4S model at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week in Las Vegas. The company is also debuting their brand new iPhone 5/5S model which will be available to purchase in February. At CES, Yellow Jacket announced the launch of their petition urging New York lawmakers to make stun guns legal through change.org.

The 2013 Silicon Bayou 100: Group 2

The Silicon Bayou 100 is 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. Group 3 highlights the third batch of names on the alphabetical list. Thanks again to our sponsors: 365 ConnectNew Orleans Startup FundLaunch PadRon Bienvenu,Eiffel Society and The Idea Village!

Crash-Course for Building Web Applications with Ruby on Rails Comes to New Orleans

Rails Girls is a Ruby on Rails coding course created to help women build their ideas. Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen founded the event-driven company just over three years ago to “empower girls to build the capacity and acquire the tools to conquer the last online frontier.” New Orleans WIT, in partnership with Iconoclast Labs, and sponsored by iSeatz, Revelry Labs, and Federated Sample, will be hosting New Orleans’ first Rails Girls workshop event next month (February 7-9).

New Orleans Filmmakers Spearhead Reddit Documentary, Seek Indiegogo Funding

New Orleans-based Reddit doc seeks to produce a feature-length documentary about reddit’s ripple effect on the web as well as a web series interviewing site users. The web series plans to focus on individuals who use the site and the cities where they live. Plans for r/NewOrleans and r/Chicago episodes are already in the works. The filmmakers are seeking $12,500 through Indiegogo to produce reddit doc. With 22 days left, the documentary has received $2,201 from 40 backers.

First Environment-Proof Speaker to Be Manufactured in Mandeville

One Mandeville company has designed the first environment-proof portable bluetooth speaker. Drytunes is a fully submergable, waterproof and dustproof, speaker system that plays music which can be heard above or below water. The speaker system has been through several rounds of prototyping and real-world testing and is now ready for production. If the Kickstarter goal is met, the $50,000 will be used to purchase components in higher volumes as the company gears up for production in the Mandeville warehouse. With 20 days to go, 61 backers have pledged $16,801 of the $50,000 goal.

Why a Merchant Service Consultant May be Your Best Ally as a New Business in Louisiana

Merchant Service Consultants work on behalf of businesses to maximize the way they accept payments. They regularly set up credit card processing accounts, as well as other forms of payment acceptance. A really good Merchant Service Consultant can also show you how to lower your monthly operating costs while accepting many forms of payment. And a truly great consultant will know what innovative payment processing solutions will attract more of your customers and help you close more deals. For businesses just starting out, it’s crucial that customers be able to use various forms of payment in order to ensure hearty sales upon opening. Plus, any opportunity to save money or secure additional capital has obvious advantages for startups.