New Orleans Organizations Focus Efforts to Make City a Minority Startup Hub

Screen shot 2014-03-11 at 7.47.10 PMThe brand new initiative PowerMoves.NOLA is about creating power and opportunity through entrepreneurship in New Orleans. The goal is to increase the number of high-growth, minority-owned businesses through connecting entrepreneurs to mentors, financing and technical assistance both locally and nationally.

PowerMoves.NOLA is organized by the New Orleans Startup Fund and supported by a number of sponsors and partners including Chevron, Entergy, Techstars, the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Business Alliance, Urban League of Greater New Orleans, IBERIABANK, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and Louisiana Economic Development.

Lead organizer and New Orleans Startup Fund CEO Leslie Jacobs said, “PowerMoves.NOLA will directly support the burgeoning New Orleans entrepreneurship community by establishing New Orleans as a hub for minority startups and building a stronger ecosystem of support for these entrepreneurs.”

In partnership with Essence Music Festival presented by Coca-Cola, PowerMoves.NOLA will launch on July 4th, 2014 and will feature pitch competitions, networking events, a tech boot camp and fellowship opportunities.

The program features multiple components, including the Chevron PowerMoves Pitch, Entergy Tech Pitch and the Startup Fund Pitch, all offering the winning pitches $25,000 each. Risingstars Boot Camp presented by Techstars will also take place during the week ending in a demo day. Up to five entrepreneurs will be selected to join the Risingstars mentorship program.

“PowerMoves.NOLA is a powerful demonstration that New Orleans is open for business. As the nation’s leader in entrepreneurship, New Orleans is ready to support and empower talented minority entrepreneurs looking to launch and expand their businesses. By spurring innovation, building wealth and creating jobs in our city, this new initiative will become a national model and a catalyst to accelerating economic opportunity and growth for minority businesses,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

According to Rodrick Miller, President and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, “New Orleans’ competitive business climate and unparalleled lifestyle amenities have made it a hotbed for high-growth companies, and this initiative will promote greater participation by underrepresented groups through harnessing all of our local resources to make our economy stronger and more competitive.”

To find out about eligibility requirements, the schedule or more details, visit