inNOLAvation is a local non-profit that was created to facilitate innovation within the minority community. The organization created the inNOLAvation Challenge last year to encourage high-growth businesses within the community.
The second annual challenge, hosted in partnership with The Idea Village during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), will take place this Saturday, March 22nd at 10:45 AM at Gallier Hall.
Participating schools include, Algiers Technology Academy, Lake Area Charter and Joseph S. Clark.
“Given the surge of entrepreneurship and youthful innovation undertaking New Orleans, the inNOLAvation Challenge was an opportunity to get our students involved. The students were presented with an opportunity to create something that solves a social problem,” said Kyle Coapman, Biology and Physics teacher at Lake Area Charter. “Our students bought in and were willing to commit.”
This year’s competition will be held using a science fair format in which teams will have their own stations and be supplied with equipment to assist with visual presentations. All three schools will present for five minutes at their respective stations and be evaluated on creativity in addressing a problem, presentation, and business potential.
The top placing school will receive a prize package including getting their project developed into a mobile application and they will receive ongoing technical assistance from a local organization to assist with business planning, legal, accounting, and marketing services.
“Innovation does not discriminate based on age, race, or gender. All that is required is a willingness to work hard, a commitment to problem solving, and a hunger to create,” said Ethan Ashley, Outreach Coordinator at the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and member of inNOLAvation. “Exposing minority students to business opportunities that encourage creativity, social conscience, and critical thinking will pay dividends in the future. We need to figure out how to make sure every child gets this type of enlightenment.”
“IT remains inaccessible as a career opportunity for too many Americans and this goes double for low-income communities of color,” said Adrian Morgan, CEO of Algiers Charter School Association. “InNOLAvation is removing the mystery and not just addressing the digital divide, but building a bridge that allows our students to get from one side to the other.”