The JEDCO Challenge, an entrepreneurial pitch competition created by the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and sponsored First NBC Bank, is only in its second year and already making a splash at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW).
Over 40 applicants were narrowed down to the five finalists that pitched yesterday (March 25) at Southport Hall: PortaVision, Advano, The Collector, GetHealthy and MobileQubes.
NOEW, produced by The Idea Village, is host to over 50 entrepreneurship-related events throughout the week. The JEDCO Challenge provides local entrepreneurs with a platform in Jefferson Parish to showcase their early-stage ventures.
PortaVision Medical, makers of the digital X-ray system that improves the quality of care for premature babies, won the second annual challenge.
David Bode, the company’s Director of Strategy and Finance, presented the winning pitch. Bode is a current Tulane business student and was previously involved with NOEW as a member of the school’s IDEAcorps team last year.
Bode works alongside PortaVision founder and President Terry Ancar who designed and manufactured the NeoRay Portable Digital X-Ray System that consists of a portable flat panel digital receptor integrated with a compact yet powerful full feature workstation. The small-sized system is a solution to the traditional, 1,200 pound X-ray devices used in Neonatal Intensive Care which are also used on adults.
The system, which is saves imaging time and reduces infant radiation exposure, is currently in several hospitals across the country.
“This is a truly momentous occasion for PortaVision Medical,” says PortaVision founder and CEO Terry Ancar. “This has been a process six years in the making. Winning the JEDCO Challenge presents a huge opportunity for this company and we look forward to putting the prize package to good use. We want to thank JEDCO and Jefferson Parish for their support and look forward to improving healthcare for premature babies in Jefferson Parish and across the region for many years to come.”
PortaVision won a prize package worth almost $80,000 in cash and business services, including a $20,000 cash prize from First NBC Bank, professional accounting and tax services, facilitated planning, 20 hours of public relations services, 12 hours of strategic competitive intelligence research, legal hours from Baker Donelson and much more.
“I am impressed with the quality of the startups that participated in the JEDCO Challenge. All of the entrepreneurs involved in the Challenge represent the future wave of business leaders in Jefferson Parish and we look forward to seeing all of them find success in our community,” says Jerry Bologna, JEDCO Executive Director. “PortaVision truly proved its capacity to grow and positively impact Jefferson Parish through its neonatal x-ray system. JEDCO will remain at the ready to support PortaVision, and all of the small businesses involved in the Challenge, as they continue to move forward to the next level of success.”
More information about the 2014 finalists is available here.