Loyola Business Students Working with Brand New Brewery During Entrepreneur Week

IDEAcorps is the nationally-recognized experiential learning program that engages MBA students to provide strategic consulting to select high-growth New Orleans entrepreneurs during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW).

Cajun FireThe Loyola College of Business sent over six students this week to work with Cajun Fire Brewing Company, an independent craft beer producer based right here in New Orleans.

The team includes Michael Barrera, Kevin Gordon, Melissa Gurdian, Nic Hanson, William Mather and Ryan Murphy.

“Loyola University New Orleans is excited to be a part of Idea Village’s 6th Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week,” said team leader Melissa Gurdian.

Gurdian, who is joined by a second team leader Kevin Gordon, explained that Cajun Fire Brewing Company is the second locally owned brewery in New Orleans and the third African American owned brewery in the country.

The Loyola team said they have provided deliverables to Cajun Fire such as pitch practice in preparation for competing for a free year of legal work from Chaffe McCall. They are also filing conversion documents to change the company’s Articles of Incorporation from a C-corp to an LLC in order to better suit their needs.  “Other ongoing projects include locating a facility and negotiating a lease,” said Gurdian. “Securing a facility would be a true pivot-point for Cajun Fire because the company will then be able to begin the permitting process, contracting with a distributor, and generating sales.”

Brewmaster Jon Renthrope and team have plans to move into a location by the fall and open by late 2014.

“Ultimately, the goal of Cajun Fire Brewing Company is to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit and positively exceed expectations of what the population has experienced from the most profound yet misunderstood beverage of civilization. With passion, we are creating a sustainable flagship company that we are confident will be a testament of civic pride for New Orleanians for generations to come,” said Renthrope.

The IDEAcorps team will have a chance to present their work on Friday during the IDEAcorps Pitch. All six teams will have the opportunity for a panel of esteemed business and community leaders to evaluate the work done over the past week.

Also on Friday, Cajun Fire will be present at The Big Idea, the culminating NOEW event that has been called the world’s largest crowdfunding event.


We’d like to thank our sponsors for SBN’s involvement in New Orleans Entrepreneur Week: 365 ConnectFederated Sample, and Peer Partners. Want to be a sponsor? Email Julia@SiliconBayouNews.com! Startup Showcase 2014