New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) kicked off this past Saturday (March 22) with Youth Entrepreneurship Day, a partnership between Google for Education, Brees Dream Foundation, Junior Achievement, and inNOLAvation.
The Junior Idea, an entrepreneurial pitch competition hosted by Junior Achievement and The Idea Village, was a collaborative effort to get students involved in NOEW. The inaugural competition awarded Madison Hannan, a senior at Mount Carmel, $10,000 for her company that creates customized high-waisted shorts from recycled jeans, Infinite Designs Clothing.
“The goal is to promote an entrepreneurial ecosystem within our young people to support the best generation of entrepreneurs and ensure that New Orleans remains the coolest startup city in America,” said Jack Brancewicz, president of Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans.
Students are prepared for this venture through Junior Achievement’s Be Entrepreneurial curriculum, a hands-on program that had over 1,400 students participants this year. The program, taught by business volunteers and teachers, aims to help students turn ideas into business plans.
The Junior Idea had more than 70 applicants that were narrowed down to the “sweet sixteen” entrepreneurs who then pitched on March 16th for a shot at the final four round.
Hannan pitched her idea along with three other teams of finalists that included students from Archbishop Chapelle, St. Mary’s Dominican and Warren Easton. All of the finalists received $2,500 to continue their entrepreneurial journeys along with paid summer internships with a New Orleans company.