Week in Review: June 9, 2014

The Silicon Bayou has been buzzing with tech and entrepreneurial news. Here are the most popular stories published on Silicon Bayou News in the past seven days:

Get Off Your Ass and Build Something

Sidework CEO Max Gaudin writes, “Two years ago I got a desk at Launchpad and as a result immersed myself in the local tech world. I’ve seen a lot of great things happening here. New Orleans has some big opportunities ahead…I just wish we could make more awesome at a faster pace. And I have a short proposal on how to do that.” He believes the problem is that New Orleans is missing more consumer-facing companies. “None of our bigger startups are consumer oriented. I want to be able to use more kickass products that local startups are building here and scaling all over the planet.” Click here to read more about Gaudin’s solution.

Expedia Hopes to See Increase in Travelers Following Opening of New Orleans Hub

Expedia Inc., the parent of Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com and upwards of 170 travel websites, now calls the New Orleans office community Place St. Charles home. Ted Bogan, the initial New Orleans employee for Expedia, says the company plans on “selling the whole city,” rather than just the French Quarter. Now senior marketing manager, he said the company mission aligns with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Expedia hopes to increase the number of visitors to New Orleans with its deals and discounts readily available on hotels, flights, cars and even entire vacations.

Another New Orleans Startup, Dinner Lab, Raises Millions

The increasingly popular dining club Dinner Lab just closed a seed funding round at $2.1 million, which was led by Chairman of the Board at Whole Foods and Director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane, Dr. John Elstrott. Additional angel investors also took part in the round. Dinner Lab is an event platform for consumers looking for next idea in food who want to get connected to the top up-and-coming chefs. The company, which got it start in New Orleans not too long ago, is now in nine other markets including Austin, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, D.C., and Atlanta.

Naked Pizza Co-Founder Crochet Joins Beech Street Capital

Beech Street Capital, a Capital One company, is a multifamily mortgage lender based in Bethesda, Maryland. The company recently announced that Randy Crochet will come on as Vice President of Originations for the New Orleans region. Crochet, an original co-founder of Naked Pizza, will be responsible for work on the multifamily and commercial real estate debt financing side of the company, with an emphasis on FHA programs.

New Orleans BioInnovation Center Welcomes Two New Tenants

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC) on Canal Street has landed two new tenants, Stone Surgical, LLC and LouisianaBio. Stone Surgical LLC handles diagnostics testing for parent company RenaissanceRX.  The company also sells medical device implants in the neuro/spine/orthopedic market space and has plans to expand into stem cells. LouisianaBio is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the promotion and growth of the bioscience industry throughout the state, and to showcasing Louisiana as a premier location for bioscience research, education and industry. LouisianaBio fosters collaboration and interaction among researchers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and institutions across the state.

Trade Secret Theft Accounts For 1-3% of US GDP—Trade Secret Audits A Must

PJ Kee is an associate at the Jones Walker law firm in New Orleans. He and a few colleagues recently launched Trade Secret Insider, which chronicles legal insights on trade secrets, non-competes, computer fraud and confidential data theft. Click here to read more about trade secret theft and audits.

Big Improvements Coming to Apple’s Platforms after WWDC

CotingaSoft’s Barrett Conrad writes, “Apple held its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier this week. We gathered a few fellow enthusiasts at our office and watched the keynote live stream. Although new iPhones, iPads, or the much-rumored iWatch did not make an appearance, what Apple did introduce were significant improvements to their existing software platforms and new features that will change the way you interact with your favorite devices. This year Apple focused on enhancing the iOS and OS X experiences with particular emphasis on improving productivity. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, a VP in a large corporation, or the average consumer, there are many reasons for you to be excited about what’s coming.”

3D Animation Startup Showcases $17 Million Lafayette-Area Park

A Louisiana animation startup, 3rd Dimension Media, has carefully executed the renderings for a brand new, $17 million park in Broussard, La. The company recently showcased the latest portfolio item, St. Julien Park, which will be built on 131 acres of land in the Lafayette Area. As shown, St. Julien will include soccer fields, baseball fields, tennis courts, batting cages and practice areas, volleyball courts, an amphitheater, playgrounds and concession areas.

June Health 2.0 New Orleans Meetup Welcomes Speaker John Wilbanks

Exactly one year ago, Lem Sanders, David Crais, Josh Raley, and Rahlyn Gossen co-founded the local organization Health 2.0 New Orleans, which hopes to catalyze digital health innovation in the city. The group now hosts monthly meetings, the next featuring world-renowned open commons advocate and Tulane alum John Wilbanks. The meeting will take place on June 26th from 5:30 to 8:00 PM at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. Wilbanks is the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks and a Senior Fellow at Faster Cures. He has worked at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the World Wide Web Consortium, the US House of Representatives, and Creative Commons.

Legal Corner: Legal Protection for Your App

Legal Corner is a recurring column in Silicon Bayou News, featuring a discussion of legal issues relevant to entrepreneurs and start-ups. Legal Corner is authored and edited by Michael Balascio, Jimmy Michaels, and Michelle Rutherford, three associates at the New Orleans-based law firm Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C.  The three attorneys have significant experience advising small companies and start-ups with strategic and legal decisions.

365 Connect Announces Apartment Listing Distribution Partnership with RentHop

Leading technology platform provider for the multifamily industry, 365 Connect, has just announced a partnership with the apartment search marketplace RentHop. The platform will now distribute rental listings from its Marketing Syndication Platform to RentHop’s nationwide housing search engine.

Local Kickstarter Sacks Plastic Bags for Good

Contributor Flynn Zaiger writes, “imagine if you took all of the 2.5 million plastic bottles thrown away in the United States every year, you could circle the Earth FOUR times. That’s four times too many for one Louisiana man. Kel Villarrubia embarked on a journey to make his office 100% eco-friendly and he was almost successful. He cut back on office waste, implemented recycling measures and promoted the benefits of sustainable solutions. Unfortunately, the one lingering item in his office was difficult to replace: the plastic sandwich baggie that he brought his breakfast to work in everyday.” So he’s launched a Kickstarter to fix this.