This post by Blackstone Content Correspondent Summer Suleiman originally appeared on ideavillage.org.
A stirring energy racked the room with bold, red walls on South Rampart that once boasted the likes of jazz legends like Jelly Roll Morton and Buddy Bolden. Just below outside, the neighborhood buzzed with the noise and ruckus of a late afternoon in the city.
But inside — there was laser focus and precision.
Eight people were preparing to stand on stage and share their deeply personal stories with an audience. As entrepreneurs, they’ve spent long days and nights pouring over every aspect of their business. For many of them, it is their livelihood.
For the past three months, their voices have echoed the halls of The IP building, their faces have become fixtures in The Idea Village office. They’ve traveled across the country to share their vision. They have pitched, re-pitched, and ‘three-pitched’. On Tuesday, they put themselves on stage at IDEAx Demo Day. The audience sat back and watched tidy, prepared presentations from the comfort of their seats. They witnessed poised, and energetic entrepreneurs speak confidently about their businesses with seemingly little unease. But for each of the entrepreneurs, many of whom have laid everything on the line, they had worked and prepared relentlessly for that moment. Each one shared their story with a crowd made up of many people who understand the hardships and victories of entrepreneurship.
We know that the journey is different for every individual. And although Demo Day marked the end of this year’s IDEAx program, it is only the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey for AppKrewe, Gustofy, myMix Nutrition, Locally, Remedy Room, Wedocracy, Welcome to College and Where Y’Art.
In addition to their stories, some of the founders shared exciting news and future plans:
Where Y’Art, who launched just one year ago, plans to expand the platform beyond New Orleans and is currently in talks with Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Toronto. Co-founder Collin Ferguson says they plan to expand to 21 other cities over the next two years.
AppKrewe launched the second version of its vacation app and is preparing to launch a second app for expense tracking.
Gustofy is planning a private beta launch next year.
Welcome to College has launched a new website, signed on Loyola and Xavier universities, and will work with About.me on a pilot program in New Orleans.
Check out some of the highlights from Demo Day below.