Five Finalists Selected for Water Challenge During New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

Issues with water, especially in Louisiana, are prevalent. Residents are often tasked with the best methods and solutions to deal with excess water, lack thereof, restoration, protection and more.

Water Challenge 2015The Water Challenge initiative is a collaboration between Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, The Idea Village and the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) that aims to identify and support entrepreneurial solutions that apply innovative approaches to how we live with water.

Each year during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week one day is designated as Water Challenge Day. Not only do organizations, environmentalists, and industry leaders gather to discuss better solutions for how we live with water, but there is also a pitch competition where the top water entrepreneurs compete live.

Propeller released that finalists were selected out of 13 water entrepreneurs in Propeller’s intensive Social Venture Accelerator and participants in the Water Challenge Peer Mentorship Program, a 12-week mentorship and peer-learning program to help non-profit and for-profit water innovators gain the business expertise they need to launch their startups.

Five finalists have been selected for the competition that will take place at The Chicory on Fulton Street on Monday, March 23, 2015. They offer innovative ideas for wetland and marshland restoration, storm protection, and rain harvesting, hoping to take home the $10,000 prize after the pitch courtesy of GNOF.

After 5 years, the Greater New Orleans Foundation is still excited to support the Water Challenge,” says Ella Delio, director of environmental and regional initiatives at the GNOF. “By backing these social enterprises, we’re building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that encourages the growth of innovative, locally-rooted solutions to our water challenges and contributes to the sustainable development of the Greater New Orleans area.” 

Meet the five Water Challenge finalists below:

Advanced Berm Technologies, Don and Jon Adams

Creating a process of berm design and deployment that will increase the rate at which marshes are restored.

Magnolia Land Partners, Mark Bernstein

Developing critical wetland restoration projects in Louisiana through the sale of mitigation credits.

Greenman Dan Inc., Dan Johnson

An underground rainwater containment system that makes it simple and easy to solve water runoff problems while reducing landscape irrigation costs.

Wetland Resources, LLC, Gary Shaffer and Demetra Kandalepas

Providing storm protection to coastal Louisiana through massive planting of hurricane-resistant baldcypress and water tupelo.

Riverbottom Tech, John Tesvich

Creating innovative technology for restoring and maintaining coastal areas intelligently and on a sustainable basis.