Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) has announced its collaboration with First NBC Bank for the second consecutive year to host the annual JEDCO Challenge, a pitch competition showcasing the brightest entrepreneurs living and working in Jefferson Parish with unique ideas that have the high potential to grow and positively impact the area.
JEDCO has also partnered with Jefferson Parish to make the third annual event a success. Out of over 30 applications, five companies have made it to the final pitch competition scheduled during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on March 23rd at Southport Hall beginning at 2:00 PM.
“Jefferson Parish is fortunate to have such a dynamic entrepreneurial community and this competition helps to recognize those companies,” says Jerry Bologna, JEDCO’s Executive Director. “This year’s finalists represent a wide range of industries and talent which showcase the diversity and quality of our startup community.”
Meet the entrepreneurs selected for the 2015 JEDCO Challange:
Pioneered by J. Lowry Curley, PhD and Michael J. Moore, PhD, AxoSim’s advanced “nerve-on-a-chip” technology can determine the level of neurological safety and effectiveness of a new drug early in its development. The company developed a 3D cell-based model that acts and functions like a nerve, which serves as an alternative to costly animal testing or less effective cell models. This “nerve-on-a-chip” gives pharmaceutical companies access to high content data faster, earlier and at a lower cost than currently possible, which increases the chance of clinical success and prevents harmful drugs from reaching vulnerable patients. AxoSim’s ultimate goal is to accelerate medical breakthroughs and improve people’s health.
Cook Me Somethin’ Mister
The Jambalaya Girl’s locally owned family business, Cook Me Somethin’ Mister, is bringing an authentic taste of Greater New Orleans to the world, starting with the company’s easy to prepare jambalaya and gumbo made with the finest ingredients in the region. Drawing from her upbringing in the New Orleans cooking scene and her creation of a nationwide tailgating fundraiser following Hurricane Katrina, owner Kristen Preau, (Jambalaya Girl) created Cook Me Somethin’ Mister from her Dad’s jambalaya recipe. All products are packaged for retail and foodservice with more recipes to come. Distribution is rapidly growing nationally and internationally, as products are currently available in more than 100 grocery stores, 10 Sam’s Clubs, 10 major food service distributors and can be ordered online and on Amazon Prime.
InnoGenomics Technologies is dedicated to the development of innovative genetic testing solutions that solve crimes and save lives. The company’s patented technology has multiple applied science applications, including the ability to enable forensic scientists to unlock answers from the most challenging DNA evidence. Currently, the company is developing a liquid biopsy method to detect and monitor cancer through a minimally invasive blood test. InnoGenomics’ scientific team has in-depth expertise in molecular biology, forensic genetics and molecular diagnostics; and the company’s management team has over 85 combined years of experience in successful biotechnology commercialization. InnoGenomics is focused on harnessing the power of genomics to transform healthcare and forensic investigations.
myMix Nutrition is an e-commerce store that allows individuals and organizations to formulate, and purchase their own custom protein powder products. Created by husband and wife team, Crutcher and Sarah Reiss, myMix Nutrition enlisted the assistance of registered dieticians, licensed nutritionists and internal medicine doctors to review the business plan, ingredient offerings and dosage control systems to ensure product safety. myMix’s menu of available ingredients to mix spans the gamut to fit the needs of any and all health and fitness enthusiasts. myMix is wholly dedicated to delivering the highest quality products, creating transparency and comfort, and tailoring each mix to their customers’ exact needs.
Sock Spot (Pleasantree, LLC)
A family of four loses over 60 pairs of socks a year! Sock Spot is the educational solution to that household problem. Sock Spot is a book and toy combo packaged together to include an organizing toy rack with colorful character sock clips and an illustrated storybook. The Sock Spot installs horizontally or vertically on your washer/dryer or anywhere in your laundry room with kid-friendly suction cups. The book tells an adventure of a boy and his lost sock, which incorporates the same characters found on the toy and a jingle to help kids remember what to do with that single unpaired sock. Sock Spot teaches children order and tidiness, while saving time and money. Each purchase helps to fund autism research and family support.