Everything You Need to Know About The Big Idea

This post by Blackstone Content Correspondent Summer Suleiman originally appeared on ideavillage.org.

A shot from the stage at last year's The Big Idea.

A shot from the stage at last year’s The Big Idea.

Every year, we close out New Orleans Entrepreneur Week presented by IBERIABANK, with The Big Idea, a crowd-driven pitch extravaganza. But this year, we’re doing things a little bit differently. Here’s what you need to know:

Who selects the companies that make it to The Big Idea?

This year, YOU get to decide who makes it to the big event! 22 local startups have been nominated by The Idea Village and our partners, including *4.0 Schools, Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Propeller, JEDCO, VetLaunch, and the Downtown Development District, but only 12 will make it to Fulton Street for The Big Idea.

Where can I vote for The Big Idea nominees?

All of the nominees are currently featured on NOLA.com’s exclusive Big Idea voting platform (for easy access, visit www.nola.com/big-idea). The entire community is invited to go vote for their favorite startups once a day through Monday, March 23rd at 8 p.m. The 12 community picks, as determined by the gross number of votes received, will go on to participate in The Big Idea.

Where can I learn more about the companies?

Check out each of the nominee’s elevator pitches here

How much are tickets for The Big Idea?

Tickets to the event are usually $35 but starting today, the first 2,000 purchased with the code “FIRST2000” at checkout are just $25. Your ticket gets you a $25 voting chip (which is real money!) that you can allocate to the business of your choice, as well as a wristband that gives you access to food and drink specials from all of the bars and restaurants along Fulton Street. Once all of the chips have been dropped (make sure to drop yours by 6:30 p.m.), the 3 audience favorites, based on the number of chips received, will be invited on stage for a lightning round when they will make a final pitch to a celebrity judging panel. The panel will pick a winner, who will walk away with an additional $25,000 in startup capital.

Where can I purchase my tickets?

You can purchase your tickets here

For easy access, here’s a little bit of background information on each of this year’s Big Idea nominees:

  • ORA Estuaries Growing oyster reefs into coastal protection infrastructure
  • Hype Academy Homeschool, tutoring, and educational resource center
  • Greenman Dan: Landscaping system that harvest rain to reduce flooding
  • Earth Prime Recirculating hydroponic system for home-growing fresh produce
  • Sock Spot Book/toy combo that helps kids and parents keep track of socks
  • Young Scholars Educational enrichment program for families who homeschool
  • CAD Printing Customized design and printing for garments, signs, banners and more
  • Big Easy Bucha First commercially available kombucha made in Louisiana
  • Remedy Room Multiple hydrating therapies to energize and detoxify
  • Balance Barre A fitness studio, juice bar and wellness store in one

Who do you think has the next BIG IDEA to come out of New Orleans?

Join on us on Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m. to see all the action unfold!

In the meantime, follow @hellonoew for the latest NOEW 2015 news, and join the conversation with #NOEW2015!