By: Lemar Arceneaux, NOEW correspondent.
If the future of New Orleans is one of your concerns, you have no need to worry.
The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge, presented in partnership with The Idea Village and Junior Achievement of New Orleans, and the Brees Dream Foundation, wants to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow are equipped to bear the torch for their generation.
Yesterday, the The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge kicked off New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. As the upper level of Manning’s filled up, and people, took their places, a word from Drew Brees (via video) set the tone for the event. Brees ensured the final four presenters that the outcome of the competition would not be the determining factor of their success.
“Failure ends up being your greatest teacher,” says Brees.
Although each of the four finalists were worthy of accolades, only one took home the $15,000 in prizes that over 100 groups and individuals competed for. The winner of the challenge walked away with a $10,000 education based grant, as well as $5,000 awarded to their school.
NOLA Next: Young Innovators Experience was hosted by Julia Stewart, Director of Programs for Propeller. She was joined by a panel of six guest judges, among them were John “Spud” McConnell, Suzanne Alford, Tim Williamson, Joan Y. Davis, Nicolas R. Perkin, and Todd Matherine. The judges offered encouragement to all of the contestants participating in the challenge. They raised questions and offered feedback to help each of the finalists as they take their idea into the next stage.
First up was Miss Modest on the Move. Emily Faschan and Katie Scholz of Mount Carmel Academy have designed a mobile startup after they found that it was difficult for young girls to find appropriate formal wear to fit their fashion needs while meeting their schools’ dress code.
The second group to pitch was the New Orleans High School Job Association. Claudia Allain, Michael Kuckyr, Hasson Simmons, and Rikia Stewart from International High School set out to help bridge the gap between employers and students seeking part-time employment after school or during the summer.
Maygan Miguez of St. Mary’s Dominican pitched her idea, Style Straps, next. Similar to Miss Modest on the Move, Style Straps attempts to solve the problem of showcasing your style while complying to the dress regulations of each school. The minimal straps that can be added to any strapless garment to make both fashionistas and school authorities proud, said Maygan.
Last but not least was Team Sport Spot, also from Mount Carmel Academy. Pooja Lalwani and Gabby Welty are committed to helping students keep up with the score of their favorite teams, via an app in which game attendees can access to update the statistics in real time.
Although every presentation was spot on, it was Maygan Miguez with Style Straps that was named the 2015 Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge winner. Maygan is only a freshman at Mount Carmel, but this was her second year competing as a finalist in the competition.
“I’m truly amazed to see how much hard work pays off,” Maygan said, after wiping the tears from her eyes.
With her track record, it’s safe to say that we have not seen the last from Maygan Miguez and Style Straps.
Congratulations to Maygan and all of the finalists from the 2015 Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge.