Gator & Crane Wins Shredder Night at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

This post by NOEW Correspondent Briana Cohen originally appeared on

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week attendees gathered for Shredder Night on the rooftop of the Chicory for a Shark Tank meets open mic night event.

Shredder Night: NOEW edition, presented By Gillis, Ellis & Baker, Inc., consisted of five inventive individuals pitching their concepts to a panel of “shredders” that gave instant, raw feedback in response to entrepreneurs’ pithes. The individuals were under pressure to convey their ideas in a quick-two minute pitch.

Judges on the panel included Andre Champagne, owner of Hollywood Trucks, Gabie Boko, executive vice president of Sage, Parke Ellis, chairman of Gillis, Ellis & Baker Inc, and Aaron Dirks founder of PosiGen, and investor/entrepreneur Shawn Barney.

In the end, Emily Gaddis of Gator and Crane won and took home four tickets to The Big Idea, the culminating event of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

She approached the panel and crowd with confidence and immediately won over the audience with her pitch style.

The shredders described her pitch as “exceptional” and “dramatic, yet composed.”

When asked to describe her style, Gaddis said it was, “hustle and pitch!” In preparation for her pitch, Gaddis said she practiced her delivery and timing in front of several different people and venues.

Gaddis pitched her pioneering business, Gator and Crane, which is grocery store that exchanges food waste and excessive packaging for store credit. Gator and Crane promotes a healthy sustainable living and shopping experience.

Richard Laines of Flip Your Flop pitches during Shredder Night

Richard Laines pitched his company, Flip Your Flop, flexible flip flops with interchangeable insoles. His idea was born of his love of flip-flops. Laines wore the prototypes of his product around his belt, toting them during most of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

Laines’ strategy—”Get the product out there. Fast and strong,” he said.

Ron Jones introduced his patented software in smart phones that acts as a nuclear detector.

Following Jones was Alicia Ankle with, a variety of classes and skill-based workshops that teach millennials everyday living skills.

The final pitch was Meusu, an app that allows users to outsource any task or errand to neighbors.