Top 10 Moments from Rise of the Rest in New Orleans

This post by Blackstone Content Correspondent Summer Suleiman originally appeared on

Last week, we had a blast hosting Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest team in New Orleans. We gave Steve and his team a real taste of the city. Rise of the Rest toured five other cities in the South the week of May 4th. New Orleans was their final stop.

My friend, Sophia, who is a manager of Assurance Services with Ernst & Young in San Francisco was also in town visiting. She stopped by to visit The Idea Village, and I had to tell her that we were taking the Rise of the Rest team on a float around the city where entrepreneurs would pitch their businesses to Steve’s team.

Her response? “In other cities, people give an elevator pitch. In New Orleans, you pitch on a float.”

Yup. We do things our own way here, and we are proud to be different from any other startup city in the world.

We think Steve agrees. After the tour, he said these 6 things about New Orleans.

We were with Steve and his team from the very beginning, from a jazz breakfast at an iconic New Orleans dining spot to the grand finale pitch at the New Orleans Jazz Market. Here’s our inside look at the day, featuring the top 10 moments from the Rise of the Rest tour in New Orleans.

What better way to welcome Steve Case and the Rise of the Rest team than with a classic New Orleans Jazz breakfast hosted by our good friends at Commander’s Palace?

Tim Williamson, CEO of The Idea Village, showing Steve and Jean Case the New Orleans cultural calendar. Steve has his calendar marked for NOEW 2016, March 11-18! Do you?

Jen Medbery, founder of Kickboard, showing Steve and Jean Case around 4.0 Schools.

Steve Case being crowned King for the day by Kirk Coco, founder of NOLA Brewing Company.

Watching NOLA entrepreneurs pitch to Steve Case and the Rise of the Rest team on the float. #OnlyinNola

CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Commission Mark Romig welcomes Steve and the float toNOLA Brewery with a toast.

Of course we had to take a selfie with the team! Photo courtesy: Photographer Peter G. Forest

Mayor Mitch Landrieu lunching Dinner Lab-style with the Rise of the Rest team and local entrepreneurs at NOLA Brewery.

The afternoon begins with a Fireside Chat between Steve and Walter Isaacson at the New Orleans Jazz Market.

The day closes with Crystal McDonald, co-founder of GoToInterview winning the Rise of the Rest pitch and a $100K investment from Steve Case. Way to go Crystal!