There is not much that happens in the New Orleans tech scene that does not have the fingerprint of 365 Connect on it, as it is one of the largest supporters of technology-related events in the city. Recently, it got involved in Operation Spark, awarding a scholarship to a young man that wanted to learn how to code. The firm also backed Operation Spark’s Summerware Event, where coders worked on a project that is part of the White House’s Police Data Initiative Project.
The online platform provider for the multifamily housing industry has grown from a bootstrapped startup that was nearly put of business by Hurricane Katrina, to an internationally recognized award-winning firm that has developed and perfected a Technology Platform that serves large apartment, student and senior housing communities.
Along the way, 365 Connect has gained favor from some of the biggest multifamily housing operators in the country, with its unique ability to market communities across the Internet, automate social media postings and deliver desktop and mobile platforms for prospects and residents to transact business. Today, 365 Connect serves communities nationwide, with an estimated 99% of its revenue generated outside the state of Louisiana, making it a beloved and high-profile company among the state’s economic development agencies – it was featured in Louisiana Economic Quarterly this month.
This week, 365 Connect brought home awards 29 and 30; not just any award, but two Summit International Awards, where it competed on a crowded international field of more than 5,000 submissions from 23 countries. This fits nicely on 365 Connect’s award wall, where a total of 13 international awards now sit, alongside the Louisiana Governor’s Technology Award and an assortment of prestigious national and industry awards.
Besides the ability to build award-winning technology, Silicon Bayou News reached out to ask 365 Connect Founder and CEO Kerry W. Kirby about his extreme support of the local tech community and its events. Kirby stated, “When we started back in 2003, there was no technology community. We were looked at as an oddity in the business community, nobody looked at us as a viable business. As the tech scene grew in New Orleans, we felt it was a changing of the guard, the emergence of a new economy.”
Kirby continues, “As a homegrown company, we want to lead by example and not only support, but foster the next generation of innovators. Our focus is technology driven educational programs, as they strengthen our community, through providing people with a career path option to enter the high-paying tech job market. As part of the “New Guards,” we are here to change the playing field, making it fair and equal to all. We know we are making a difference, as we receive cards, letters and emails from people that attend events we are involved in – thanking us for making it happen, and sharing their learning experience.”
In addition to Operation Spark, 365 Connect is one of the largest supporters of Women in Technology (WIT), funding workshops and its flagship Bring Your Daughter to Hack Day Event – which was going to initially be canceled due to lack of funding until 365 Connect heard about the event. The event served nearly 100 attendees last year. Kirby successfully lobbied GE to come in with him this year, as they want to get 200 children involved in the event this October. Teen Tech Day is another 365 Connect favorite, the one-day interactive education conference to emphasize math, science, and engineering as tools to enable teens to use technology anywhere from a hobby to a career. There are more, from meetups, startup events to hackathons – 365 Connect continues to do its part to build the technology community.
In relation to 365 Connect’s participation in the Operation Spark event, Operation Spark COO Max Gaudin recently stated, “We are truly honored to have the support of 365 Connect. They are a local success story, rising from a local start-up to an internationally-recognized award-winning technology firm; a truly iconic company and champion of our local technology community.”