What’s Next for The Idea Village?

If you follow entrepreneurship in the New Orleans area there is no doubt you have heard of The Idea Village, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining the local entrepreneurial movement.

The organization kicked off its annual Entrepreneur Season on July 1, which will culminate March 19–24, 2017, with the 9th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK.

The Idea Village is accepting applications for their accelerator programs through August 5.

The Idea Village is accepting applications for their accelerator programs through August 5.

In addition to NOEW, The Idea Village will begin hosting monthly workshops and networking events, and free, 60-minute, one-on-one strategy sessions led by seasoned entrepreneurs and business experts this fall.

The Idea Village also runs four accelerator programs: IDEAx, DIGITALMEDIAx, ENERGYx, and CAPITALx. The first three are all 12-week accelerators seeking five startup founders each. Applications for IDEAx, DIGITALMEDIAx, and ENERGYx are now open via ideavillage.org through Friday, August 5.

“For the past 16 years, The Idea Village has been dedicated to building a vibrant entrepreneurial community,” said The Idea Village’s COO Emily Madero. “This year, we will focus our efforts on sustaining the movement by executing initiatives that scale local participation. We have assembled a powerful network of mentors and experts, as well as world-class resources, for anyone looking to start, grow, or scale a business in New Orleans.”

In June, Tim Williamson, co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village, announced he would be moving on from the organization to take over NOLA Media Group.

Madero will become Acting CEO on August 1 as they finalize the timeline and process for identifying a permanent CEO. Though she has worked with The Idea Village for the last decade, she is excited to continue to grow and sustain the movement by her involvement in developing all elements of its programming.

The Idea Village will launch a search for CEO once the Board of Directors finalizes the process and timeline for the selection.

“We’re looking for people who are committed to the future of New Orleans, believe that entrepreneurship is transformative, and have the ability to sustain the momentum of the entrepreneurial movement,” Madero told Silicon Bayou News.

Madero says they are focused on adding fuel to the fire by engaging new people with fresh ideas. She did not disclose whether they will be conducting a national or local search.

Moving forward, The Idea Village will be deepening relationships with established partners, supporting news groups addressing critical gaps, challenging organizations throughout the region to leverage entrepreneurial thinking, and facilitating connections across the network. “Years of experience has taught us that the vibrancy of our entrepreneurial ecosystem is not determined by the individual nodes and resources, but by the inter-connectivity and the ‘alchemy’ that exists across the network,” Madero shared.

“We are committed to continuing to push the envelope – to partnering with new people, testing new ideas, and working to accomplish wonderfully unrealistic goals.”