The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge was launched four years ago as a partnership between the Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans (JA), the Brees Dream Foundation and The Idea Village. The competition teaches entrepreneurial thinking to students and fine tunes their business pitches before a final pitch in the spring.
Jordan Cressy-Garcie, Education Special Program Manager at Junior Achievement, says they are hoping to engage 20 local schools.
The Idea Village has pledged to help recruit alumni to mentor students. Junior Achievement has already rounded up an impressive list. Speakers include: Nicole Dillard, trepwise; John Christie, Tulane Technology Transfer and IP Development; Lindsey Navarro, LiftFund; Adele Tiblier, Zlien; Brian Greffenius, Sandler Training; Samuel Provenza, Delgado FabLab; and more.
“We are currently recruiting volunteers to go into classrooms to introduce entrepreneurship with our JA Be Entrepreneurial program,” Cressy-Garcie told Silicon Bayou News. “We want students to understand that entrepreneurs can be anyone with drive and passion for what they do! We want students to see that they can create the opportunities they want to see in their city by becoming entrepreneurs.”
Unlike years past, the Challenge is now going across the state of Louisiana. Organizers will be holding state finals at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week with students representing New Orleans, Shreveport, Monroe, and Baton Rouge. The winner will receive a scholarship of $10,000 and their school will receive $5,000.
“Students will also have the opportunity to build a website for their product with Operation Spark, learn to prototype with Delgado Fab Lab, and get some incredible coaching from trepwise,” shared Cressy-Garcie.