PitchNOLA: Education Announces 10 Semi-Finalists Competing to Close Achievement Gap

Last fall, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation and early-stage education startup incubator 4.0 Schools teamed up to launch the first PitchNOLA: Education. Now they are back for round two taking place November 3, 2016.

The competition awards cash prizes to entrepreneurial solutions that measurably improve educational outcomes for underserved New Orleanians.

Semi-finalists will be competing for a total of $10,000 in startup funding provided by the Walton Family Foundation. Judges include: Krystal Hardy Allen, former Principal, Sylvanie Williams College Prep; Alberta Wright, past PitchNOLA winner and founder, Young Creative Agency; and Derek Wilder, student, Edna Karr High School.

Meet the semi-finalists:

Culture Chest (Rose Espiritu), a monthly subscription service delivering cultural experiences and educational resources to the doorsteps of teachers and early learners.

Electric Girls (Flor Serna, Maya Ramos) develops New Orleans-area girls into confident leaders and role models in technology by creating a community where girls can learn STEM skills with and from each other.

Gigsy (Robert Warren) grows a diverse community of professional photographers through work and youth mentorship opportunities.

IT’S LIT: Words on Ice (Doug Keller & Aubrey Edwards), a youth-designed, -built, and staffed mobile youth writing center and sno-ball stand, intended to make creative writing opportunities accessible to New Orleans’ young people year-round while providing teenagers with job opportunities.

MIC-AMPED (Le’Kedra Robertson, LaDonya Williams, Tyra Banks-Sterling), engages youth and community as generational poverty cycle breakers who serve as innovative generational wealth builders through arts, culture, and social entrepreneurship.

NOLA Future Educators (Meghan Mekita) recruits and trains the next generation of diverse New Orleans teachers while they are still in high school.

Overcoming Racism (Matthew Kincaid) develops anti-racist educators and equipping them with the tools to train youth to be the agents of change and abolishers of racism.

Parents in Schools Leadership Project (Gina Womack, Ashana Bigard, Ruth Idakula, Sonji Hart) empowers parents and families to be more knowledgeable and active in their children’s education by teaching them to train each other, advocate for themselves, and direct policy change for education and juvenile justice reform.

RisingFoundations: Small Business Incubator (Kelly Orians & Derrick Perique), a project of Rising Foundations to stop the cycle of incarceration by providing formerly incarcerated young adults with the education and resources to foster financial security through self-employment.

TrainingGrounds (Christine Neely & Melanie Richardson) provides evidence-informed educational programming to assist families and professionals with understanding how rich learning experiences and positive child-adult interactions in the first few years of life are instrumental to later success and overall child well-being.

RSVP for the free event here.