IDEAcorps MBA Consulting Challenges Kicks Off Tomorrow in New Orleans

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, or NOEW for short, is the annual festival celebrating innovation, entrepreneurship, and forward thinking in the New Orleans area.

A recurring part of NOEW is the IDEAcorps MBA Consulting Challenge, which matches six graduate business student teams with local startups to advance their businesses over a 72 hour period. The Challenge kicks off tomorrow (March 16) and runs through March 19. The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at Loyola University New Orleans is the host of the regional challenge this year.

Teams include students from University of Virginia/Darden, University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, and Loyola University will work this week out of Landing Zone, a coworking space and business incubator.

“IDEAcorps is a nationally unique competition that yields stronger local start-ups and more experienced, innovative, and battle-tested MBAs,” said Jon Atkinson, Founding Director of Loyola’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development. “Furthermore, we have partnered with the Landing Zone and New Orleans angel investment group NO/LA Angel Network to deliver a unique, professional, and curated experiential learning opportunity that we hope will forge lasting connections between elite MBAs and our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The startups selected to receive assistance for this year’s Consulting Challenge include FollowMyCal, Gigsy, The Host, Magic Bank, ProductMatchr, and Pupular. All of the startups are either currently in programs run by The Idea Village, producers or NOEW, or have previously been involved with the organization.

On Sunday, teams will present their work to a panel of judges, including the problems identified over the four day period and their solutions.

IDEAcorps was founded by The Idea Village in 2006 and has engaged over 500 MBA students over the years to work with New Orleans entrepreneurs.