The Water Challenge is an annual initiative of Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, presented by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, that awards startup funding to businesses, non-profits, and ideas improving urban water, coastal environment, or local water economy.
The final pitch competition took place during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the annual festival of entrepreneurship, innovation, and new thinking.
This year’s winner was Water Block, an online tool that allows the community to find the best location for stormwater management practices to be implemented in their neighborhood, especially at the block level. The startup, which is a project of Design Jones, LLC in partnership with Atianna Cordova and Kristen Lonon, received $10,000 in funding.
“We have come a long way as a city, as a community, and as people when it comes to embracing that we have to live with water,” remarked Mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell at the event. “Regardless of the infrastructure that we will get, we have to think creatively in order to sustain our environments and our people.”
The $2,500 non-profit prize went to Native Roots Nursery, and the $2,500 pre-revenue prize was awarded to the New Orleans Stormwater Training Corps, an organization that also won the $500 audience favorite award.