11th Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Awards $300,000 to Entrepreneurs, Attracts 3,500 Attendees

NEW ORLEANS — More than 3,500 people from 23 states and three countries attended programming during the 11th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. The weeklong series of events centered on business, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, co-produced by the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University and The Idea Village, was held March 24 through March 29 at the Ace Hotel and locations around the city. 

Details were shared in a press release.

Through the combined efforts of the organizers and partner organizations, NOEW awarded $300,000 in funds and services to local entrepreneurs during pitch competitions throughout the week. The funds and services are meant to help boost startup companies in the Greater New Orleans region.

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“For more than a decade, NOEW continues to have an incredible impact on our region — not only in terms of direct outcomes for startup companies, but also for connecting the local community, maintaining an open front door to the startup ecosystem, and attracting regional and national attention to business in New Orleans,” said Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Idea Village. 

For a second year, NOEW partnered with other companies and nonprofits to host events in neighborhoods across the city, known as “NOEW In Your Neighborhood.” This year, 30 partners hosted 19 citywide events in eight neighborhoods: the Biomedical District, Central Business District, Central City, Irish Channel, Lakeview, Meraux, Seventh Ward and the Warehouse District.

This year was also the first time the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University joined as a co-producer of the event. More than 30 Tulane professors, administrators and alumni presented during NOEW. Tulane also hosted its 19th annual Tulane Business Model Competition in its newly opened Stewart Center for Executive Education located in the CBD.

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“Over the last several years, the Freeman School has re-committed itself to serving the New Orleans business community through a wide range of programs and initiatives,” said Freeman School dean Ira Solomon. “Partnering with The Idea Village to co-produce NOEW continues this effort to build connections and bring Freeman expertise to entrepreneurs across the region."

In its 11 years, NOEW partners have awarded more than $4.6M in cash and prizes to entrepreneurs, and nearly 800 entrepreneurs have been featured as part of the event. This year’s NOEW Summit conference featured more than 120 speakers, including Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Pitch” and “The Profit” TV shows; Jim Clark and Jim Barksdale, co-founder and former CEO of Netscape Communications; and Shelly Porges of the Billion Dollar Fund for Women. 

NOEW 2019 Pitch Competition Winners & Highlights Include:

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●    RentCheck and the University of Alabama won the “IDEAcorps MBA Consulting Challenge” hosted by Loyola University New Orleans.
●    Junior Achievement of New Orleans, in partnership with the Brees Dream Foundation and The Idea Village, hosted the “Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge,” which ended in a tie between Baby Be-Gan from Baton Rouge and Glamour On The Go from Lafayette. Each team walked away with $7,500 in scholarships and a $3,750 prize for their high schools.
●    Cocktail & Sons won $7,500 in cash plus additional in-kind services from the Junior League of New Orleans during its “Woman Entrepreneur Fellowship.”
●    The Love Label won $500 cash and services valued at $1,900 from Launch NOLA during its pitch competition highlighting businesses along the Claiborne Corridor.
●    Urban League of Louisiana named Southern Comfort Real Estate Services the winner of the $10,000 prize at its annual “Women-In-Business Challenge.”
●    New Orleans Business Alliance hosted its second “New Orleans Health Innovators Challenge,” and MedAux was selected as the winner. They will receive $36,000 in cash, as well as in-kind services.
●    The “Tulane Business Model Competition” narrowed down its finalists to KnoNap (George Washington University), RentCheck (Tulane University), and Speeko (University of Iowa). The final pitch was held on April 8th, and RentCheck was selected as the winner of the $35,000 grand prize. 
●    Schmelly’s Dirt Farm took home the grand prize of over $80,000 in funds and services at the Startup St. Bernard pitch competition.
●    TrayAway, RentCheck and SampleChain participated in The Idea Village’s annual “IDEApitch Competition” to close out NOEW. RentCheck received the first place and access to a $50,000 investment from The Idea Village thanks to the support of Jim Coulter and Patrick Comer. 

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