Startup St. Bernard Now Accepting Entries

CHALMETTE, La. – From the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation:

The entry period is open for the 10th annual Startup St. Bernard competition, presented by the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation. Startup St. Bernard seeks out dedicated, enthusiastic entrepreneurs who want to grow their business to the next level. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of judges. The entry period closes at 12:00 p.m. CT on July 7, 2024.

“Startups are vital to the vibrancy of any community. Hosting events like Startup St. Bernard offers a fantastic opportunity for local entrepreneurs to present their ideas and network with investors,” stated SBEDF CEO Meaghan McCormack. “We aim to create a platform in St. Bernard that fosters both growth and innovation within our community. Startups generate jobs and revenue, significantly contributing to our economy’s overall health, making these opportunities crucial to support.” 

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Three finalists will be selected to “pitch” their business to a panel of judges this fall. This year’s prize package is still being developed and will be announced soon. All three finalists will receive a cash prize of at least $5,000. The winner will receive the grand prize package including a mix of cash and in-kind donations. In the past, in-kind donations have included services ranging from legal and accounting to marketing and public relations.

The Startup St. Bernard Challenge is open to any business that will:

  • Locate their base of operations to St. Bernard Parish for at least 2 years
  • Improve St. Bernard Parish
  • Actively participate in the St. Bernard Parish entrepreneurial ecosystem

To qualify, entrants must be in business for five years or less or be an existing business creating a new division or entity, have yearly revenue under $1,000,000, and have five employees or fewer. Past Startup St. Bernard cash finalists, winners, and nonprofit organizations are not eligible to enter.

The Shark Tank-style public event is open to any business that meets the entry criteria and is passionate about joining St. Bernard Parish’s growing business community. Previous winners include 40 Arpent Brewing Company, Christie’s Dreams Seafood, Reactive Digital Systems, LLC, Clean Course Meals, Schmelly’s Dirt Farm, CORE Louisiana Counseling & Recovery Center, Glass Half Full, Ceres Plant Protein Cereal, and The Safety Pouch.

Judges will score entries based on the quality of the business plans and how the startups will improve St. Bernard by creating jobs, investing capital into the parish, providing needed products or services to the region, and/or contributing to the growth of the core Startup St. Bernard sectors: sustainability, creative digital media, cultural arts/cultural economy, health and wellness, advanced manufacturing/value-added manufacturing, logistics, and the seafood industry.

The application is now live at https://www.startupstbernard.com/enter.

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