The Idea Village Announces Three Local Companies as Finalists for Top Pitch Competition During New Orleans Entrepreneur Week


NEW ORLEANS —The Idea Village announced the return of its premier entrepreneur showcase and pitch competition, the IDEApitch presented by IBERIABANK, and the three local companies selected as finalists to participate in the event. The pitch competition is the culmination of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, slated for Friday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ace Hotel. Additional details were shared in a press release.

Funded by Jim and Penny Coulter and Patrick Comer, the IDEApitch is the foremost showcase for emerging startups poised for rapid growth in the New Orleans region. The competition awards a $50,000 investment prize held by The Idea Village in the company’s next open round of funding.

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Founders of three local startup companies will provide 10-minute presentations on their businesses, each of which is followed by a Q&A with an esteemed panel of local and national experts. The IDEApitch is an opportunity for the region’s next three breakout companies to announce themselves on a national stage by pitching in front of local and national investors and a live audience.

“The IDEApitch is one of the best showcases of talent for New Orleans-based startups and is the culmination of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week,” said Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Idea Village. “IDEApitch highlights exciting, emerging companies that are in a position to grow quickly, create local jobs, and positively impact the community. If you’re interested in seeing what’s next for the future of innovation in New Orleans, the IDEApitch is an event not to miss.”

Prior to the pitch competition, Jim Coulter, founding partner of TPG Capital, will give a keynote speech. The competition will be hosted by Kareem Maddox, producer of “The Pitch” podcast from Gimlet Media.

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The 2019 IDEApitch finalists include the following local companies:

  • RentCheck – Marco Nelson and Lydia Winkler, co-founders
  • RentCheck can service 21 million independent landlords and small businesses who manage 95 percent of the rental market. Founded in 2018, RentCheck is an app that saves money, time and prevents grief by standardizing move-in and move-out inspections and streamlining the security deposit deduction process for landlords.
  • SampleChain – Vignesh Krishnan, CEO & Founder
  • SampleChain is a technology company in the market research (MR) space that helps fight fraud, enhance data quality, and increase efficiency in the MR ecosystem. SampleChain was founded in September 2018.
  • TrayAway – Josh Johnston, President and Co-Founder & Will Lovett, CTO & Co-Founder
  • TrayAway launched in March 2018 to help enhance the hotel guest experience and ensure beautiful hallways are never cluttered with dirty room service trays. TrayAway provides hotels with a combination of hardware and software-as-a-service to effectively manage their operation. TrayAway’s current hotel clients include brands such as Fairmont, Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, Montage, Hilton, J.W. Marriott, and many others. Hotels are currently utilizing TrayAway in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East.

IDEApitch Audience to Determine Winner

For the fourth year in a row, the audience of the IDEApitch will play the significant role of determining the winner of the competition through a real-time vote. The winner will receive access to a $50,000 investment towards their next round of funding.

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Previous IDEApitch participants include Acrew, Audiosocket, AxoSim, Bioceptive, Catalyst:Ed, Dig, Resilia (formerly ExemptMeNow), Kickboard, Lucid, MobileQubes, Quarrio, Servato, Spectrum Interactive, SuperEats, Theodent, Torsh, Your Nutrition Delivered, and Levelset (formerly zlien). Bio-tech company AxoSim won the competition in 2018.

2019 IDEApitch panelists include:

  • Patrick Comer, CEO, Lucid
  • Jim Coulter, Founding Partner, TPG Capital
  • Ben Cappiello, Chief Business Officer, AxoSim
  • Shelly Porges, Founder & Managing Partner, The Billion Dollar Fund
  • Tara Hernandez, President, JCH+ Properties

View the current list of speakers, events and register at While access to NOEW is open to the public, attendees must register and are encouraged to do so in advance online.


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