New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Debuts 3rd Coast Venture Summit

As the business community knows, it takes money to make money. Investment can be a catalytic force in any business; high-growth startups are built on the dollars of those who can match the bold vision of founders willing to build something new.

The word “venture” — as in venture capital or a new business venture — comes from the same root as “adventure,” meaning to dare, risk or take a chance. The types of businesses that require venture capital are unique because they are taking on a BIG risk — a shot at disrupting how a particular industry works, creating thousands of good jobs, and redefining the market to change what consumers expect as a whole.

Venture-scale businesses propel the next wave of innovation and technology forward. 
New Orleans and the Gulf South are no strangers to venture-scale business creation. Since the early 2000s, there have been dozens of founders who have seized the unique opportunity to build companies here and in other less notoriously known “startup hubs.” As a result, the success of companies like Lucid, Levelset, Turbosquid, Whetstone, Fluence Analytics, and many more have grown companies from inception to exit and proven that the talent, resources, and networks needed to build a thriving startup exist here.

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However, at The Idea Village, we believe that a healthy venture ecosystem cultivates talent, access to interesting problems, customers and capital — all in equal parts. While our region is rich in access to both interesting problems (as locals well know) and talent, we lack sufficient visionary venture capital and large-scale customers to match the demand of our innovative startups.

Attracting Capital to the Gulf South
We need to grow the amount of visionary capital who want to do business in the Gulf South.

That is why we created the 3rd Coast Venture Summit, March 13-15, 2024: to invite investors looking for fresh deal flow to find the best and brightest Seed to Series A companies that the Gulf South has to offer. We also hope to recruit and attract these investors to build long-term relationships with the business community in New Orleans and across our region. Not only will this serve our founders and startup ecosystem, but it will ensure New Orleans remains competitive and fertile for current and future founders to have a headquarters they can build from.

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New Orleans already has a growing number of resources, with some local visionary players such as Benson Capital, Revelry Venture Partners, Boot64 Ventures, New Orleans Startup Fund and more, but we need more outside investment to help scale those amazing businesses being built everyday along the Gulf Coast. National investors are invited to see what’s brewing in innovation across the Gulf South and to explore deal flow that could be highly profitable down the road while meeting and connecting directly with local founders.

A Full Week of Innovation
The 3rd Coast Venture Summit will provide three days for national investors and founders to meet one-on-one.  The event is strategically aligned with the 13th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) — also produced by The Idea Village — and the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University. NOEW and Book Fest are two local, highly popular, and free annual events; all three will converge on Tulane’s Uptown campus on Thursday, March 14.

If the business community “ventures” forth boldly together, New Orleans and the Gulf South can truly become America’s “third coast” entrepreneurship.

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If you’re ready to join us, you can start by inviting your network to attend the 3rd Coast Venture Summit ( Unlike other cities across the nation, New Orleans welcomes all with its southern charm and hospitality; everyone is invited to build together, not only for financial gain but also to drive innovation across the nation.

Megan Balch is program director for The Idea Village. She may be reached via email at


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