Water Challenge: $25,000 Public Arts Competition, $10,000 Funding

NEW ORLEANS – As part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, The 5th Annual Water Challenge will include a $25,000 civic design competition, presentations from Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and agencies like the Sewerage & Water Board and the Data Center and a $10,000 live business pitch.

         The 5th Annual Water Challenge is a daylong event highlighting entrepreneurial opportunities within the local water economy, and the region’s showcase for innovative solutions to water issues critical to Louisiana’s economy, ecosystem and coastal protection.


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         Today’s agenda includes:


10:00 a.m. –  Welcome to The 5th Annual Water Challenge!

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Introductory remarks from Albert Ruesga, President & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Sarah Mack, past Water Challenge winner and Founder & CEO of Tierra Resources and Andrea Chen, Executive Director of Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation.


10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. –  $25,000 “Living with Water” Civic Design Pitch

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A live pitch competition put on by Propeller and the Arts Council of New Orleans. This year’s finalists are: Jennifer Blanchard (Contraflow), Michel Varisco (Turning) and Amy Stelly & Darryl Reeves (Drop in the Bowl). The winner will be determined by an audience vote following feedback from a critical panel including Sophie Harris, Executive Director of Friends of Lafitte Corridor, David Waggonner, principal of Waggonner & Ball Architects, Councilmember Susan Guidry and Bill Gilchrist, Director of Place-Based Planning for the City of New Orleans.

Location: The Chicory, 610 S. Peters St.


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Break for Lunch


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Overview of the Water Landscape: Coastal and Urban

Presenters include New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, Ella Delio, director of environmental and regional initiatives at the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Steve Cochran, director for Environmental Defense Fund’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration project.

Moderated by WWNO News Director Eve Troeh.


2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. –  Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Water

Presentations from agencies including the Sewerage & Water Board, Entergy, Ducks Unlimited, the Restore Council and the Data Center on entrepreneurial opportunities in water management and coastal restoration, an industry with $50 billion slated to be spent over the next fifty years. Moderated by Flozell Daniels of The Foundation for Louisiana.


3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. –  Coffee Break


3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. –  $10,000 Water Challenge Business Pitch

Five finalists present their ideas for $10,000 awarded by a panel of judges including Elisa Speranza of CH2M HILL and Jimmy Roussel, Entrepreneur in Residence at the New Orleans Startup Fund. This year’s finalists are: Don & Jon Adams (Advanced Berm Technologies), Mark Bernstein (Magnolia Land Partners), Dan Johnson (Greenman Dan Inc.), Gary Shaffer & Demetra Kandalepas (Wetland Resources, LLC) and John Tesvich (Riverbottom Tech).


5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – PitchLocal Happy Hour on the rooftop of The Chicory!


         The Water Challenge is free and open to the public.

         Registration is required




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