NEW ORLEANS — Friday night wrapped up the culminating week — packed with contests, workshops, and all-star speakers — of Idea Village’s 2013 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
In its fifth year, the event showcases the city’s “entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Hosted for the first time at Gallier Hall, the event has grown approximately tenfold from its inaugural year. This year, it featured 55 events and welcomed 3,000 participating business leaders, financiers, entrepreneurs, and students.
The week also showcased a global summit, engaging international partners to share best practices and discuss sustainable entrepreneurial communities.
On Monday, Webster Pierce, of Pierce Industries, won $50,000 in seed capital for his “Wave Robber” invention — a coastal restoration device that breaks wave energy while capturing sediment. Simultaneously one floor down, Walter Isaacson gave the closing keynote address.
On Tuesday, Steve Gleason challenged entrepreneurs to create technology which provides solutions for people with disabilities, while a food truck festival in Central City showcased culinary entrepreneurs.
At Tuesday’s InNOLAvation Challenge, geared toward minority entrepreneurs, Memorandom won $12,000, while 2-Cent Entertainment won the Downtown NOLA arts-based business pitch and Be Well Nutrition won the Cordina Challenge, a Jefferson Parish-geared contest.
Memorandom is a direct messaging service for sharing photos and videos on Apple mobile devices with the goal of combining the ease of social media with the directness of text messaging.
Avie Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, gave the closing address.
On Wednesday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu kicked off a summit during which 100 hand-picked leaders discussed New Orleans as a model city for entrepreneurialism.
Keynote addresses were given by Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and president of Chobani, and Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education and current president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company.
On Thursday, Nicole Balthazar of DyverseCity, won the Urban League of Greater New Orleans Women in Business competition and $10,000 in seed capital. DyverseCity offers affordable studio space to artists and entrepreneurs.
During the 4.0 Education Challenge Pitch, mSchool won $25,000 in seed capital for its business that provides community centers and after-school programs with effective and fun online learning tools.
On Friday at the concluding Big Idea competition, Your Nutrition Delivered and Education Everytime each received $50,000.
Your Nutrition Delivered uses science to bring healthy, gourmet, home-delivered meals to customers to help break the cycle of dieting and weight gain.
Education Everytime is an educational music company geared toward teachers and schools. Its music is meant to be played between classes. It also has been proven to manage student behavior and save time.
The final event engaged the community in a celebration of home-grown entrepreneurialism including food, music, and drink.
In addition to the big bucks, many of the competing entrepreneurs won smaller cash prizes for seed money and free services including hours of legal, accounting, public relations, and real estate assistance.