The Venture Center at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (#NOEW2015)

The Venture Center visited New Orleans Entrepreneur Week as part of the Delta Regional Authority's Entrepreneurship Network.

Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) observed a roundtable discussion with representatives of the New Orleans mayor's office, 1776, NOLA entrepreneurs, investors, local educational organizations, and other key players in the New Orleans startup scene.

The discussion focused on accomplishments and challenges of the entrepreneurial community in Little Rock and around the country. Participants shared their successes and accomplishments and talked about the future of the startup community in New Orleans.

Thursday evening, ESOs and Entrepreneurs from around the region met DRA Chairman, Chris Masingill and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the EDA, Matt Erskine (pictured left to right with Steve Rice of the Venture Center, center)

Secretary Erskine and Chairman Masingill discussed the unique challenges and opportunities that the Delta Region faces. ESOs contributed insight to the conversation on what's happening at the local level.

The evening culminated in a wonderful dinner at the Museum of Southern Food and Drink, highlighting the traditions and flavors of the South.  The Venture Center is excited to be a part of the momentum developing in the startup community all across the Delta Region.

The Big Idea

Friday night of #NOEW2015, hundreds of people from all over New Orleans and the region descended on Fulton Street in the beautiful Warehouse District.Finalists of the "Big Idea" set up pitch displays in the Alley and jockeyed for the public's vote via casino-style chips that could be cast into a large bucket for each company.  The chips were worth $25 and narrowed down the final three companies which then pitched directly to the crowd and local celebrity/entrepreneur judges.

As the final votes were cast and tallied, NOLA mayor, Mitch Landrieu addressed the crowd. He highlighted the advancements that the City has made since Katrina and the exciting spirit of momentum and traction that entrepreneurism has brought to New Orleans.

Demonstrating Possibility

The most exciting part of NOEW is what it represents--possibility. The power of entrepreneurism can rebuild and revive a community which has experienced the deepest and most profound devastation.  Little Rock is growing and expanding. The startup community is finding its voice and making an impact. We have accomplished much, but there is more to do.

It makes us wonder, what is possible for Little Rock?