In another sign of the changing public face of New Orleans, the Idea Village has been hosting Fortune 500 companies, prominent venture capitalists, and notable business leaders for the 5th Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
It seems like word is getting out about New Orleans supportive culture of creative visions, as Tim Williamson, CEO of Idea Village estimates they've seen about double the amount of last year's entrepreneurs, close to a thousand.
Today are the finals.
"And we'll allocate $100,000 to 15 startups, and we do that through crowd funding," says Williamson. Many other companies, all from the metro area, have received introductions to venture capitalists and investors, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in free consultations. Some will even receive a personalized, guided tour of Silicon Valley's investment community.
New Orleans continues to grow as a so-called 'brain magnet,' as the city continues to spread its message that this is a great place to incubate and grow ideas and new businesses. Williamson says their goal is by the city's tricentennial in 2018 to put New Orleans on the map as one of the best cities in the world to be an entrepreneur.
And inNOLAvation announced that "Memorandom was selected as the first place winner of the first ever inNOLAvation Challenge held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week hosted by the Idea Village. Memorandom is a private communications platform that allows you to capture, document, archive, share and discuss everyday moments with only those that matter."
Sami Khan, CEO and founder of Memorandom after being selected the winner of the Challenge said, "I spend half of my time in Los Angeles, which has a high-quality tech scene, I was impressed by the fact that the ideas presented here today are of equal quality to what I see in Los Angeles. That makes me even more grateful that I was selected winner of the inNOLAvation Challenge."
The cash award will help Memorandom get closer to its current fundraising goal.
Memorandom competed against five other local startups representing a variety of industries including nanotechnology, social media and water management says inNOLAvation. "Two other startups, Snapp and Joyhound captured the 2nd and 3rd place awards, respectively. Snapp, a producer of a phone application that allows users to customize their emoticons, won $7,000 for its efforts. Joyhound, an interactive social event calendar website, was selected 3rd place by an audience of over 125 people."