Have an idea to solve a social problem in New Orleans? Enter the 2015 PitchNOLA competition and you could win $10,000 to help turn your idea into a reality.
PitchNOLA: Community Solutions is a live “elevator pitch” competition that offers community members a platform to pitch their solutions to pressing local problems. Presented by the A. B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane’s Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching and Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, the competition seeks ideas that support children and families, the environment, workforce development, and economic security. A lengthy business plan isn’t required to enter. Applicants should be startup-stage ventures that have generated less than $50,000 in sales or grant funding in the previous calendar year.
This year’s competition will take place on Jan. 28, 2015, at Tulane University. Selected semifinalists will pitch their ideas in front of a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges, including Matt Flannery, founder of Kiva and Puddle, and Leslie Jacobs, CEO of the New Orleans Startup Fund and founder of PowerMoves NOLA. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 to help bring his or her venture to market as well as pro bono technical assistance and consulting services from Propeller, which provides support for New Orleans-based social entrepreneurship ventures. In addition to the grand prize, an Audience Favorite Award, voted by audience members, will also be presented.
In its six year history, PitchNOLA has built an impressive record for helping to get high-impact social change ventures to the next level. Last year’s winner, Crescent City Connections, has since recruited 1,200 volunteers, facilitated contribution of over $155,000 in labor to worthwhile causes, and was named one of the top businesses to watch in 2014 by New Orleans Magazine. The Justice and Accountability Center, which earned first-place honors in 2012, has provided expungements to over 1,000 individuals previously incarcerated for non-violent crimes, significantly helping to reduce recidivism.
The contest is open to individuals or teams based in the greater New Orleans area and the deadline for applications is Dec. 19, 2014. For more information about the competition and to apply online, visit GoPropeller.org.