A melting pot of different cultures and traditions, New Orleans lies at the intersection of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, where it has been one of the country’s most significant port cities since its foundation 300 years ago. The city prides itself as one of collaborators and doers, and New Orleanians have had to make their way in nontraditional ways. As a result, entrepreneurial activity in the city is exceptionally high, evidenced by city’s unique food, music, and even holidays. Although the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city has shown signs of recovery, evidenced by the recent population growth. Local organizations such as The Idea Village, Propeller, and Launch Pad have been instrumental fueling the ecosystem. Mardi Gras may be the first event that comes to mind when mentioning New Orleans, but the New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week has been gathering steam lately, with over 10,000 participants in 2015. Despite the city being a magnet for foodies and musicians, New Orleans still has trouble attracting anchor companies that the ecosystem can benefit from. Additionally, the ecosystem has strong need for angel education.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
As a serial entrepreneur and New Orleans evangelist, Chris cofounded the coworking space Launchpad, which serves as a magnet for innovators in the city. He is also the cofounder of Flatstack, a software development firm with offices in New Orleans and Kazan, Russia. In 2004, Chris founded Voodoo Ventures, an incubator dedicated to launching tech companies.
Mike was on the launch team of The Weather Channel, and served as its President and CEO until 1999. He is currently the Chairman of the New Orleans Angel Network, a position he assumed in 2014. Before moving to New Orleans, Mike was Chairman of the Atlanta Technology Angels.
Earl serves as President of PowerMoves.NOLA, a national initiative to addressing the obstacles that prevent minority entrepreneurship, with a mission to increase the number of venture-backed minority-founded companies locally and nationally. Earl's background is in private equity investment.
Kickboard is a tool for teachers to make better decisions using reliable data gathered on students. Jenn founded Kickboard after a stint with Teach For America. Currently, the software is being used by 200 schools in 20 states.
Brent serves as the CEO of Audiosocket, a music licensing and technology company that delivers indie music to content creators around the world. Previously, he was cofounder of Interface Booking and Management, a Seattle-based talent buying agency.
Joel is the founder of Sucré, along with La Petite Grocery, Grand Isle Restaurant, and operates a catering and special events business. In 2006, he won the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year and continues to be an active member of the New Orleans restaurant community.
Tim Williamson is founded The Idea Village in 2000 after several successful business ventures. The Idea Village is a nonprofit dedicated to growing a dynamic network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and professionals committed to helping startups launch in New Orleans. The Idea Village has established itself by providing direct support to well over 3,000 startups and leading the efforts to position New Orleans as a significant entrepreneurship hub.
Peter serves as a partner at Flatstack, a software development firm founded by Chris Schultz. Additionally, Peter is a cofounder of Launch Pad, a local coworking space and accelerator. He is also the cofounder of BarNotes, a platform that allows people to discover and share cocktail recipes.
Julia became Editor in Chief of Silicon Bayou in 2012, where she focuses on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of New Orleans. She is originally from Cambridge, and moved to New Orleans to work for a local social media startup.
Kenneth founded iSeatz, a platform to allow people to make several bookings at once, in 1999 and has been an integral member of the startup community since the company's founding. After Hurricane Katrina, iSeatz was forced to move, but the company moved back in 2008, showing the resilience of the New Orleans ecosystem.
iSeatz was founded by New Orleans local Kenneth Purcell, and the company has gone on to become one of the most powerful booking engines for ancillary travel products in the market today. In 2005, the company moved to New York City because of Hurricane Katrina, but the company moved back in 2008.1999
The Idea Village is an organization with a mission centered on entrepreneurship in New Orleans and has played an integral role in catalyzing the city’s entrepreneurial movement. They provide the ecosystem with IDEA VILLAGEx, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, and the IDEAlab.2000
Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast, resulting in over 3,000 people losing their lives, billions of dollars of damage, and thousands of people losing their homes.August 2005
Serial entrepreneur Chris Schultz creates Launch Pad, a coworking space and community of entrepreneurs, creative professionals and freelancers. Previously, entrepreneurs in New Orleans did not have a unifying location.2009
Jenn Medbery founds Kickboard, a school analytics platform that allows educators to capture, analyze and securely share critical student performance data. This is important because it shows that New Orleans can be a strong ed tech hub.2009
NOEW is an 8-day festival celebrating innovation, entrepreneurship, and advanced thinking, that takes place every March in Downtown New Orleans.March 2010
Taking place during Jazz Fest, Launch Fest brings together investors, mentors, and speakers in New Orleans for a day long conference. This capitalizes on New Orleans' tradition as one of the world's most important music hubs.May 2012
The state's aggressive state tax incentive programs, including a 25% tax credit for qualified digital media expenditures and a 35% tax credit for qualified angel investments, makes the city affordable from a hiring perspective.2012
These three New Orleans startups raise millions of dollars for their early stage rounds.2013
For the first time in nearly 5 decades, the city shows a positive population growth, a welcome change to a city that has long suffered from a shrinking population.2015