Local Technology Companies Join Forces to Sponsor Main Stage at 2014 French Quarter Fest


New Orleans, La. — Today, New Orleans Tech, a coalition of Greater New Orleans technology companies, kicked off New Orleans French Quarter Festival by sponsoring the new ‘Big River Stage’ at the Festival. The coalition was launched in February 2014 to build awareness of this rapidly growing industry and its workforce opportunities available now in the region to an audience of over 550,000 local residents and tourists.

“This coalition of local technology companies coming together as a major sponsor for French Quarter Festival is indicative of the large presence of companies working in this industry and proves that the technology community in Greater New Orleans is very real and growing,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Our region has an unbeatable combination of low costs, best in class incentives, high quality of life, and unique culture that makes Greater New Orleans a very attractive location for technology companies.”

The coalition will host a hospitality tent near the Big River stage that will feature a cellphone charging station and information about the technology presence in Greater New Orleans. Announcements from participating companies will be made between acts on the stage throughout the weekend.

As one of the fastest growing technology hubs in the country, this region is home to companies that range in size from small startups to mid-size firms to major corporations. The work being done here spans across almost every major technology discipline and includes app development, innovative educational software, development of major financial software systems and popular mobile video games, and 3D animation.

Kerry W. Kirby, Founder and CEO of 365 Connect said, “New Orleans has once again reinvented itself, becoming one of the hottest spots in the country for technology. The technology community here is like nothing you have ever seen, we share ideas, build code together and listen to pitches for the next great startup idea. I can’t think of a better place to showcase the technology community than the largest free music festival in the country – French Quarter Fest.”

Chris Reade, Managing Partner at The Carrollton Group said, “One of the most important steps in the growth of any group or ecosystem is the day it realizes it exists and that it can do things as a whole. This event shows that not only is there a technology industry in New Orleans but that it is aware and able to be a force for growth in our whole region.”

Ray Areaux, Registered Patent Attorney at Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC. Stated that, “For over twenty-five years I have witnessed the New Orleans entrepreneurial tech community just simmer. Finally, it is boiling. It is hot. And, it is spicy. Diverse, rich and abundant entrepreneurial tech in New Orleans IS the new storyline. We need to SHOUT that new message to all the entrepreneurs in the world. Geaux NOLA TECH!”

Barrett Conrad, Principal at CotingaSoft said, “The New Orleans tech community is truly unique. People from all over the country are surprised out how connected, friendly and vibrant it is. This is a perfect opportunity for us to make sure the local community knows about it and gets involved.”

Millie Baudier, Community and Public Affairs Specialist at Cox Communications said, “Cox is proud to partner with Greater New Orleans, Inc., GE Capital Technology Center, and the New Orleans Business Alliance to raise awareness of the growth of our region’s technology community and committed to continued support of the economic development of the Greater New Orleans area.”

Downtown Development District President and CEO Kurt Weigle said, “Downtown New Orleans continues to grow as the epicenter of innovation and creativity, flourishing with a constant influx of innovators and entrepreneurs as well as investors and developers. We are pleased to partner with our local technology community in this joint initiative to showcase New Orleans as a premier hub for Industries of the Mind.”

Brett Schnittlich, Chief Technology Officer for Federated Sample said, “Federated Sample is thrilled to be part of the vibrant New Orleans technology community. The combination of business incentives with a region ripe with entrepreneurial drive makes New Orleans the ideal environment for any technology company.”

Mike De Boer, CIO of GE Capital Technology Center New Orleans said, “GE Capital is committed to growth which requires a talented technical workforce to fulfill its goals. We are working with our technology partners to help elevate community awareness of the economic value and the job opportunities in this growing sector.”

Jennifer Medbery, CEO of Kickboard said, “Kickboard has thrived in New Orleans not only because of a competitive business environment, but also because of a commitment by local leaders to the success of technology companies and to the reform of our school system. This unique combination is one that ed-tech companies should consider when starting their business.”

Brian J. Jones, CEO of Mirliton Media said, “I love the rich, unique culture of New Orleans. Adversity has taught us to take risks and face challenges head-on. The result is an ideal climate for creativity and innovation.”

Danya Bogart, Owner of MY InfoTech SAID, “New Orleans is a vibrant city known for creative, passionate and artistic people. Technology is just the newest ‘art’ form to infiltrate our town. New Orleans was dealt a serious blow after the storm but as always the Big Easy tackled the change and survived/thrived as it has for more than three centuries. This Entrepreneurial Ecosystem of Technology has taken NOLA by storm with the young, innovative and inventive which is the driving spirit of this cultural bayou. New Orleans is home to many successful emerging technology firms. This craze and resourcefulness has attracted major technology innovators such as Gameloft and GE Capital bringing jobs and opportunity. It is an exciting time for a recruiting firm like ours, MYInfotech, to work with & represent these cutting edge firms and minds that will naturally transform our ‘Crescent City’ to the ‘Silicon Bayou’.”

Rodrick T. Miller, President and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), said, “This coalition is a great demonstration of our emerging local technology sector, and the vitality of New Orleans as a growth market. GE Capital and the other technology companies sponsoring the Big River Stage at the 2014 French Quarter Festival are committed to supporting the New Orleans community and its economic revitalization; NOLABA looks forward to working with them to foster continued growth.”

Will Scott, CEO of Search Influence said, “We’re really excited to be working with GNO Inc. and GE to represent the New Orleans Tech community. Search Influence is home-grown, self-funded and one of the largest tech companies in New Orleans in great part due to the quality of staff available and the support of great organizations like GNO Inc.”.

The digital media sector in Greater New Orleans has boomed in recent years and was recently named the #3 city in America winning the battle for IT jobs, behind San Francisco and Silicon Valley. And the sector is poised for continued growth with aggressive digital media incentives, favorable tax climate, workforce availability, unique culture, and competitive business climate.

Participating companies include 365 Connect, Carrollton Technology Partners; Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman, and Areaux, LLC; CotingaSoft; Cox; Crystal Clear Imaging; Downtown Development District; Fat Happy Media; Federated Sample; GE Capital Center of Technology; GNO, Inc.; Kickboard; Launch Pad; My Recruiting; Mirliton Media; New Orleans Business Alliance; NOVO Communications; Search Influence; Susco Solutions; TurboSquid; and Southern Light.

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About Greater New Orleans, Inc.

GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization, serving to coordinate, consolidate, and catalyze economic development activity. The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create jobs and wealth in the Greater New Orleans community. The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.

More information can be found at www.gnoinc.org.