Applications Open For 2017 JEDCO Challenge Pitch Competition


FAIRFIELD, LA – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) is currently accepting applications for the 2017 JEDCO Challenge, its fifth annual pitch competition for entrepreneurs with ties to Jefferson Parish. Held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the 2017 JEDCO Challenge will elevate opportunities for early-stage companies in the area.

JEDCO seeks entrepreneurs with unique ideas that have the high potential to grow and positively impact Jefferson Parish. Entrepreneurs are urged to apply for the challenge on JEDCO’s website.

They must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

• Must live, work or have a strong presence in Jefferson Parish

• Must generate less than $500,000 in revenue

• Must have fewer than 5 employees

• Must be a for-profit company

• Must not have been a Top Five finalist in previous JEDCO Challenge competitions

The competition will be held on Monday, March 20, 2017, in front of a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders and an audience of their peers. Finalists will be judged on a seven-minute pitch and a business plan, which must be submitted in advance of the competition. The crowd will have an opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite entrepreneur, contributing to the overall scoring process of the competition. The winning pitch will receive $20,000 in direct capital and additional in-kind business services to help grow the company locally.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Applicants will be narrowed down through a rigorous review process. Finalists will be chosen in mid-December.

For the fifth year in a row, the entrepreneur challenge will be held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW). NOEW is the annual festival produced by The Idea Village celebrating business, innovation and new thinking in New Orleans. The event engages a dynamic global network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, non-profits, students and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition and celebration.

The JEDCO Challenge is a premiere annual event in Jefferson Parish.

Past winners include:

• Bhoomi, previously known as FreshCane, (2016) manufactures sugar cane water using local products

• InnoGenomics Technologies (2015) developed a blood test that can detect and monitor certain types of cancers

• PortaVision Medical (2014) designed an X-Ray to be used in Neonatal Intensive Care Units to enhance the health of premature babies

• ICONIC (2013) developed a healthy meal replacement beverage for on-the-go individuals

The JEDCO Challenge would not be possible without support from the regional business community. Businesses interested in sponsoring the 2017 JEDCO Challenge are encouraged to contact Kelsey Scram at kscram@jedco.org.

2016 JEDCO Challenge Sponsors included First NBC Bank, 365 Connect, Ardyn Thriffiley and Associates, Atmos Energy, Biz New Orleans, Carver, Darden, Koretzsky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC, Cox Communications, Daul Insurance, Gambel Communications, Gillis, Ellis & Baker, InnovationOchsner, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, LaPorte CPAs and Business Advisors, Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Marriott Metairie at Lakeway, and Sandler Training.

2016 JEDCO Challenge Supporting Partners included Jefferson Parish, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, The Idea Village, The Louisiana Small Business Development Center, CRC Global Solutions, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Greater New Orleans, Inc., Dixie Business Center, and the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.

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