French Quarter Fest Main Stage Highlights New Orleans Growing Technology Sector
By: Julia Ballard | Silicon Bayou News | 4/15/2014
The annual French Quarter Festival attracted more than 700,000 attendees for a record-breaking year. The celebration of food, music and people culminates each spring with a weekend-long extravaganza. Attendance peaked on Saturday with a single-day record of 303,000, which is due in part to the weather along with the hundreds of organizations who support the festival.
For the first time, a coalition of Greater New Orleans technology companies sponsored the new ‘Big River Stage’ at the festival, one of twenty other stages. The coalition was launched in February 2014 to build awareness of this rapidly growing industry and its workforce opportunities available now in the region.
“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 stage featured a cell phone charging station, an information booth and announcements from participating companies between musical acts.
Participating companies included 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.
Kerry W. Kirby, Founder and CEO of 365 Connect said that the city has once again reinvented itself, becoming one of the hottest spots in the country for technology.
“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,” said Chris Reade, Managing Partner at The Carrollton Group. “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.”
The collaboration is an effort to highlight the entrepreneurial and tech community in New Orleans. The city is home to a booming digital media sector, and the sector is poised for continued growth with aggressive digital media incentives, favorable tax climate, workforce availability, unique culture, and competitive business climate.
The uniqueness of New Orleans is vital to its success across all areas of business and life. The rich and abundant passion for virtually everything here is part of what makes the the vibrant entrepreneurial tech community prosper in a way only possible in New Orleans.
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.”