2023 GNO Jobs Report: Explore the top occupations in the region

June 25, 2024

GNO, Inc. Sunday Night Highlight – OHUB x NOLA Funds Minority Entrepreneurs

A recent Demo Day hosted by OHUB x NOLA New Energy Technology Incubator showcased minority founders in South Louisiana working to secure early-stage investments for climate-tech startups.  The event marked the culmination of a 10-week pre-accelerator program for OHUB’s “New Energy Technology Incubator (NETI)” Batch 2.0. The cohort included 41 founders, representing a diverse group of entrepreneurs, dedicated to developing innovations to address climate and energy challenges facing coastal communities.

Five startups and their founders pitched during the event:

  • Johnnie James II of Pursuit of Happiness Farms – A sustainability solutions provider for crop production methods and organic waste processing to produce traceable, sustainable, organic crops, seafood, and added-value products
  • Kobby Osei-Kusi of Pirl Technology – A next-generation electric vehicle charger with interactive display that is launching in summer 2024
  • Onega Ulanova of QMS2GO – AI-powered quality management software that streamlines QMS implementation and maintenance, allowing quality managers to focus over 65% of their time on value-added activities  
  • Cynthia Wu of Taro AI – An automated intelligence tool for cities to monitor the health of their urban infrastructure, starting with trees
  • Thomas Hunter, Jr. of Edenic Energy – A company focused on developing and implementing innovative technology solutions to improve the energy efficiency and performance of buildings in underserved communities

Wu and Ulanova emerged as winners of the event, and were awarded $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, to help advance growth of their startups. The two women innovators joined five founders from NETI’s first cohort earlier this year, who each received a share of $275,000 last March during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Together, these mark $350,000 of equity investment in minority founders driving climate technology innovation.

The NETI program is powered by Climate Tech Bootcamp, OHUB, and GNO, Inc. as part of H2TheFuture initiative, an award of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge.  Founded by Drs. Rodney and Shanterria Sampson, OHUB is a platform for inclusive innovation, high-growth entrepreneurship, and early-stage investment. It is a the leading platform for multi-generational wealth creation, regardless of pre-existing wealth.