In true New Orleans form, we celebrate everything that the city has to offer with dedicated seasons throughout the year. Between festival season, crawfish season, and football season, there is never a dull moment, or lack of something to commemorate.
This week, The Idea Village kicked off the 2013 Entrepreneur Season, opening registration to entrepreneurs in the region looking for opportunities to help propel their new businesses. The nine-month season celebrates the growing community of innovative, nationally recognized businesses, and provides early ventures with the connections, consulting, and tools necessary to help them accelerate. It includes a six-month accelerator program, free education workshops open to all New Orleans entrepreneurs, consulting and brainstorming sessions, and events, including the season’s culminating week-long festival.
The Fifth Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week will involve some of the nation’s biggest corporations, entrepreneurs, both local and national business and political leaders, and MBAs from some of the country’s best business schools.
The 2012 season attracted 697 local entrepreneurs, who collectively received $370,250 in seed capital, and 14,405 strategic consulting hours. These entrepreneurs include SOLarchitect, winner of the $50,000 investment prize at last year’s Big Idea Challenge; Coulter Challenge winner, Kickboard; and the winner of the nationally recognized Water Challenge, Tierra Resources. Other alums of The Idea Village’s accelerator program include international business Naked Pizza, 2012 Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 entrepreneurs Cordina, and Theodent, a recipient of this year’s globally recognized Red Dot Product Design Award.
“New Orleans is a globally recognized entrepreneurial community because of the engagement and support from leadership at all levels,” said Tim Williamson, co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village. “The Entrepreneur Season is the platform that allows the collaborative network of government, universities, corporations, non-profits, professionals, and investors to strategically and efficiently support New Orleans startups.”
From now until March 2012, Entrepreneur Season is projected to connect more than 1,000 New Orleans entrepreneurs with a network of supporters that includes 3,000 professionals, MBAs, investors, global thought leaders, as well as economic and business leaders.
Here is what the 2013 Entrepreneur Week has to offer:
IDEAinstitute – An entrepreneur education program comprised of entrepreneur training workshops, roundtable discussions, and a keynote speaker series. IDEAinstitute sessions are free and open to all entrepreneurs registered with The Idea Village.
IDEAxcelerator – An intensive six-month business accelerator program for 15-20 high-growth ventures that is customized to each entrepreneur’s needs and includes setting operational goals, providing business strategy, marketing support, and financial guidance. The application process for IDEAxcelerator is highly competitive and is open until 11:59 p.m. CT on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.
Capital Village – Idea Village-managed capital access opportunities for equity, grants, and debt.
IDEAsessions – One-on-one, two-hour brainstorms with The Idea Village’s seasoned Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, designed to provide strategic guidance around a specific business challenge or assistance to help entrepreneurs develop, refine, and strengthen their investor pitches.
IDEAevents – Events during the season that connect and celebrate the entrepreneurial community.
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week – The fifth annual celebration is the culminating festival, which will be held from March 16-22, 2013.
To learn more, or get involved in the 2013 Entrepreneur Season as an entrepreneur, mentor or partner, visit www.ideavillage.org.