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IDEAinstitute session helps entrepreneurs identify customer needs

More than 100 New Orleans entrepreneurs attended last week’s IDEAinstitute session. The series continues until March.

Last week, The Idea Village kicked off its first IDEAinstitute session with great success.

New Orleans-based entrepreneurs Lauren Thom of Fleurty Girl, Kenneth Percell of iSeatz, and Nic Perkin of the Receivables Exchange each discussed their journeys to building successful businesses, as well as give advice to new business owners from the lessons and hardships that have come with their successes.

While last week’s session touched on learning what it takes to be embark on the journey of entrepreneurship, this week’s session aims to help participants identify how viable their products are to the market, and will answer questions critical to entrepreneurs during the product development stage of building a business.

What’s your Big Idea?Problem Identification & Opportunity Recognition panelists Sarah Mack of Tierra Resources, LLC, and Classroom Blueprint’s founder, Jess Bialecki, will help participants identify potential market opportunities and ensure that their products or service s address a customer problem. This session’s moderator will be Robbie Vitrano, best known for building globally renowned companies such as Trumpet and Naked Pizza.

Sarah Mack is the founder of Tierra Resources, LLC, an environmental consulting company that specializes in wetland and water management, as well as the winner of the 2012 Water Challenge. With a growing water industry in Louisiana, Mack has been able to benefit from the increasing demand for solutions to water management by finding alternative ways to fund the recovery and restoration of the eroding wetland, finding a niche in the industry here.

Jess Bialecki won the 2012 Education Challenge for Classroom Blueprint, an online platform that allows teachers to share their classroom layouts, along with narratives of how they set up these rooms to maximize student achievement. As a teacher and Teach for America participant, Bialecki found a way for teachers to share their best practices to help close the education gap.

This week’s session is part of The Idea Villages IDEAinsitute, a series of educational sessions and workshops on topics vital to entrepreneurs. The sessions are held every Wednesday from now until New Orleans Entrepreneur Week 2013 in March. Check out the IDEAinstitute 2013 calendar to sign up for upcoming sessions or stay tuned for weekly updates on the week’s event.

The session is from 3-5 pm. Wednesday (Aug. 22) at the IP Building at 643 Magazine St. (at Girod.) To learn more about IDEAinstitute sessions or to sign up, visit The Idea Village website.

Adriana Lopez writes about the entrepreneurial community for NolaVie and Silicon Bayou News. She also showcases local start-ups through her non-profit organization GenNOLA.


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