New Orleans Entrepreneur Week may be digitally focused, but old-fashioned paper business cards are its coins of the realm. So we set out to see what entrepreneurs are doing these days in terms of hand-outs. Check it out over the next few days as we spotlight start-ups attending NOEW and discuss how they deal their cards.
The biz: Gigsy
The entrepreneur: Robert Warren
The card: Clean, sans-serif typeface with a G on a yellow background that echoes the timer on a camera. Clever!
The backstory: Robert launched Gigsy to connect New Orleans photographers to clients. The business has since grown into a digital source for companies as well that are looking for photographers to work their events. Read about the concept at NolaVie here.
The logo: “When we launched last year, of course I thought of everything except how to hand out cards. We’re digital babies,” says Robert. He turned to local artist Danielle Miles for help. “She flipped the timer on the camera to look like a G. It was so unexpected. For Big Idea last year, I immediately went out and ran off 400 cards.”
Palette: Why yellow? It’s warm and friendly and “I like what it does to your head.”
The biz: Crowd Relief
The entrepreneur: Rob Gaudet
The card: OK, I’ll be honest. Rob was out of cards when I talked. But his awesome t-shirt sported a circular logo that’s part storm/part labyrinth, conveying at once a sense of both disaster and peace.
The backstory: After last year’s flooding in Baton Rouge, Rob got involved with the Cajun Navy, a grassroots volunteer group that mounted a massive recovery effort for victims. It inspired him to launch Crowd Relief as a digital platform that connects individual flood victims with people who want to help. It’s a sort of disaster registry, with lists of specific items that any particular flood victim needs. Users can sign up to buy whatever they can afford and want to give. And they can read the backstories of the people they are buying for.
The logo: “It’s disaster, so it’s a storm, but it also represents people gathering together.” It has motion, and “a little bit of fear.” A marketing executive and owner of Gaudet Media, Rob created the logo in-house. Flood recovery is ongoing, he says, and although rebuilding involves “a thousand shades of gray,” he picked a bright blue just because he likes it. And, yes, that water thing. But mostly blue is just a feel-good color.
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week continues through March 24 at the Contemporary Arts Center and Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The “Mardi Gras of entrepreneurship,” as USA Today called it, started in New Orleans in 2009 and is produced annually by The Idea Village. Check it out at noew.org.