29 January 2015
Last night, January 28, 2015, 10 semi-finalists and one guest social entrepreneur took the stage in front of a packed house in Tulane's Freeman Auditorium to pitch their ideas to take on pressing, local issues in workforce development, children and families, social justice, and the environment. Co-hosted by Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation and Tulane University's Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching and A.B. Freeman School of Business and sponsored by the Lang Family Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the competition highlighted the power of community members to launch viable, entrepreneurial solutions to the challenges they face in their backyard.
The night kicked off with a keynote address from Matt Flannery and Jean Claude Rodríguez-Ferrera Massons, who shared the story of their journey co-founding Kiva and Puddle, helping a combined three million users connect through online lending.
Winners took home a total of $10,640 in cash prizes, generously provided by the Lang Family Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and audience donations.
First place winner Brothers Empowered to Teach returned to the stage victorious after pitching at last year's competition in November 2013.
PitchNOLA 2015: Community Solutions Finalists
1st Place – $5,000
Brothers Empowered to Teach (BE2T) | Larry Irvin & Kristyna Jones
BE2T closes the achievement gap for at-risk students by inspiring and incentivizing men of color to choose education as a career.
2nd Place – $3,000
unCommon Construction | Aaron Frumin & Aron Michalski
unCommon Construction is a nonprofit that builds houses with high school apprentices, and uses the profits to provide them with expanded college and career opportunities.
3rd Place – $2,000
Gator & Crane | Emily Gaddis + Darrell Greiwe
Gator and Crane incentivizes healthy and sustainable living by exchanging food waste for nutritious groceries.