10 New Orleanians Compete for $10,000 to Solve Community Issues

Propeller and Tulane University select ten semi-finalists to compete at PitchNOLA: Community Solutions on January 28th at Tulane’s Freeman Auditorium.

12 January 2016

NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 12, 2015) – Today, Propeller and Tulane University announce the 10 semi-finalists who will pitch their ideas on-stage atPitchNOLA 2016: Community Solutions, a pitch competition for New Orleanians to propose their solutions to local challenges in workforce development, children and families, social justice, and the environment. The Tulane sponsors of the pitch competition are the newly established Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.

Semi-finalists will compete for a total of $10,000 in seed funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The competition will take place from 6:00–8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 28th, at Tulane University’s Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center. Tickets are free (with a suggested $5 donation to fund the Audience Favorite Favorite Award) on Eventbrite.

PitchNOLA: Community Solutions is Propeller’s original, all-call pitch competition. Since the first PitchNOLA in 2009, Propeller has launched an entire series of competitions tackling issues including health, education, and land use. Since 2009, the PitchNOLA series has contributed over $80,000 to 27 ventures.

Prizes will be awarded by a panel of judges composed of Leslie Jacobs, CEO of the New Orleans Startup Fund, Peter Ricchiuti, host of WWNO’s Out to Lunch and professor of practice at the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, and Carmen James, vice president of programs at the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Introducing the PitchNOLA 2016: Community Solutions semi-finalists:

Blessing Micro Shelter (Haiyan Khan)
Blessing Micro Shelter provides dignity and privacy to homeless population by providing them a self sufficient zero-cost shelter with important services.

Dishroom Heroes (Jeff Gulotta)
Dishroom Heroes is a social enterprise dedicated to helping disadvantaged men and women break the cycle of poverty, unemployment and recidivism through life skills instruction and on the job training in the New Orleans food service industry.

Food Justice Collaborative (Chika Kondo, Arieanna Knight & Ron Triggs)
The Food Justice Collaborative (FJC) is a youth of color farmers’ cooperative growing our own food as a way to build food sovereignty and practice cooperative economics and self determination to address the root causes of why the communities we live in are not able to access fresh local produce and accumulate our own wealth.

Fund 17 (Haley Burns)
Fund 17 is a nonprofit organization that fights opportunity inequality in the 17 wards of New Orleans by providing financial and educational tools for self-empowerment to underserved entrepreneurs in the informal economy.

Groundwork New Orleans: Green Grounds Krewe (Alicia Neal)
Groundwork New Orleans provides green collar workforce development training to underserved young adults in order to create skilled labor in green infrastructure design, installation and maintenance and storm water management.

IDIYA Labs (Domenic Giunta & Andrew Winstead)
IDIYA Labs empowers our community and schools by providing the equipment, education, career pathways, and workspace where goals are achieved by sharing technology and knowledge, and acquiring new skills that transform into high wage, high demand careers

Project 18 (Sonya Brown & Bonnie DeSalle)
Project 18 provides services to transitioning and aged out foster care youth.

Roots of Renewal (Lilith Winkler-Schor)
Roots of Renewal is a holistic community development organization that provides work-training for recently release young adults through the renovation of a blighted property in Central City which will ultimately be sold to a first-time homeowner, as well as connects participants with vital social services and professional development resources

Upturn Arts (Dana Reed)
The mission of Upturn Arts (formerly known as Hope Stone NOLA) is to provide “Arts for All” by creating a collaborative arts education space for children from diverse backgrounds to explore, find, and recognize their full artistic potential in a safe, welcoming and healthy space.

Young Creative Agency (Alberta Wright)
Young Creative Agency provides youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in the creative economy


Media Contact:
Catherine Gans    
(504) 302-3747   

Ventures mentioned in this post

YEP Design Works

YEP Design Works

Alberta Wright

Areas of focus: Education
Upturn Arts

Upturn Arts

Dana Reed

Areas of focus: Education