4 November 2016
Last night, 10 semi-finalists took the stage at the Propeller Incubator for PitchNOLA: Education to pitch their ideas to ensure every New Orleanian has access to an excellent education and fulfilling career path. PitchNOLA: Education is hosted by partners Propeller and 4.0 Schools and presented by the Walton Family Foundation and funded by Omni Air Transport.
Following a keynote address from scholar, commentator, and activist Dr. Andre Perry, Propeller, 4.0 Schools, and the Walton Family Foundation awarded a total $10,000 in funding to three ideas for a more equitable future for New Orleans education. The winners were selected by judges Krystal Hardy Allen (Education Consultant), Alvin David (Director of Strategic Initiatives of the Recovery School District), Tanya Lewis (Founder & CEO of Ops360), and Alberta Wright (former PitchNOLA winner, Founding Director of Young Creative Agency, Creative Digital Media Manager at the Youth Empowerment Project).
Electric Girls won first place and $5,000 to develop New Orleans-area girls into confident leaders and role models in technology by creating a community where girls can learn STEM skills with and from each other. They plan to use their prize to ensure their cohorts reflect the racial demographic of Orleans Parish and to expand their financial aid offerings to ensure 50% of every Electric Girls cohort are on scholarship. The win marked Electric Girls’ second time on the PitchNOLA stage, having pitched at last year’s event in November 2015.
Second place winner RisingFoundations took home $3,000 for their Small Business Incubator, which provides formerly incarcerated young adults with the education and resources to foster financial security through self-employment. With the $3,000, the Incubator will be able to make three zero-interest $1,000 loans to its entrepreneurs, to be paid back in $50 payments every two months in order to generate new loans for future Incubator entrepreneurs.
Third place and $2,000 went to Overcoming Racism to develop anti-racist educators and equip them with the tools to train youth to be the agents of change to abolish racism. Overcoming Racism’s pitch also earned the Audience Favorite Award of $500, determined by a live audience text-in vote. Now active in six Orleans Parish schools, Overcoming Racism will use their funding to expand to up to nine additional schools, impacting up to 4,000 more students.
PitchNOLA: Education is a part of Propeller’s PitchNOLA series, a string of issue-specific business pitch competitions that in five years has contributed over $100,000 to more than 30 social ventures.
PitchNOLA 2016: Living Well Winners:
1st Place – $5,000
Electric Girls (Flor Serna & Maya Ramos)
2nd Place – $3,000
RisingFoundations: Small Business Incubator (Derrick Perique & Kelly Orians)
3rd Place – $2,000 & Audience Favorite Award – $500
Overcoming Racism (Matthew Kincaid)
About PitchNOLA: Education
Now in its second year, PitchNOLA: Education 2016 is hosted by Propeller and 4.0 Schools and presented by the Walton Family Foundation and funded by Omni Air Transport, with support from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation and the Kabacoff Family Foundation.