Historic and Early-Stage Businesses Seek Growth in Propeller Accelerator

Introducing the 16 brilliant ventures joining Propeller’s 3-month 2017 Growth Accelerator to maximize financial sustainability and increase their capacity to tackle disparities in food, water, health, and education.

15 March 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA (Mar. 16, 2016) – Propeller has selected the 16 businesses who will participate in its Growth Accelerator, a 3-month program designed to help them maximize their financial sustainability and increase their capacity to tackle city-wide disparities in food, water, health, and education.

The class of entrepreneurs includes familiar names like Circle Food Store, New Orleans’ first African-American owned full service grocery store and local sustainability leader LifeCity, along with emerging businesses like Bluefin Data, a data company pioneering a tool to simplify data reporting between the seafood industry and the government.

The Accelerator serves for-profit and non-profit ventures alike, with a class comprised of 60% for-profit businesses and 40% non-profit organizations. Of the primary venture owners, 50% are white and 50% are people of color.

At the close of the program, participants will select their top peer to award $25,000 to the top two for-profit ventures, provided in partnership with the New Orleans Startup Fund.

Propeller 2017 Growth Ventures:

FOOD

  • Circle Food Store (for-profit) is the first African-American owned full-service grocery store in the New Orleans area. The historic Circle Food Store has provided locally-cultivated produce to the Tremé and Gentilly neighborhoods since 1938.
  • *Descant Ranch Food Hub (for-profit) is a blueberry farm and food hub in Washington Parish connecting local farmers with the resources and information to promote long-term financial and agricultural sustainability in the region.
  • Southern City Farm, LLC (for-profit) operates a climate-controlled indoor urban farm, providing sustainably grown produce that is harvested within a single day of reaching its customer's table.
  • *Sugar Roots Farm (nonprofit) fosters physical wellness and positive environmental impact in metro New Orleans through farm-to-fork education and sustainable, free-range agricultural methods.

WATER

  • Batture, LLC (for-profit) is an engineering design firm that focuses on meeting community-based needs through water-based infrastructure.
  • Bluefin Data (for-profit) streamlines the collection and sharing of crucial reporting data in the seafood industry.
  • Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (nonprofit) is launching an Oyster Shell Recycling Program to collect discarded oyster shells from restaurants to be used as a tool to protect the coast and regenerate local oyster populations.
  • LifeCity (for-profit) makes social and environmental impact profitable through its simple business assessment and green business certification program.

HEALTH

  • Best Life Pharmacy and Restaurant (for-profit) offers city-wide delivery of nutritious meals and prescription drugs, with a focus on providing in Diabetes and HIV/AIDS care.
  • Footprints to Fitness (for-profit) is a wellness company that organizes fitness, wellness, and nutrition classes to promote and improve accessibility to healthier lifestyles.
  • *High Level Speech & Hearing Center (for-profit) is a speech and hearing clinic that provides increased access to patient-centered, hearing-related healthcare.

EDUCATION

  • *College Beyond (nonprofit) acts as the connective tissue between students, families, high schools and higher education by leveraging the power of relationships to guide students through the academic, social, and financial transition from high school success to college persistence.
  • Dancing Grounds (nonprofit) provides physically and artistically rigorous dance training at its studios and in schools with a focus on social-emotional development, physical health, leadership skills, and social justice.
  • *Kids of Excellence Child Development Center (nonprofit) is a private, nonprofit childcare center that provides high quality of education to young children, ensures readiness for school for all children by using developmentally appropriate practices, and invests in the development of the whole child, through cooperation of the school, family, staff, and community.
  • STEM NOLA (nonprofit) grows future innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs through inspiration, engagement, and exposure in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
  • Wilcox Academy of Early Learning (nonprofit) is an early childcare center located in New Orleans' Seventh Ward that promotes the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of children to give them the confidence and the tools that will guide them on their life's journey.

*Indicates alumni venture

ABOUT PROPELLER
Propeller is a New Orleans-based 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to growing and supporting entrepreneurs to tackle social and environmental disparities. 

Media Contact:
Catherine Gans    
(504) 302-3747   
cgans@gopropeller.org

Ventures mentioned in this post

Batture, LLC

Batture, LLC

Robert Mora & Jennifer Snape

Sector: Water
Best Life Pharmacy and Restaurant

Best Life Pharmacy and Restaurant

Chris Sylvain & Cynthia Sylvain

Sector: Health
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Deborah Visco Abibou

Sector: Water
College Beyond

College Beyond

Paris Woods & Sarah Payne

Sector: Education
Dancing Grounds

Dancing Grounds

Laura Stein & Jeremy Guyton

Sector: Education
Bluefin Data

Bluefin Data

Andrew Petersen

Sector: Water
Circle Food Store

Circle Food Store

Brooke Boudreaux

Sector: Food
Footprints To Fitness

Footprints To Fitness

April Dupre

Sector: Health
Descant Ranch Food Hub

Descant Ranch Food Hub

Seth Descant & Chris Fry

Sector: Food
High Level Speech & Hearing Center

High Level Speech & Hearing Center

Dr. Lana Joseph

Sector: Health
Kids of Excellence Child Development Center

Kids of Excellence Child Development Center

Kristi Givens & Precious Acker

Sector: Education
LifeCity

LifeCity

Liz Shephard (CEO), Jessica Nehrbass (Director of Impact) & Molly Richard

Sector: Water
Wilcox Academy of Early Learning

Wilcox Academy of Early Learning

Rochelle Wilcox

Sector: Education
Southern City Farm, LLC

Southern City Farm, LLC

Andrew Prat

Sector: Food
Sugar Roots Farm

Sugar Roots Farm

Sharessa Garland & Ecoee (Joan) Rooney

Sector: Food
STEM NOLA

STEM NOLA

Dr. Calvin Mackie

Sector: Education