29 October 2018
Last night at PitchNOLA: Education presented by Capital One, Propeller awarded $11,500 to entrepreneurs working to narrow the achievement gap in New Orleans.
Dwann Wagner and Barbara M. Wagner of Excellent Readers took home the first place prize of $5,000, awarded by judges Amanda Kruger Hill (Executive Director, Cowen Institute), Tayanna Teel (Principal Community Relations Associate, Capital One), Aaron Walker (CEO, Camelback Ventures), and Nadiya Williams (11th Grade Student, KIPP Booker T. Washington High School).
Audience members also selected Excellent Readers to receive the Audience Favorite Award, of $500. Excellent Readers will use the prize money to pilot their early education intervention program, designed to address areas of reading difficulty by building the foundation for phonics, reading, and spelling skills in a multi-sensory, playful, and age-appropriate way.
The first runner-up prize of $1,000 was awarded to Ben Ifshin and Leah Lykins of WhereWeGo, a matchmaking app designed to help first generation and low-income students find the right college.
The event also included a keynote by Dr. Calvin Mackie of STEM NOLA, and a showcase of five education ventures who have graduated from Propeller’s accelerator programs. Propeller presented each graduate with an award of $1,000 to support their growth. The recipients include Brothers Empowered 2 Teach, Healthy School Food Collaborative, Royal Castle Child Development Center, STEM Library Lab, and Sugar Roots Farm.