Community Solutions Semi-Finalists Announced

Propeller has selected 10 Semi-Finalists for the Community Solutions Competition on Wednesday, Nov. 14th at 6:30pm. They will compete for $5,500 in cash prizes.

1 November 2012

On Wednesday, November 14th, 10 Semi-Finalists will pitch their solution to some of New Orleans' toughest challenges at PitchNOLA 2012: Community Solutions. This competition is hosted by Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, Tulane Social Innovation Initiatives, and Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business. 

Over 60 high-quality applications were submitted to Community Solutions for the chance to win First-Place—a $5,000 cash prize and technical assistance from Propeller. Audience members will also vote on an “Audience Favorite,” who will receive a $500 cash prize. The semi-finalists’ project proposals included a wide-range of innovative ideas including a youth radio station, local and recycled Mardi Gras throws, college preparatory mentorship, health services, vertical farming, water sanitation, and more. 

Celebrity Judges

  1. Bill Bohnett, Executive Committee Member, Council on Competitiveness
  2. Judy Reese Morse, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff of the City of New Orleans
  3. Leslie Jacobs, Philanthropist, Educate Now! Founder, New Orleans Startup Fund CEO

Master of Ceremony

Peter Ricchiuti, Freeman School Finance Professor

Audience Registration

Support your fellow New Orleanians as they make their pitch. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP to the Event!

Wednesday Nov. 14th, 6:30pm at Tulane University Woldenberg Hall, Freeman Auditorium


Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, Tulane Social Innovation Initiatives, Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business, Adams & Reese Law Firm, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, New Orleans Metro SourceLink (Regional Planning Commission), Zande + Newman Design, Capital One Bank, and Louisiana Office of Community Development.


PitchNOLA 2012: Community Solutions Semi-Finalists 

(Listed in Alphabetical Order by Venture)

Birthmark Doula Collective
Dana Keren

Birthmark Doula Collective works to address the horrible birth outcomes in New Orleans by facilitating better birth experiences for women. We work to provide all women, regardless of ability to pay, with the opportunity to choose what kind of prenatal and birth experience is best for themselves and their families.

Enlighten through Travel
Lydia Onimo

Debilitating socioeconomic issues such as crime, poverty, and unsatisfactory public education take an overwhelmingly negative toll on our city.  Enlighten through Travel aims to inspire talented, but underprivileged high school students to achieve beyond societal expectations through college preparatory mentoring, leadership training, foreign language study, and international travel. 

Andre Feigler

enrichED is a web-based network for high-quality, flexible educational staffing.  We bring diverse, local talent into schools on an as-needed and on-demand basis with the aim of eliminating lost time, adding capacity and providing transformational learning opportunities for all students.

Jack Tiebout

Fee-Fi-Fo-Farm! will establish indoor vertical farming as a viable model for urban agriculture. By using hydroponic and aeroponic (soilless) growing systems to maximize vertical space, we will grow local, affordable produce year-round. We will start with a small hoop house, but hope to build up to several stories.

Justice and Accountability Center's Mobile Expungement Clinic
Ameca Reali

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate per capita in the world. Many are released from the criminal justice system without supportive reentry services. JAC's expungement program facilitates reentry with an opportunity to disengage from the criminal justice system and get back to work instead of back to prison.

Dr. Yaye Sarr

Children and seniors in Louisiana have high rates of cavities and oral diseases. Smiles2Geaux will provide mobile clinics to give low-income schoolchildren and seniors in the New Orleans area reliable, affordable access to dental services that improve preventative oral health care, using evidence-based innovative approaches.

Alexander Girau

Summary: Providing affordable, effective water sanitation is a fundamental concern for humanity. The SODI-CAN, utilizing solar-nanotechnology, provides consumers with an affordable, efficient and safe means to disinfect and store water. The SODI-CAN is capable of reducing traditional solar disinfection times from hours to minutes, preventing millions of unnecessary illnesses and death.

The New Orleans Fruit Tree Project
Megan Nuismer

New Orleans is our nation’s number one food desert, with 1 in 8 facing food insecurity. The New Orleans Fruit Tree Project  is an urban harvesting program that collects fruit that would otherwise goes to waste and makes it accessible to those struggling with hunger.

Youth Radio New Orleans
Jesse Chanin

New Orleans is a city with extraordinary youth disempowerment and disenfranchisement, as can be seen from the high rate of youth violence and the low high school graduation rate.  To increase youth engagement and participation, we want to create a Youth Radio New Orleans, in which youth are trained in the basics of public radio production to produce a weekly live talk show on issues they find salient in their lives.

ZomBeads: Mardi Gras ReMade in New Orleans
Anne Rolfes

Summary: ZomBeads: Mardi Gras ReMade in New Orleans creates useful, beautiful, Mardi Gras throws locally from recycled materials. ZomBeads transforms production of Mardi Gras trinkets from an outsourced, overseas operation to one that benefits our local economy and provides local jobs. Recycled inputs put an end to mountains of plastic waste.