Propeller competition turns to community for solutions

Propeller opens applications for a live PitchNOLA: Community Solutions, a live business pitch competition that asks New Orleanians to bring their ideas for progress in their communities up on stage.

14 October 2014

PitchNOLA: Community Solutions is a live business pitch competition offering a platform for community members to propose their solutions to local challenges. We encourage the community to pitch us any idea that offers support to children and families, the environment, workforce development, and economic security for hard to employ populations.

Past PitchNOLA winners have gone on to scale their ideas to create tremendous community impact. 2012 winner the Justice and Accountability Center has since provided expungements to over 1,000 individuals previously incarcerated for non-violent crimes to reduce recidivism. 2013 winner Crescent City Connections has recruited 1,200 volunteers, facilitated their contribution of over $155,000 in labor and was named one of the top businesses to watch in 2014 by New Orleans Magazine.

PitchNOLA has received notable attention from the Times Picayune, The Advocate, Silicon Bayou News, New Orleans City Business, WWLTV, Invade NOLA, Tulane New Wave, and local business blogs.

In the Words of Past PitchNOLA Winners:

“PitchNOLA was a phenomenal platform for JAC to present the expungement issue to the public. The $5,000 1st place prize will increase our capacity to service more clients, thereby helping to break the cycle of recidivism and contribute to a thriving and healthy New Orleans.” - Ameca Reali, Co-Founder, Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana

“Birthmark is excited and honored to have won at PitchNOLA! The generous funding will allow us to double the number of families we work with, document the evidence that doulas make a difference, and help build our case for change. We believe that New Orleans can go from having the worst birth outcomes in the country to being a national leader in healthy birth outcomes for women and children.” - Dana Karen, Co-Founder, Birthmark Doula Collective

What's Involved: 

Selected semi-finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a voting audience and panel of judges on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at Tulane University for the chance at $5,000 in cash prizes, in addition to project support and media coverage. 

All New Orleanians, including individuals or teams with for-profit or nonprofit ideas, are welcome to apply. The first step is to attend a competition overview to get your questions answered! PitchNOLA Q&A sessions will be held at the Propeller Incubator, 4035 Washington Ave. These sessions are optional.

Learn More: 

Q&A Session 1: Thursday, October 28, 2014, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Q&A Session 2: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Download the competition and application overview.

Apply Online by the deadline, Friday, December 19, 2014.

For questions, email Ginny at

PitchNOLA is made possible through the support of event sponsors the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Tulane University.

Ventures mentioned in this post

Birthmark Doula Collective

Birthmark Doula Collective

Latona Giwa & Dana Keren

Areas of focus: Health
Network Voluntours

Network Voluntours

Zach Cheney & Melissa Garber & Theodore Nathan

Areas of focus: Economic & Workforce Development
Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana

Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana

Ameca Reali & Adrienne Wheeler

Areas of focus: Social Justice
Louisiana Lost Lands Environmental Tours

Louisiana Lost Lands Environmental Tours

Lindsay Pick & Marie Gould

Areas of focus: Water