This is a past Pitch NOLA opportunity

PitchNOLA 2017: Living Well

Sourcing solutions to make health accessible and affordable for all New Orleanians. Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of LA.


In 2016, Louisiana ranked 50th out of 50 states for community and environmental factors on health, including high rates of violent crime, children in poverty, infectious disease, and occupational fatalities. The results – high rates of obesity, infant mortality, and HIV, along with one of the lowest rates of uninsured residents – lower the quality of life of our neighbors and place a strain on local healthcare providers.

Most importantly, the burden does not affect all New Orleanians equally. With a life expectancy gap of 25 years between our city’s most affluent and low-income neighborhoods, it’s clear we need innovative solutions to ensure all New Orleanians have access to healthy lives free of trauma and oppression.

PitchNOLA 2017: Living Well, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, will award $10,000 in total start-up funding for ideas to make health and wellness accessible and affordable for all New Orleanians. Pitch your idea to a panel of judges and 200+ audience members on May 24, 2017.

PitchNOLA and its winners have received notable attention from publications including the Washington Post, The Guardian, the Times Picayune, The Advocate, New Orleans City Business, WWNO, and WWLTV.

The Challenges

  • 31.9% of LA adults are physically inactive [1], less than 25% consume at least 5+ servings of fruits & vegetables per day [2].
  • 12% of New Orleans newborns are born at low birthweight, with state-wide 12% black and 6.2% white infant mortality rate.
  • 33.1% of the population of Louisiana is obese, nearly 4 percentage points higher than the national average. 74.3% of adult black residents are obese compared to 67.2% of white residents [3].
  • The adult cancer mortality rate in Louisiana is 1.27 times higher for black residents compared to white residents.
  • 20% of New Orleans residents are uninsured, 9 percentage points higher than the top performing U.S. counties.
  • The life expectancy gap between the city’s most affluent and most disadvantaged neighborhoods is 25 years [4].

1 Louisiana State University, Department of Health and Hospitals
2 Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Report
3 Agency for Healthcare Research and Policy
4 Kaiser Family Foundation

Submit Your Solution

For this year’s PitchNOLA: Living Well, we’re looking for small, concrete solutions that can make a big difference for our city. Although we are open to all viable solutions that promote health for New Orleanians, we encourage financially sustainable ideas that tackle disparities, opportunities and bottlenecks in five main areas:

  1. Nutritious, Affordable and Easy-to-Access Food: fresh food retail, alternative food distribution models, nutrition education/food literacy, nutrition incentives
  2. Local Food Economy: locally grown or processed foods, aggregation and distribution of local foods, food recovery
  3. Health Infrastructure: maintenance and support of healthcare systems and infrastructure in New Orleans, improving access to direct and ancillary services
  4. Healthcare Technology: products that incorporate e-health/telemedicine/innovative technologies into public health or healthcare settings
  5. Social Determinants of Health: efforts that aim to reduce health inequities and improve the well-being of New Orleans communities (places and spaces where people live, work, learn, and play)

Our Sponsors

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Our Partners

New Orleans Health Department, Second Harvest Food Bank, LSU Agriculture Center, Touro Infirmary, Ochsner Health System, 504HealthNet

Apply Online


  • We’re looking for individuals and teams with financially sustainable ideas. You could be a nurse, doctor, social worker, teacher, student, mother, father, patient, public health student, community member, etc. You could be applying as a small nonprofit, a small business, a restaurant, a health clinic, a neighborhood association, etc.

  • If under $50,000 in 2016 revenues: the competition is open to individuals and teams with proposed non-profit and for-profit ideas in the idea or implementation phase.

  • If over $50,000 in 2016 revenues: for existing for-profit companies and nonprofit with over $50,000 in 2016 revenues or funding, the proposed idea must be a new idea that is not currently implemented.

  • Proposed projects, individuals, and teams may be located outside of Orleans Parish; however the project’s primary beneficiaries must be Orleans Parish residents.


Get your questions answered

Attend one of our four Q&A sessions on March 7 (5:30-6:30pm), March 27 (12:00-1:00pm), April 5 (4:30-5:30pm), and April 18 (5:30-7:30pm – Happy Hour at Wayward Owl) at the Propeller Incubator, 4035 Washington Ave. RSVP links below.

Early application feedback deadline

Submit your online application by Monday, April 10, 2017 (11:59 p.m. CST) and receive feedback for how to strengthen it.

Final application deadline

Submit your online application by Tuesday, April 25, 2017 (11:59 p.m. CST)


At Propeller, we are committed to supporting groups who are currently or have historically been socially and economically disadvantaged and excluded. Thus, we examine the following through an equity lens:

  1. Potential for social impact: The solution must seek to reduce or eliminate health and wellness disparities within New Orleans communities. Scalable solutions are preferred.
  2. Financial sustainability: Solutions should demonstrate a viable and sustainable revenue stream, if revenue is required for implementation.
  3. Viability: You and your team have what it takes to make your idea a reality given your experience, track record and expertise.
    a. Educational, professional or life experience,
    b. Proven track record starting, leading or operating an initiative, program or past venture,
    c. Demonstrated experience in public health, community development, or food,
    d. Ability to connect to, engage with and serve at risk or underserved New Orleanians


Qualifying Round — Online Application

The first round of the competition is based on an online application, which must be submitted by Tuesday, April 25, at 11:59pm CST.
We recommend that you write and save your application responses in a Word Doc, because the online application will not save your responses. A PDF file of the application can be found at the bottom of this page.

Semi-finalists will be selected and notified by May 9.

Final Round — PitchNOLA 2017: Living Well!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm, selected semi-finalists will pitch their solutions at Propeller.

Semi-finalists will have three minutes to pitch their ideas and present their slides to a panel of judges and a voting audience. Following the presentations, the judging panel will select 3-5 of the semi-finalists for a round of follow-up questions. Judges will then select the First Place, Second Place, and Third Place winners in front of the live audience. Finally, the voting audience will select the winner for the “Audience Favorite” award, funded by audience participation. All semi-finalists are eligible for this award.

*Pitch Workshop // Thursday, May 11, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm (Required for semi-finalists). This workshop will assist semi-finalists with the development of their final presentation slides and pitches.

Please contact Emily Eckland, Propeller Programs Associate, at


1st place: $5,000 and feature on WWLTV

2nd place: $3,000

3rd place: $2,000

Audience Favorite: Supported through audience donations.

*Note: In the case of a tie, judges may alternatively distribute award amounts.

Audience Participation

Reserve your seat in the audience today!

Audience members play a key role in this competition as part of PitchNOLA’s goal to better connect social entrepreneurs with networks and resources.

A suggested $5 donation to become an audience member at PitchNOLA will contribute to the “Audience Favorite Award.” Additional donations towards this award are greatly appreciated. Votes will be cast via text message on May 24, 2017 at the live competition.

Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Tickets can be reserved our our EventBrite.

Key Dates

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017 (5:30pm-6:30pm)

    Q&A #1 @ Propeller, 4035 Washington Ave. RSVP Here

  • Monday, March 27, 2017 (12:00pm-1:00pm)

    Q&A #2 @ Propeller, 4035 Washington Ave. RSVP Here

  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 (4:30pm-5:30pm)

    Q&A #3 @ Propeller, 4035 Washington Ave. RSVP Here

  • Monday, April 10, 2017 (11:59pm CST)

    Deadline to Receive Feedback on Your Application

  • CANCELED: Friday, April 14, 2017 (5:00pm-6:00pm)

    CANCELED: Q&A #4 Virtual Webinar

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 (5:30-7:30pm)

    Informational Happy Hour @ Wayward Owl Brewery RSVP Here

  • Tuesday, April 25, 2017 (11:59pm CST)

    Final Application Deadline

  • Thursday, May 11, 2017 (6:00pm-8:00pm)

    Pitch Practice Required for All Semi-Finalists

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 (6:00pm-8:00pm)

    PitchNOLA: Living Well 2016 @ Propeller