Tackling disparities caused by water’s impacts and participation in water industries
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- Louisiana makes up 40% of our nation’s wetlands but 90% of its losses, a total of 1,900 square miles since 1932 .
- Without action, Louisiana faces losing 2,250 square miles of additional land, and suffering as much as $12.1 billion a year in flood damages .
- New Orleans’ poor communities of color statistically bear the brunt of flooding. During Hurricane Katrina, 38 of the city’s 47 extreme-poverty census tracts were flooded .
- Several small coastal communities including Theriot and Dulac have lost occupied households continually since July 2005. In Theriot and Dulac, more than 40% of the population lives in poverty .
Propeller works with small businesses and nonprofits to tackle critical regional water challenges and establish Louisiana as an emerging leader in the water management industry. Propeller entrepreneurs are building underground rain harvesting systems to keep stormwater from flooding to neighborhoods most vulnerable to environmental disaster. They are preserving coastal wetlands and building new technologies to prevent coastal land loss to protect native communities who are unable to uproot and move inland. Propeller also works to support minority and local business enterprises establishing Louisiana as a premium market for seafood, constructing vessels, and training the next generation of green infrastructure professionals.
- Martin Ecosystems (Growth ’16) sold 6,700 square feet of its BioHaven Floating Islands in 2016, which use 100% recycled PET plastic soda and water bottles as a base for native vegetation, which can be used to clean water, restore habitat, and reduce coastal erosion.
- Maritant (Startup ’17) created an innovative platform that connects engineers, shipbuilders, and vessel operators with preferred vendor equipment data for over 1,500 vendors, serving the Louisiana shipbuilding industry, which accounts for 29,250 jobs and more than $2.23 billion in annual economic impact for the state.
- Coastal Communities Consulting (Startup ’17) provided technical assistance, economic development, social services, and disaster recovery services to 1,200 commercial fishermen and their families in 2016.
- Greenman Dan (Accelerator ’15) keeps 4.1 million gallons of runoff per year off of streets and out of storm drains through its proprietary underground stormwater retention systems.
- ORA Estuaries (Growth ’16) installed 4 miles of OysterBreak technology this year, which grows oyster reefs into living coastal protection infrastructure designed to break waves and grow faster than sea level rise.
Supporting Water Entrepreneurs
If you have or are looking to start a small business or nonprofit tackling disparities caused by water or working in a water industry, we’re here to help. We’re especially interested in entrepreneurs working in coastal restoration, urban water retention and quality, maritime industries and ports, and fisheries. Propeller’s Accelerator programs is designed to support entrepreneurs throughout the business lifecycle—from idea, to beta, to growth. Hands-on mentorship, access to high-level networks, pro bono technical support, and free office space, are just some of the benefits. Learn more about our accelerators, including eligibility and selection criteria, or visit our online application.
The Water Challenge
An initiative presented by Propeller focused on solving Louisiana’s most pressing regional water challenges through entrepreneurship. The Water Challenge culminates each year at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week featuring a $15,000 business pitch competition. Originally seeded by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and The Idea Village, the Water Challenge is funded by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and supported by Entergy Corporation.
- Year-round public programming: workshops featuring water management policymakers and opportunities for entrepreneurs in areas such as Emerging Issues Following the 2016 Floods, Integrating Resilience Into City Operations, Water Data Monitoring, and Equity in the Water Sector. Never miss a water event. Sign up for Propeller’s water newsletter.
- Policy Initiatives supported by Propeller help to build market opportunity for entrepreneurs tackling critical water challenges.