Jedco Challenge

5 startups. 5 pitches. 1 winner.
5 startups. 5 pitches. 1 winner.

The JEDCO Challenge provides a platform for early-stage ventures to connect with Jefferson Parish business leaders. Watch the 2015 JEDCO Challenge Video >> Read More

From Startup to Success Story
From Startup to Success Story

JEDCO serves as a resource for entrepreneurs all year round. Learn more about our business incubator. Read More

Winner’s Circle
Winner’s Circle

Congratulations to FreshCane, winner of the 2016 JEDCO Challenge. Read More


We love our local entrepreneurs and we want them to know that we’re here to help. That’s why we teamed up with First NBC Bank to bring you the JEDCO Challenge.

Hosted during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the JEDCO Challenge elevates opportunities for entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform in which to showcase their early-stage ventures and by uniting them with today’s local business leaders, establishing relationships that will provide access to direct capital, business resources and mentorship. Our up-and-coming innovators are the future of Jefferson Parish and we want to give them the tools to find success locally.


  • Must live, work or have a strong presence in Jefferson Parish
  • Must generate less than $500,000 in revenue
  • Must have fewer than 5 employees
  • Must be a for-profit company
  • Must not have competed as a Top Five finalist in the JEDCO Challenge in previous years of the competition

How Does It Work?

The JEDCO Challenge application is live on our website. Apply before November 13, 2016. Find criteria here.

Through a rigorous review process, JEDCO will choose ten entrepreneurs to move on to the interview round. Interviews for that portion of the competition will happen in early-December. Our panel of experts will help us choose five finalists.

Our finalists will prepare for their pitch and submit a business plan in advance of the competition.

Finalists will have a table to showcase their product at the 2017 JEDCO Challenge on March 20th. The audience and judges get 30 minutes to browse.

Finalists will have just seven minutes to pitch their ventures to a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders and a live audience.

The judges and the audience will choose a winner.

The winning pitch receives $20,000 in cash and additional in-kind business services to help grow their company locally.


Applications for the 2017 JEDCO Challenge are closed.



The JEDCO Challenge would not be possible without the support of our local business community.


The 2016 JEDCO Challenge will be powered by First NBC Bank, our presenting sponsor for the third year in a row.

JEDCO currently seeks contributing sponsors for this annual event.  If you’re interested in committing in-kind services or direct capital towards the JEDCO Challenge prize package, you can learn about our different levels of sponsorship here: 2016 JEDCO Challenge Sponsorship Levels If you are interested in becoming a JEDCO Challenge sponsor, please email Kelsey Scram at or call her at (504) 875-3927.

Our sponsors have donated money, time, and in-kind services to ensure that the JEDCO Challenge has a positive impact on regional entrepreneurs and the Jefferson Parish community. Please take a minute to look through the list of sponsors for the event. Their kindness gives us the chance to connect vision with opportunity.

2016 Sponsors

365 Connect, Ardyn Thriffiley & Associates, Atmos Energy, Carver, Darden, Koretzsky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC, Biz New Orleans,  Cox Communications, Daul Insurance, First NBC Bank, Gambel Communications, Gillis, Ellis & Baker, Innovation Ochsner, Jefferson Chamber, LaPorte CPA’s and Business Advisors, Louisiana Small  Business Development Center, Marriott Metairie at Lakeway, and Sandler Training


Meet our Entrepreneurs

AxoSim Technologies

J. Lowry Curley, PhD; Michael J. Moore, PhD
AxoSim's mission is to leverage its nerve-on-a-chip technology to revolutionize drug development. Pioneered by J. Lowry Curley, PhD and Michael J. Moore, PhD, AxoSim was founded out of Tulane University to tackle critical problems in pharmaceutical development by offering the industry's most advanced, clinically-relevant models of neural tissue. The company developed a 3D cell-based platform that looks and acts like a real nerve, serving as an alternative to costly animal testing and ineffective 2D models. Currently, the Company is working on a screening tool for pharmaceutical companies developing next-generation therapies for Multiple Sclerosis, adding to its growing portfolio of services. AxoSim's platform technology will advance the safety and efficacy of novel therapeutics, while helping manage the costs of bringing critical drugs to market, ultimately accelerating medical breakthroughs and improving people's health.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn


Arpit Bhopalkar
FreshCane was founded to make people aware of the benefits of natural, unprocessed Cane Water. The company's aim is to serve people with a functional beverage which is healthy, raw, un-altered, and uncompromised on its taste. In its natural form, Cane Water has many essential nutrients, such as abundance of potassium and fibers, and a low glycemic index. As a natural hydrant, Cane Water provides a sustained source of energy. With an investment in domestic and sustainable economy, FreshCane is a minimal waste business, which recycles cane waste, called "Bagasse," via compost facilities.
Website | Facebook


Aaron Rubens
Kudoboard is an online service to replace the greeting card that gets passed around a group and signed. The way it works is simple: start an online board for a recipient, add text/photos/videos, and then invite other contributors to do the same. Once everyone contributes and the board is ready, it is delivered to the recipient online and can also be printed. Based in New Orleans and launched in July of 2015, Kudoboard has had thousands of users send messages of appreciation using the service. If you want to gather a group and send some love on a birthday, holiday, or any day, check out Kudoboard!
Website | Facebook | Twitter

MashBall, LLC

Todd Mashburn
The newest game that is revolutionizing the industry calls Jefferson Parish home. MashBall, the ultimate beach, tailgate, anywhere game, combines the best features of the most popular toss games such as Cornhole, Washer Toss, Horseshoes, and others, while eliminating the flaws. What started out as a simple idea meant solely for the enjoyment of 22-year-old founder, Todd Mashburn, and his closest friends, has evolved into a floatable, wind resistant, portable, and family friendly product that offers six fun games in one compact box. MashBall's unique design offers excellent versatility. The game can be played indoors, outdoors, and even in the swimming pool. The company promotes a fun, healthy, and worry-free lifestyle to be enjoyed with family and friends during life's finest moments.
Website | Facebook | Twitter


Charles Carriere; Cole Wiley
Scandy is the first app of its kind. With the proliferation of virtual reality and 360° video, the demand for printing and displaying the 360° content is greater than ever. The team behind Scandy recognized this trend. Founded in Jefferson Parish in late 2014, Scandy developed an app that allows users to easily create 360° 3D content and then, order full-color 3D prints simply and efficiently. Scandy 0.1 launched for the iPad in March 2015. It allows users to scan objects in 3D with an iPad and attached Occipital Sensor. Scandy 1.0 will be released in early 2016 allowing users to capture spherical panoramic pictures with a smartphone and order full-color 3D-printed Scandy Spheres. When Scandy 2.0 releases in Spring 2016, users of the Scandy App will be able to scan both objects and their environment and order 3D prints from their smartphones without any additional hardware. Scandy is proud to call Jefferson Parish home and is energized by the culture of innovation in the Greater New Orleans region.
Website | Facebook | Twitter


JEDCO, Jefferson Chamber announce 2017 seminar lineup

JEDCO and the Jefferson Chamber are pleased to announce the 2017 Prosper Jefferson lineup. The small business seminar series was developed to educate, inspire, and assist small business in Jefferson Parish. Read more »

JEDCO PR & Marketing Manager wins PR News Rising Stars 30 & Under Award

Kelsey Scram, JEDCO’s Marketing and PR Manager, was the recipient of a 2016 Rising PR Stars 30 & Under Award. The national award honored the PR industry’s top rising talent in 2016. Read more »

JEDCO announces 2016 business award winners

JEDCO announced the 2016 business award winners at its 2016 annual luncheon. Read more »



Ready to help.

Kelsey Scram
700 Churchill Parkway
Fairfield, Louisiana 70094
P 504.875.3908
F 504.875.3923


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