Press Releases

First NBC Bank signs on as presenting sponsor of JEDCO Challenge

JEDCO Challenge brought to you by First NBC BankThe Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), in partnership with the Idea Village and the Jefferson Chamber, is pleased to announce a new collaboration to improve the second annual JEDCO Challenge. First NBC Bank recently chose to sign on to the competition as the presenting sponsor, offering $10,000 to the winning pitch.

Held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), an event spearheaded by the Idea Village, the JEDCO Challenge is a Jefferson Parish-based pitch competition for local entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs will be judged on a live seven-minute pitch and a business plan. The winning pitch will receive a prize package of capital and in-kind professional business services. To date, that prize package has reached a value of over $35,000 and it is still growing.

First NBC Bank has been a champion of entrepreneurship since its inception in May 2006. Founded on the principles of building long-term relationships, responsiveness to customers and high quality service, First NBC Bank has played a significant role in the continuous improvement of communities throughout the region and the state. The local institution has been applauded for providing financial assistance to small businesses still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, as well as supplying capital to startups as they open their doors within our community.

“We are honored to be working with First NBC Bank to elevate opportunities for our entrepreneurs,” says Jerry Bologna, executive director of JEDCO. “First NBC Bank has a long history in Jefferson Parish and has proven to be a major asset to our entire region. With a background for assisting small businesses as they work to grow and find success locally, First NBC Bank is the perfect presenting sponsor for the JEDCO Challenge.”

“It is a priority of First NBC Bank to positively impact communities where we do business,” says Ashton J. Ryan Jr., President and CEO of First NBC Bank. “The entrepreneurial spirit has always played a major role in thriving economies and we see that infusion of new ideas and products taking hold throughout Jefferson Parish and the remainder of the River Region. Through the JEDCO Challenge, we are furthering our role within the entrepreneurial community and finding new ways to engage and assist companies as they journey toward growth and sustainability. This is a wonderful partnership and we are proud to be a part of this event,” added Ryan.

JEDCO and First NBC Bank are still accepting applications for the 2014 JEDCO Challenge. They are looking for entrepreneurs with unique ideas that have the high potential to grow and positively impact Jefferson Parish. Entrepreneurs are urged to apply for the challenge on JEDCO’s website.

They must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Must live, work or have a strong presence in Jefferson Parish
  • Must generate less than $1 million in revenue
  • Must have 10 or fewer employees
  • Must be a for-profit company

The deadline to apply is February 7th. Applicants will be narrowed down through a rigorous review process. Finalists will be chosen at the end of February with one month for pitch preparation and business plan assistance.

The entrepreneur challenge will be held March 25th at 2:00 at Southport Hall  during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. The culmination of the Idea Village’s annual Entrepreneur Season, NOEW has become the premiere showcase event for the New Orleans entrepreneurial ecosystem. NOEW 2014 is expected to engage 5,000+ of the nation’s most innovative business leaders, financiers, entrepreneurs and students.

This event would not be possible without assistance from our Jefferson Parish businesses and organizations. We would like to thank the following for their sponsorship of the event: First NBC Bank, Sandler Training, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Business Innovation Center at Churchill, Baker Donelson, Compucast Web Design, Cordina New Orleans Cocktails, Cox Communications, LaPorte,  LSBDC GNOR, Gillis, Ellis & Baker,  MMI Culinary Services, Postlethwaite & Netterville,  Gambel Communications, Ardyn Thriffily and Associates, and A Journey to Success.

We are still accepting additional donations of in-kind services and money to grow the JEDCO Challenge prize package. Click here for details.

Visit JEDCO’s website for additional information.


About First NBC Bank: First NBC Bank received a charter to begin operation from the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions in May 2006. Through overwhelming support from the local community, the Bank’s initial capital footings exceeded $60 million, which set a record for the largest initial capital raised by a Louisiana chartered institution. There are 31 banking offices on the South and North Shores of the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area. First NBC Bank has been selected as one of the Best Places to Work six times in a row New Orleans CityBusiness.

The bank’s mission is to deliver world-class service through developing long-term relationships with clients while providing a great place to work for its employees and demonstrating outstanding corporate citizenship within its communities, resulting in exceptional returns for its shareholders.