Press Releases

JEDCO Challenge Finalists Announced

The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and First NBC Bank, in partnership with the Jefferson Chamber and Idea Village, are pleased to introduce the five companies that will compete in the second annual Jefferson Parish-based pitch competition during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW).

JEDCO received over 40 applications for the JEDCO Challenge from entrepreneurs with ties to Jefferson Parish. Through a rigorous review process, a selection committee of business leaders chose five companies to participate in the pitch event. From healthcare and advanced manufacturing to a wide spectrum of technology-based products, the finalists have companies that fall into a range of industries.


ADVANO: Alexander Girau

ADVANO is a nanotechnology company that specializes in the manufacturing of advanced materials called nanoparticles. Featuring a process coined Mechanochemical Attrition, ADVANO’s process consolidates four necessary manufacturing steps into a single, simple, rapid, and scalable step, providing a viable source of nanoparticles at industrial scales and at efficiencies that rival processes use by industrial powerhouses. This robust process can revolutionize several multi-billion dollar markets ranging from gene therapy for cancer treatment to advanced lithium-ion batteries for mobile and automotive applications. Initially, ADVANO’s market penetration strategy will begin in the lithium-ion battery space mainly due to the adoption of silicon nanoparticles as electrode materials. As the demand of lithium-ion battery-based mobile phones and automobiles grows exponentially, a large source of silicon nanoparticles will be needed. ADVANO is able to rapidly and efficiently fulfill this need.Learn more on ADVANO’s website.

The Collector: Alex Goss and Michael Angle

Collecting money from friends for Fantasy Football leagues, March Madness brackets, and group vacations is a pain.  No longer.  A new website has developed a way to make collecting money from friends easy and effective. Developed locally by Revelry Labs, The Collector takes a three-pronged approach to getting paid by your pals: payments, reminders and organization. Your friends aren’t asked to download, signup, or link a bank account, so there’s no excuse not to pay. Debtors simply use their credit cards or PayPal accounts on a secure checkout screen, and the debt is paid. For those “forgetful” friends, The Collector sends out automatic reminder emails on the organizer’s behalf until he/she is paid. Lastly, The Collector creates a convenient dashboard to organize who’s paid and who hasn’t.  No more spreadsheets needed! It’s the most painless and effective way to collect money from your friends…period. Learn more on The Collector’s website.

GetHealthy: Blaine Lindsey

GetHealthy is an evidence-based health and wellness platform that develops customized solutions and services for direct pay physicians, employers, and insurance providers seeking to engage and improve the health of their patients, employees and policyholders. GetHealthy drives engagement by delivering meaningful, peer-reviewed health optimization services through comprehensive, creative, and personalized interventions. Learn more on GetHealthy’s website.

MobileQubes: Sean Carrigan, Jason Palmer, Mike Melito

MobileQubes is the world’s first self-automated Kiosk that dispenses high capacity smart phone batteries called “Qubes” that customers can rent and return for a low-cost wireless and cord free charging solution. The Kiosks will be strategically placed in high-traffic venues within facilities across the country to solve the on-going issue and problem that 165 million U.S. mobile phone users struggle with every day, a dead or dying cell phone. It’s a simple and an extremely affordable Plug and Go Mobile Device charging solution. “MobileQubes. Mobile Power. Untethered.” Learn more on the MobileQubes website.

PortaVision: Terry Ancar

PortaVision Medical designed and manufactured the NeoRay Portable Digital X-Ray System. NeoRay is the first FDA-approved portable X-Ray system optimized for neonatal X-Ray imaging. Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) worldwide rely on the same X-Ray devices used on adults for imaging of fragile premature infant patients. The NeoRay is a small, compact system that is specially designed to be used in NICUs to provide radiographic and fluoroscopic capabilities at the incubator. In comparison to the 1200 lb. X-Ray systems currently being used, the NeoRay will greatly enhance and improve the outcome of preterm babies by saving imaging time, reducing infant radiation exposure, and improving a physician’s ability to make critical treatment decisions quickly.   Learn more on PortaVision’s website.

“We are overwhelmed by the caliber of the entrepreneurs who applied for this competition,” says JEDCO Executive Director Jerry Bologna. “We have so many unique startup companies that play a role in the region’s successes and choosing from such a deep pool of talent was a truly difficult task. These five companies chosen to compete in the JEDCO Challenge represent a diverse base of some of the most innovative minds in our area. I look forward to seeing the impact they will have on the Jefferson Parish community.”

“The JEDCO Challenge provides a wonderful platform for the companies participating,” says First NBC Bank President & CEO Ashton J. Ryan Jr. “Not only does it connect these entrepreneurs with businessmen and women who can help them grow and achieve success in Jefferson Parish, but it also gives our community a real opportunity to see the true talent, energy and creativity present in our community right now.”

The finalists will compete during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on March 25th at Southport Hall. The event starts at 2:00. Each company will have seven minutes to do a live pitch in front of a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders.  Entrepreneurs will be scored based upon the live pitch, a business plan submitted in advance of the competition and crowd vote. JEDCO will give the crowd an opportunity to choose their favorite pitch. A small number of points will be awarded to the crowd favorite and added to the overall score. The winning pitch will receive a prize package of in-kind business services and direct capital valued at over $50,000 and still growing.

The JEDCO Challenge was brought to life last year to identify, engage with and assist our up-and-coming innovators. The goal of the competition is to elevate opportunities for local entrepreneurs in the area through direct capital, business services, increased visibility and mentorship.

Click here to attend the JEDCO Challenge and visit the JEDCO Challenge Information Center for continued updates on our finalists, our judge’s panel and our prize package.

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.


About JEDCO:The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) is an independent, yet complementary arm of Jefferson Parish government with the main objective of attracting, growing and creating new business in our area. JEDCO’s mission is to proactively influence the economy through the retention and creation of quality jobs, entrepreneurship and investment in Jefferson Parish.

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.

About New Orleans Entrepreneur Week: The entrepreneur challenge will be held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week for the second year in a row. 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.