Press Releases

InnoGenomics Technologies wins 2015 JEDCO Challenge

A company that has developed a blood test that can save lives won the 2015 JEDCO Challenge Monday afternoon. The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and First NBC Bank, in partnership with the Jefferson Chamber, are pleased to announce InnoGenomics Technologies as the winner of the third annual JEDCO Challenge. Jonathan Tabak, the company’s Vice President, delivered the winning pitch.

InnoGenomics Technologies is dedicated to the development of innovative genetic testing solutions that solve crimes and save lives. The company’s patented technology has multiple applied science applications, including the ability to enable forensic scientists to unlock answers from the most challenging DNA evidence. Currently, the company is developing a liquid biopsy method to detect and monitor cancer through a minimally invasive blood test. InnoGenomics’ scientific team has in-depth expertise in molecular biology, forensic genetics and molecular diagnostics; and the company’s management team has over 85 combined years of experience in successful biotechnology commercialization. InnoGenomics is focused on harnessing the power of genomics to transform healthcare and forensic investigations.

Dr. Sudhir Sinha, the President & CEO of InnoGenomics Technologies, previously established and served as the President and Lab Director of ReliaGene Technologies, an accredited DNA testing laboratory located in Jefferson Parish until it was acquired by Orchid Cellmark in 2007. ReliaGene was a JEDCO success story. Dr. Sinha started the venture through the JEDCO incubator in 1991.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the high level of innovation and excellence showcased through the JEDCO Challenge this year. All of the startups that participated in this event represent the future of business in Jefferson Parish. We look forward to watching them grow and thrive in our community,” says Jerry Bologna, JEDCO Executive Director. “We are also very excited to celebrate the successes of InnoGenomics Technologies. This company has proven itself as a true innovator in its industry and we are excited about the potential for the positive impact that InnoGenomics will have on Jefferson Parish and the rest of the world.”

“The InnoGenomics team is thrilled to have won this prestigious competition,” Jonathan Tabak says. “It validates our business concept while reinforcing our strong ties to Jefferson Parish. We want to thank JEDCO for this tremendous opportunity.”

Held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) presented by IBERIABANK, which is produced by The Idea Village, the JEDCO Challenge is a pitch competition to highlight entrepreneurs with ties to Jefferson Parish. Five startups were chosen out of 33 applicants to compete in Tuesday’s event at Southport Hall. Dr. Lowry Curley, PhD of AxoSim Technologies, Kristen Preau Moore of Cook Me Somethin’ Mister, Crutcher Reiss of myMix Nutrition, and Neil Pierson of Sock Spot joined Tabak to compete for the Jefferson Parish prize package.

The entrepreneurs pitched to over 100 people at Southport Hall Monday afternoon. The winner was partially chosen by a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders: Betsie Gambel, founder of Gambel Communications, Anoop Jain, founder of Humanure Power, Ray Areaux, founding partner of Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, Kerry Kirby, founder and CEO of 365 Connect, and Fred Beebe, a senior vice president at First NBC Bank.

The judges scored the pitches on presentation, innovation, ability to answer questions effectively, Jefferson Parish impact and company scalability. The entrepreneurs also received points based on a crowd vote and business plans submitted in advance of Tuesday’s pitch competition.

InnoGenomics Technologies won a prize package worth almost $60,000 in cash and business services, including:

  • $22,500 in cash thanks to First NBC Bank, Postlethwaite & Netterville, 365 Connect, MMI Culinary Services, Atmos Energy, Daul Insurance and Simmons & White.
  • 25 hours of strategic and competitive intelligence work from Ardyn Thriffiley & Associates
  • Ad placement for three, half page ads to run in Biz New Orleans at the end of this year
  • One year of free office space in the JEDCO Business Innovation Center
  • Legal services through Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux’s Intellectual Property Practice Group
  • 10 hours of insurance consultation with Daul Insurance
  • 20 hours of PR services with Gambel Communications
  • Membership with the Jefferson Chamber, an introductory meeting with Chamber President Todd Murphy and recognition at the Chamber’s Small Business Luncheon.
  • Accounting services with LaPorte CPAs and Business Services
  • In-kind engineering services from M S Benbow & Associates
  • One year of weekly sales training with Sandler Training
  • Business consultation with Simmons & White
  • The second and third places winners will also receive PR assistance from AR/PR

“The JEDCO Challenge provides a wonderful platform for the companies participating,” adds First NBC Bank President & CEO Ashton Ryan. “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 JEDCO Challenge would not have been possible without support from the regional business community. JEDCO would like to sincerely thank everyone who made this event possible in its third year.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2015 SPONSORS:  First NBC Bank, 365 Connect, Ardyn Thriffily and Associates, ARPR, Atmos Energy, Biz New Orleans, Business Innovation Center at Churchill, Carver, Darden, Koretzsky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC, Cox Communications, Daul InsuranceGambel Communications, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, LaPorte CPAs and Business Advisors , MMI Culinary ServicesM S Benbow & Associates, Postlethwaite & Netterville, Sandler Training, and Simmons & White.

JEDCO CHALLENGE SUPPORTING PARTNERS:  Jefferson Parish, The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Idea Village, Elmwood Business Association, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Gillis, Ellis & Baker, Greater New Orleans, Inc., New Orleans BioInnovation Center, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, Propeller & 504ward.


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. Follow JEDCO on Facebook at and Twitter at @JEDCO_News.

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: New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK, is the annual business festival celebrating entrepreneurship, innovation, and advanced thinking in New Orleans. Produced by the Idea Village, NOEW engages a dynamic global community to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration. This year, NOEW 2015 will take place March 20-27, 2015 and 10,000+ are expected to engage through over 70 events.