Press Releases

JEDCO Challenge finalists nominated for The Big Idea

The countdown is underway to the JEDCO Challenge, a pitch competition for entrepreneurs with ties to Jefferson Parish. The third annual event, powered by First NBC Bank and in partnership with the Jefferson Chamber, will feature five incredible startup companies that are changing the world in which we live for the better. It will be held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK, which is produced by The Idea Village.

This year, JEDCO also had a chance to provide an extra opportunity for some of the startups competing in the JEDCO Challenge. Through the organization’s partnership with The Idea Village, JEDCO nominated three companies for potential participation in The Big Idea, the culminating event of NOEW 2015.  This event features 12 of Greater New Orleans’ most promising startup ventures and you, our local community, have a chance to decide which companies will be included.

Twenty-two Big Idea nominees, including the three nominated by JEDCO, are featured on a voting platform. From now until Monday, March 23rd, the public can vote on their favorite entrepreneurs once a day. The 12 community favorites, as determined by the gross number of votes received, will go on to participate in The Big Idea.

JEDCO nominated AxoSim Technologies, Cook Me Somethin’ Mister, and Sock Spot. These three companies will pitch during the JEDCO Challenge, but they’re also eligible to compete in The Big Idea and they need your help to get there.

AxoSim Technologies:

The brains behind this cutting edge, nerve-on-a-chip technology say they’re improving the drug development process by decreasing the need to test on animals. See AxoSim’s video pitch here. Vote for all the JEDCO Challenge nominees here.

Cook Me Somethin’ Mister

This locally-owned family business brings an authentic taste of New Orleans to the world through its easy-to-prepare jambalaya and gumbo mixes. See Cook Me Somethin’ Mister’s video pitch here. Vote for all the JEDCO Challenge nominees here.

Sock Spot (Pleasantree, LLC)

This book and toy combo solves the household problem of misplacing socks through an educational story packaged with an organizing rack that installs on any washer/dryer. See Sock Spot’s video pitch here. Vote for all the JEDCO Challenge nominees here.

The JEDCO Challenge will also feature two other innovative startups: InnoGenomics Technologies, which is currently developing a liquid biopsy method to detect and monitor cancer through a minimally invasive blood test, and myMix Nutrition, an e-commerce store that allows people to buy their own custom protein powder products. myMix Nutrition was also nominated for The Big Idea. You can see the company’s pitch video here.

Register to attend the JEDCO Challenge powered by First NBC Bank at 2 p.m. on March 23rd at Southport Hall to see all five of these companies pitch in the third annual Challenge. Each company will have seven minutes to present a live pitch in front of a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders.  Entrepreneurs will be scored based upon the live pitch, a condensed 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 entrepreneur with the winning pitch will receive a growing prize package of in-kind business services and direct capital.

Click here to register for the JEDCO Challenge. You will need to create a login through and then, add the JEDCO Challenge to your schedule by clicking on the star next to the JEDCO Challenge in the NOEW calendar.

JEDCO created the Challenge in 2013 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.

Visit the JEDCO Challenge website for continued updates on our finalists, our judge’s panel and our growing 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 and support of the JEDCO Challenge:  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, Gambel Communications, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, LSBDC GNOR, MMI Culinary Services,  M S Benbow & Associates, Postlethwaite & Netterville, and Sandler Training.

We would also like to thank our supporting partners: The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Idea Village, Elmwood Business Association, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Greater New Orleans, Inc., Jefferson Parish, New Orleans BioInnovation Center, 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.