Press Releases

JEDCO accepting applications for 2016 startup pitch competition

(FAIRFIELD, La) – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), in conjunction with title sponsor First NBC Bank, is currently accepting applications for the 2016 JEDCO Challenge, its fourth annual pitch competition for entrepreneurs with ties to Jefferson Parish. Held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, presented by IBERIABANK, the 2016 JEDCO Challenge will elevate opportunities for early-stage companies in the area.

JEDCO seeks 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 $500,000 in revenue
  • Must have fewer than 5 employees
  • Must be a for-profit company

The competition will be held on Monday, March 14th, at Southport Hall in front of a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders and an audience of their peers. Finalists will be judged on a seven-minute pitch and a business plan, which must be submitted in advance of the competition. The crowd will have an opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite entrepreneur, contributing to the overall scoring process of the competition. The winning pitch will receive $20,000 in direct capital and additional in-kind business services to help grow the company locally.

The application is live on JEDCO’s website. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, 2015.  Applicants will be narrowed down through a rigorous review process.  Finalists will be chosen in mid-December.

For the fourth year in a row, the entrepreneur challenge will be held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW). NOEW is the annual festival produced by The Idea Village celebrating business, innovation and new thinking in New Orleans. The event engages a dynamic global network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, non-profits, students and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition and celebration.

The JEDCO Challenge, powered by First NBC Bank, is a premiere annual event in Jefferson Parish. Past winners include:

  • InnoGenomics Technologies (2015) developed a blood test that can detect and monitor certain types of cancers
  • PortaVision Medical (2014) designed an X-Ray to be used in Neonatal Intensive Care Units to enhance the health of premature babies
  • ICONIC (2013) developed a healthy meal replacement beverage for on-the-go individuals

The JEDCO Challenge would not be possible without support from the regional business community. If you are interested in contributing to the 2016 JEDCO Challenge prize package, please click here for details.

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.

2015 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.

The deadline to apply for The JEDCO Challenge is November 15, 2015. Visit JEDCO’s website to apply!


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 in 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 The Idea Village and NOEW: Founded in 2000, The Idea Village is the first organization with a mission solely centered on entrepreneurship in New Orleans and has played an integral role in catalyzing the city’s entrepreneurial movement.  In addition to supporting 4,600+ entrepreneurs, we have successfully elevated New Orleans’ reputation as a destination for business, entrepreneurship, and innovation. We are committed to growing a collaborative and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem for New Orleans through three core business units: IDEA Villagex, IDEAlab, and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK, is an annual festival celebrating innovation, entrepreneurship, and forward thinking in New Orleans. Produced by The Idea Village, NOEW engages a dynamic global network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration. NOEW 2015 was record breaking, engaging 10,585 people through 86 unique events hosted in conjunction with over 40 local and national partners.