The JEDCO Challenge is scheduled for March 20, 2017. This exciting Jefferson-Parish based competition features five innovative startup companies pitching for a chance to win $20,000 in direct capital and additional in-kind services. Emceed by Mike Hoss, founder of Hoss Communications and former WWL Eyewitness News Morning Anchor, the JEDCO Challenge is scheduled for March 20th at Southport Hall at 1:30 PM.
JEDCO sought out five business leaders with expertise in entrepreneurship to help determine the winner of the fifth annual pitch competition. This panel of business leaders serves a wide range of industries valuable to startup companies’ development.
Meet Our Judges
Aimee Quirk, Chief Executive Officer
Aimee Quirk is the CEO of InnovationOchsner (“iO”), an innovation lab and accelerator founded by Ochsner Health System in 2015 to reimagine and revolutionize the experience and delivery of healthcare in a way that creates value. Aimee joined Ochsner in 2015 with more than 15 years of experience in law, economic development and public affairs. She served for over four years as the Senior Advisor for Economic Development in the Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Prior to her public service, Aimee was a partner at Jones Walker, where she practiced corporate and business litigation. She received her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law and her B.S. in Finance from Louisiana State University. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the New Orleans Business Alliance Board, a partnership between business and government to promote economic development, and on the Tulane Law Review Board of Advisory Editors.
Daryl Schloz, Angel Investor
NOLA Angel Network
Daryl serves as a Board Member of the NO/LA Angel Network and he is the president of Fabricari LLC, a custom metal fabrication company located in the City of Kenner. Prior to his work in New Orleans, Daryl earned an engineering degree from Iowa State and spent 38 years working for John Deere in a variety of capacities, including Engineering, Manufacturing, Human Resources, Reliability, and General Management, which have taken him to 40 countries around the world. In his final years at John Deere he was the General Manager for the company’s worldwide sugarcane harvesting equipment business, which brought him to Louisiana in 2002. Daryl has done a significant amount of business and management consulting during his time in the Greater New Orleans area.
Ray Seamon, Senior Vice President
First NBC Bank
George Raymond Seamon, Jr., is a licensed pharmacist who, after graduation, founded IMR Corporation, a medical supply and safety equipment distribution company servicing the commercial and industrial marketplace. Ray’s marketing, administrative and managerial abilities have enabled him to establish and successfully grow several businesses throughout his career. He established Work Zone, Inc., a highway traffic control and guardrail contractor, in the 1980s, which contributed significantly to the rebuilding of roads in South Louisiana. The business grew to become the largest in the state. Ray also founded Traffic Solutions, Inc. in the early 2000s and served as a managing partner in commercial and residential housing developments as well as restaurant and entertainment establishments. Ray was the Executive Vice President/Partner of Louisiana Landscape Specialty, Inc., one of the largest landscape contractors in Louisiana. Today, he serves as Senior Vice President with First NBC Bank.
Sherif Ebrahim, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Education
Sherif Ebrahim is Chairman of Strategic Management Group and Managing Partner of SMG Capital, nationally recognized Private Equity Firms. He is a Fellow of the American College Healthcare Executives and also Fellows of NAPH, NYU, and Health Systems. His PhD in Strategy & Innovation from Oklahoma State University focused on the moderating effects of context on strategic performance outcomes in Fortune 1000 innovative organizations. He is a recognized expert of Health Systems, Strategy and Innovation and has extensive CEO, senior executive, strategy, and operational experience with many large corporations, health systems, and organizations. He is a professor of Strategy & Innovation at Tulane University as well as the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Education. Sherif served as CEO of several large corporations and in a senior executive management position in a Fortune 100 company. Two U.S. Presidents, the Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and a Fortune 100 Company, nationally recognized him for his work in healthcare and strategic leadership. He was also appointed to professional leadership positions by two Louisiana Governors, and recognized on several occasions for his health care policy, innovation and leadership by the President of the United States.
Todd Tournillon, Director
Postlethwaite & Netterville
Todd Tournillon, CPA, is a Director in Postlethwaite & Netterville’s Accounting and Assurance Services Group. Todd joined the firm in 2000 and became a Director in 2007. His public accounting experience includes providing assurance services for clients in a variety of industries, including construction, hospitality, gaming, transportation, government, oilfield services, auto dealerships, and non-profit. Todd is heavily involved with P&N’s college recruiting programs and is involved with professional organizations at various local universities.
“We are grateful for the support of the business leaders serving on our 2017 JEDCO Challenge judges’ panel,” says Jerry Bologna, JEDCO President & CEO. “These individuals represent the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Greater New Orleans region. Their experiences starting a business or working with entrepreneurs on a regular basis ideally positions them to help us choose our 2017 JEDCO Challenge winner. This competition could not happen without support from business leaders like the ones serving on our panel this year.”
Over 20 companies applied to participate in the 2017 JEDCO Challenge. It is the only Jefferson Parish-based pitch competition held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) presented by IBERIABANK, which is produced by The Idea Village in partnership with the Solomon Group. The five startups chosen to compete will have just seven minutes each to present a live pitch in front of the business panel. They will be scored based upon the live pitch, a condensed business plan submitted in advance of the competition, and a crowd vote.