Press Releases

Sixth annual JEDCO Challenge pitch finalists announced

(AVONDALE, LA) — The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and Great Lakeside Corporation are pleased to introduce the five companies scheduled to compete in the sixth annual JEDCO Challenge powered by Greater Lakeside Corporation. The JEDCO Challenge is a Jefferson Parish-based business pitch competition created to elevate opportunities for local startup companies. It has become a premier event for Jefferson Parish.

JEDCO received nearly 30 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 live pitch event at Lakeway One in Metairie on May 15th.  The JEDCO Challenge features a diverse group of startup companies with backgrounds in a variety of industries tied to Jefferson Parish.


Dig – The Dog Person’s Dating App
Leigh Isaacson
Dig – The Dog Person’s Dating App is the best way for dog lovers and dog owners to find a compatible date. Dig is an iOS app available for free on the App Store, and it will help you find someone you really Dig. Search for dog lovers with a dog or without a dog, plan a date with a list of dog-friendly locations near you, enjoy a daily deal from a pet company, and learn tips and tricks of the day from vets, trainers and pet industry experts. Dig is a Jefferson Parish-based company with a nationwide paw print. All dogs featured on the @DigDates Instagram are available for adoption from Jefferson SPCA and New Orleans Bulldog Rescue.
Facebook: DigDates
Twitter: @DigDates
Instagram: @DigDates

David Tulman
Every year, 5 million biopsy procedures are performed to diagnose cancer in the United States. However, 1 million patients need repeat procedures due to inadequate biopsy quality. Painful repeat procedures also delay life-saving treatments. Current biopsy quality assurance methods capture less than 1% of a total biopsy. Instapath makes a digital microscopic imaging system that provides an exact picture of whole biopsies at high resolution within seconds to ensure the quality of biopsies. By improving the accuracy and workflow of rapid on-site evaluation of biopsies, Instapath reduces the need for repeat procedures and increases operating room capacity and hospital revenue.
Facebook: Instapathbio
Twitter: @instapathbio

Pang Wangle
Jennifer John
Pang Wangle creates soft, light sun-protective clothing with built-in bug repellent, bridging the gap between function and fashion. The company’s Made in the USA, sustainable clothes put high-performance fabrics into everyday casual styles that will take consumers from the bayou to brunch. Pang Wangle launched its online store in December 2017 with the Journey Scarf – a lightweight infinity scarf made from recycled fabric with a hidden zipper pocket and Insect shield® bug repellent. The colors come from a variety of recycled items, so no dyes are used. The company’s first sun protective shirt, the Boho Classic, is in production and will be available for sale in June 2018 with additional styles for men and women coming soon. Pang Wangle is vintage American slang, meaning ‘to go along cheerfully despite minor misfortunes.’ It is a playful name for a playful brand that celebrates getting outdoors no matter what the elements.
Facebook: PangWangleGear
Twitter: @PangWangleGear

Pilothouse Software
James Lancaster
Pilothouse Software is a software solutions company dedicated to reducing the regulatory burden on the marine service industry. Using cutting-edge technology, Pilothouse Software transforms complex manual Policies and Procedures required within the marine services industry into a simple, event-driven “to do” list. The company’s mission is to improve the safety of people, property, and our environment through guided process, data automation, and business insights.

Stop & Block
Sean McCloskey
Stop & Block has created an automated sunscreen dispenser where people can get single serve sunscreen on the go. The dispensers are placed at highly-trafficked locations where people will be outdoors for long periods of time, such as golf courses, parks, beaches, amusement parks, stadiums, pools, and festivals. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and a person dies of melanoma every 54 minutes. Stop & Block prevents unprotected exposure to the sun, reducing skin cancer, long-term skin damage, and short term discomfort.

The finalists will compete on Tuesday, May 15th, on the 11th floor of Lakeway One in Metairie. The event starts at 1:00 p.m. Register for the event here.

Each company will have just 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 a crowd vote. JEDCO will give every person in the crowd an opportunity to choose their favorite startup after all five have pitched. A small number of points will be awarded to the crowd favorite and added to that company’s overall score. The entrepreneur with the winning pitch will receive $20,000 in direct capital and additional in-kind services such as marketing, accounting, and legal assistance.

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. Previous winners include Be Well Nutrition (ICONIC), PortaVision Medical, InnoGenomics Technologies, Bhoomi Cane Water, and Chosen Diagnostics.


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 Greater Lakeside Corporation: Jeffrey Feil, President & CEO of The Feil Organization, heads up Greater Lakeside Corporation and its subsidiaries. The Feil Organization is a family-owned real estate business with roots in New Orleans dating back nearly six decades. The company owns and manages a real estate portfolio with holdings in the Greater New Orleans Area, which has grown 69 % over the past 13 years to include over 31 properties and 6.1 million square feet. Notable holdings include Lakeside Shopping Center, The Galleria, Carrollton Shopping Center and the Lakeway Center office complex. Other holdings include a diverse mix of office, retail, residential, and industrial properties. The Feil Organization has a regional office in Metairie, employing over 100 people. The office also manages real estate holdings in Chicago and Baton Rouge.