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Judges announced for 2018 JEDCO Challenge

We’re less than one week away from the 2018 JEDCO Challenge powered by Greater Lakeside Corporation!  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 to support business growth. Emceed by Mike Hoss, founder of Hoss Communications and former WWL Eyewitness News Morning Anchor, the JEDCO Challenge is scheduled for May 15th at One Lakeway in Metairie at 1:00 PM.

JEDCO sought out five business leaders with expertise in entrepreneurship to help determine the winner of the sixth annual pitch competition. This panel of business leaders serves a wide range of industries valuable to startup companies’ development.

Meet Our Judges
Sherif Ebrahim, Chairman
Strategic Management Group
Dr. Sherif A. Ebrahim is Chairman of Strategic Management Group and Managing Partner of SMG Capital, both nationally recognized Private Equity and Health Care Firms based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a board certified health care executive, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a NAPH Managed Care Public Policy & Finance Fellow from New York University and a Health Systems Management Fellow from Tulane University. He is an internationally recognized expert of Health Care, Corporate Strategy, Strategic Innovation, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, and Multi-Organizational Innovation. Professor Ebrahim currently serves on the committees of several investment funds. He also serves as a professor of Strategy & Innovation at Tulane University. In the past, he was a CEO for several large corporations and served in a senior executive management position at a Fortune 100 company. Dr. Ebrahim has been nationally recognized for his work in healthcare and strategic leadership by two U.S. Presidents, by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, twice by a Fortune 100 Company. He has also been appointed to professional leadership positions by a Parish President, two Louisiana Governors, and has been named a White House Champion of Change for Innovation by the President of the United States.

Tricia Phillpott, General Manager
Lakeside Shopping Center
Tricia joined Lakeside Shopping Center in 2004 as the Marketing Director, where she played a vital role in the re-opening of the center after Hurricane Katrina as well as the grand openings of Macy’s and the Tax Free Refund Center for International Visitors. Under her watch, Lakeside became the number one Tax Free Shopping Zone in the State of Louisiana. In 2009, Tricia was promoted to Assistant General Manager and joined The Feil Organization’s Retail Leasing Team. She helped to bring Michael Kors, Janie & Jack and Vera Bradley to Lakeside Shopping Center. In 2017, she completed a deal to bring the first Zara to the Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi region and became the Director of Leasing at Lakeside. In 2018, Tricia became Lakeside Shopping Center’s fourth general manager.

Courtney Richard, Founder
Anchor36 Trucking & Logistics
In 2010, Anchor36 Trucking & Logistics began with one truck and a vision. For the past 8 years, Courtney Richard has grown a heavy haul and logistics company in a tough market with a tough crowd.  Courtney built two successful woman-owned companies. Since inception, the Anchor36 companies have grown into a multi-million dollar trucking conglomerate with more than 200% revenue growth year over year until 2016. She developed relationships with and won the business of some of the world’s biggest companies including DHL, Shell, GE, Kiewit, and many global freight forwarders. Courtney spearheads all aspects of staff development and management, including staff and driver recruitment, training, and direction. She is proud of her ability to maintain a reputation for excellent negotiation and presentation skills. Over the years, she has cultivated a reputation as a motivator and public speaker for Women in Non-Traditional Workplaces.

Daryl Schloz, Angel Investor
NOLA Angel Network
Daryl serves as a Board Member of the NO/LA Angel Network, a group of approximately 90 investors who invest in early-stage companies. He is currently a business consultant and the former 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 with 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.

Neel Sus, Founder & CEO
Susco Solutions
Neel Sus is the founder and CEO of Susco Solutions, a local tech firm that creates intuitive software for high-growth people-centric businesses and organizations. Neel began his career as an engineer at Avondale Shipyard in 1999 before transferring to the Project Finance Group in 2002. Because all work orders were written by hand at that time, Neel taught himself programming to create the first electronic work order system in Avondale history. In January 2005, he started Susco Solutions part-time while still working at Avondale. A year and a half later, he left Avondale to pursue Susco full-time, committing himself to being part of the New Orleans comeback post-Katrina. Susco became one of the first three firms in Louisiana to develop an application for the iPhone. Over the last five years, Susco has become a market leader for internal business software development, legacy systems conversions, mobile workforce applications, Salesforce implementations and commercial mobile apps. In 2007, Neel was the first participant in Entrepreneur Organization’s accelerator program, which helps businesses get from $250,000 to over $1 million in revenue. He was a founding member of net2no, a charter member of the GNO Inc. NextGen Council and a past president of the American Association of Indian Professionals. Neel has won multiple awards since Susco’s inception, including Innovator of the Year (New Orleans CityBusiness), 40 Under 40 (Gambit Magazine), Silicon Bayou 100 Most Influential People (Silicon Bayou).

“We are grateful for the support of the business leaders serving on our 2018 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 JEDCO Challenge winner. This competition could not happen without support from business leaders like the ones serving on our panel this year.”

Nearly 30 companies applied to participate in the 2018 JEDCO Challenge powered by Greater Lakeside Corporation. 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. Crowd vote makes up 25% of the score, so be sure to join us to vote for your favorite startup company.

Register here.