Jedco Challenge

From Startup to Success Story
From Startup to Success Story

JEDCO serves as a resource for entrepreneurs all year round. Learn more about our business incubator. Read More

5 startups. 5 pitches. 1 winner.
5 startups. 5 pitches. 1 winner.

  The JEDCO Challenge provides a platform for early-stage ventures to connect with Jefferson Parish business leaders. Read More

Winner’s Circle
Winner’s Circle

  Congratulations to Instapath, the winner of the 2018 JEDCO Challenge. Read More


The JEDCO Challenge helps startups become success stories.

The JEDCO Challenge, powered by Greater Lakeside Corporation, elevates opportunities for entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform in which to showcase their early-stage ventures and uniting them with today’s local business leaders, establishing relationships that will provide access to direct capital, business resources and mentorship. Our up-and-coming innovators are the future of Jefferson Parish and we want to give them the tools to find success locally.

It’s happening Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Startups compete for $20,000 in direct capital and additional in-kind business services to help them grow. This competition is for any startup company with ties to Jefferson Parish hoping to make it to that next step. We’re here to help!

How Does It Work?
First thing’s first! Apply for the JEDCO Challenge by 11:59 PM on Tuesday April, 2, 2019. See criteria below.

Once the deadline has passed, JEDCO will choose 10 applicants to move on to the semifinal interview round. Interviews for that portion of the competition will happen mid-April. Our panel of experts will help us choose our JEDCO Challenge finalists.

The chosen few finalists will be invited to give a live pitch & a product demo at the JEDCO Challenge on May 14, 2019. They also have to present a condensed business plan (1-2 pages) for judges’ review in advance of the competition.

Don’t worry! We don’t just throw our finalists to the wolves. Every entrepreneur chosen to compete in the JEDCO Challenge MUST go through one Pitch Prep session with JEDCO. It’s mandatory and former finalists tell us it’s very helpful. Plan for that in late April.

What happens if you make it to the final round?
Here’s what you can expect on the day of the event.

  • Finalists will have a table to showcase their product at the 2019 JEDCO Challenge. This is important because it will help our finalists secure votes.
  • Finalists will have just seven minutes to pitch their ventures to a panel of Jefferson Parish business leaders and a live audience.
  • Judges have 5 minutes for questions after each pitch concludes.
  • The judges AND the audience will choose a winner. Total scores are based on crowd vote, judges’ scores, and the business plan score.
  • The winning pitch receives $20,000 in cash and additional in-kind business services (thanks to our amazing sponsors) to help grow their company locally.

2019 JEDCO Challenge Criteria
JEDCO seeks entrepreneurs with unique ideas that have the high potential to grow and positively impact Jefferson Parish. 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
  • Must not have been a Top Five finalist in previous JEDCO Challenge competitions

Important Dates
Interested in applying? Then you’ll need to mark these dates on your calendar!

  • Deadline to Apply: Tuesday, April 2, 2019
  • Semifinal Interviews: April 11 & 12
  • Pitch Prep Sessions (mandatory for all finalists): Late April/Early May
  • 2019 JEDCO Challenge: May 14, 2019


2019 JEDCO Challenge Criteria
JEDCO seeks entrepreneurs with unique ideas that have the high potential to grow and positively impact Jefferson Parish. 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
– Must not have been a Top Five finalist in previous JEDCO Challenge competitions


Contact Name:
Business Name:
Company Website:
Contact E-mail:
Contact Phone:
Company Facebook Page:
Company Twitter Page:
Company LinkedIn Page:

Is your company located in Jefferson Parish? Where? Why did you decide to locate in Jefferson Parish?

If your company is not located in Jefferson Parish, what is your connection to JP? Do you have plans to move to Jefferson Parish (This can be where you live, where your largest customer base is, where your investors live/work, etc.)?

What do you think are the strengths of doing business in Jefferson Parish ?

How many years has your business been operating?

Is your business a for-profit company?

Current revenue for 2018?

How many employees do you have?

Based on projected growth, how many employees do you expect to have in 2 years?

At what stage is your business (250 words or less)?

Please describe your business or business concept (200 words or less)?

Who is your target market? How big is it, and do you expect it to change over time (500 words or less)?

How does your company make money (200 words or less)?

What/who is your competition (500 words or less)?

What is your competitive advantage? What sets your company apart? What are you doing that is new or innovative (500 words or less)?

Do you have financial projections for your company? Where do you want your company to be performing in five years (500 words or less)?

What are the key challenges facing your business right now (500 words or less)?

Which of the following would be most valuable for your business?

If "other" was chosen for the above, why (200 words or less)?

Why are you the right entrepreneur for this business? Please explain what relevant experience you have (500 words or less).

Are you a founder of this business? If you have partners/founders/investors, please list their role/responsibilities (500 words or less).

What are the qualification of your management team (500 words or less)?

What do you hope to accomplish by participating in the JEDCO Entrepreneur Challenge? Why is this the right time for your business to participate (500 words or less)?

Last year, our winner received over $20,000 in cash. What would you do with the prize money (500 words or less)?

Anything else you want to share about your company? For example, does your company’s product or service serve to impact community development, offer a solution for sustainability or green-thinking, etc?

Enter the characters from above:



The JEDCO Challenge would not be possible without the support of our local business community.

JEDCO would like to extend a big thank you to all of the companies and organizations that supported the 2017 JEDCO Challenge. Our sponsors donated money, time, and in-kind services to ensure the JEDCO Challenge has a positive impact on regional entrepreneurs and the Jefferson Parish community. Please take a minute to look through the list of sponsors for the event. Their kindness gives us the chance to connect vision with opportunity.

2019 Partners

Jefferson Chamber of Commerce; Jefferson Parish; Elmwood Business Association; Greater New Orleans, Inc.; City of Gretna, JEDCO Development Corporation; Westbank Business & Industry Association; Louisiana Small Business Development Center – Greater New Orleans; Tulane University Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation – Freeman School of Business; Women’s Business Enterprise Council South


Meet our Entrepreneurs

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.
Website | Facebook | Twitter


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.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Pilothouse Software

James Lancaster & Paul Reynolds
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.


JEDCO seeking receptionist

JEDCO is seeking a receptionist to join our team. Read more »

JEDCO accepting applications for 2019 startup pitch competition

The JEDCO Challenge is a premier pitch competition for startups with ties to Jefferson Parish. Interested small business owners are encouraged to apply before April 2, 2019. Read more »

JEDCO unveils master plan for West Bank development

The JEDCO Board approved the adoption of the Churchill Technology & Business Park master plan in February. The plan calls for complete streets, mixed-use tenants, innovative stormwater management and a progressive community gathering space. Read more »



Ready to help.

Kelsey Scram
700 Churchill Parkway
Avondale, Louisiana 70094
P 504.875.3927


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