Jedco Challenge

Winner’s Circle
Winner’s Circle

Congratulations to Chosen Diagnostics, the winner of the 2017 JEDCO Challenge. Read More

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. Watch the 2015 JEDCO Challenge Video >> 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 by 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 15, 2018. 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 Monday, March 26, 2018. 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 the first week of April 2018.  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 15, 2018. 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 2018 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.

2018 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: Monday, March 26, 2018
  • Semifinal Interviews: April 5th and 6th, 2018
  • Pitch Prep Sessions (mandatory for all finalists): Week of April 23, 2018
  • 2018 JEDCO Challenge: May 15, 2018


Applications for the 2018 JEDCO Challenge are open.

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 2017?

How many employees do you have?

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)?

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.

2017 Sponsors

365 Connect, Ardyn Thriffiley & Associates, Carver, Darden, Koretzsky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC, Biz New Orleans, Connect2Sell, Daul Insurance,  Gillis, Ellis & Baker, Innovation Ochsner, Jefferson Chamber, LaPorte CPA’s and Business Advisors, Louisiana Small  Business Development Center, Postlethwaite & Netterville, & Touchpoints Marketing & Advertising


Meet our Entrepreneurs


Nicholas Pashos
BioAesthetics was founded in 2015 as a Tulane University spin-out with the mission to improve reconstruction options for breast cancer patients after they undergo mastectomies. The BioAesthetics' initial product is a tissue-engineered nipple-areolar complex (NAC). This product will be provided to plastic and reconstructive surgeons as an off-the-shelf ready, acellular, NAC graft. During the breast reconstruction phase, after a mastectomy, the surgeon would engraft the NAC graft in position onto the patient's reconstructed breast. The patient's body would then use this NAC graft as a building frame to regenerate their own NAC. This patent-pending product is currently in the pre-clinical phase.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Chosen Diagnostics

Sunyoung Kim
Chosen Diagnostics' core mission is to improve health care delivery for patients by providing diagnostic tests that personalize their treatment. The company is developing a biomarker test to diagnose a common and life-threatening gastrointestinal disease, called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), in preterm infants with low birth weight. Annually, over 6,000 preterm infants in the US acquire NEC, which incurs $3.2 billion in healthcare costs. In Louisiana alone, 1,400 preterm infants each year are at risk. For the last three decades, NEC diagnosis has relied on radiology, which identifies only 44% of affected infants. The rapid pace of disease progression usually results in bowel destruction and surgery. More than a quarter of the affected infants die. Survivors are faced with long-term health complications. Accordingly, there is a critical need for a diagnostic test with better performance. Our solution is Neonatal DDx, a novel test that identifies 93% true positives and 95% true negatives. Such medical device advancement and adoption within hospitals in Jefferson Parish and the greater New Orleans area can spur earlier NEC treatment and improve outcomes in these fragile patients, as well as lower health care costs.

Drone Party Planet

Phil Taylor
Drone Party Planet combines fun social gatherings with the thrill of flying a drone. Drone Party Planet brings drone flying virtually anywhere via its patent-pending DroneZone. The DroneZone is a modular enclosure, which can be easily set up without tools, and can be scaled from a small (1200 cu-ft) demo size used in retail to a very large size (approx. 20,000 cu-ft) used in festivals and conferences. The company offers onsite Drone Birthday Parties, engaging drone-build classes, and flight rentals at its Clearview Mall location. It is the first company to offer existing party service companies a turnkey drone party product that will satisfy the ever-growing drone market.
Website | Facebook


IDIYA designs, installs, supplies and supports innovative learning Labs in schools across the Greater New Orleans region. These "Makerspace" classrooms, outfitted with cutting-edge equipment, provide students with hands-on opportunities to problem-solve, apply skills to functional projects, and prepare for the 21st century workforce. Using a turnkey delivery model, IDIYA Labs works closely with educational administrators to determine the most efficient use of available space and funding to customize a school's "Makerspace." IDIYA installs equipment and support furnishings in designated spaces and then, provides equipment training for school staff. The company also provides school-specific evaluation metrics and grading rubrics for instructors to assess student readiness and progress. IDIYA's model addresses workforce development needs within the community as companies seek workers with specific technical skills. Schools that work with IDIYA position their students for success in a rapidly changing economic climate.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Southern City Farm

Andrew Prat
Southern City Farm is a local urban farm located in an 1,100 square foot, climate controlled warehouse in Elmwood, Louisiana. The company provides the freshest specialty produce available on a consistent basis to chefs, restaurants, and markets throughout the Jefferson-Orleans Parishes. Growing locally, Southern City Farm ensure freshness of product and personable service. The company currently produce microgreens, micro herbs, and edible flowers. Southern City Farm has achieved superb growth throughout 2016, increasing revenue by over 8 times in 12 months, and plans to market through distributors and high-end retailers in 2017, further expanding their growth. The company plans to replicate this local urban farm concept in large cities across the United States.
Website | Facebook | Twitter


Fuji Vegetable Oil to build $70 million processing facility in Jefferson Parish

We are thrilled to welcome Fuji Vegetable Oil to Jefferson Parish. The global company will create 39 high-paying jobs and invest $70 million into the project. Read more »

Greater Lakeside Corporation to be 2018 JEDCO Challenge title sponsor

JEDCO is excited to announce its newest partnership. The 2018 JEDCO Challenge will be sponsored by Greater Lakeside Corporation and its subsidiaries. Read more »

JEDCO selects award-winning firm to develop Churchill Technology & Business Park master plan

(AVONDALE, La) – Following a public Request for Proposals (RFP) process, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) has selected Perkins+Will to develop a master plan for the Churchill Technology & Business Park in the Fairfield area of Avondale. The award-winning global multi-disciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm will begin developing the plan in late February. The entirety of the planning process will span … Read more »



Ready to help.

Kelsey Scram
700 Churchill Parkway
Fairfield, Louisiana 70094
P 504.875.3908
F 504.875.3923


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