StartUp St. Bernard Entrepreneur Challenge


Startup St. Bernard


Startup St. Bernard presented by the Meraux Foundation and the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation is seeking out innovative entrepreneurs willing to give 110% to compete for a prize package worth $110K designed to help propel their business to the next level. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for a chance to pitch their business to a panel of judges in St. Bernard Parish during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on Monday, March 20, 2017 at the Meraux Foundation’s Docville Farm.

Startup St. Bernard is looking for innovative entrepreneurs to locate their businesses in St. Bernard Parish. The Parish is a land of opportunity for businesses, especially startups. While just minutes away from downtown New Orleans, land, labor, and costs of doing business are low — and the business support network is robust. The challenge is being organized by the Meraux Foundation, the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation and The Idea Village™. Supporting partners include Nunez Community College, St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership St. Bernard.

The Startup St. Bernard Challenge is open to any startup* business that will:

  • Locate base of operations to St. Bernard Parish for at least 2 years
  • Improve St. Bernard Parish**
  • Become part of the St. Bernard Parish entrepreneur ecosystem

*Must be in business for 5 years or less or an existing business creating a new division or entity, must have yearly revenue under $1,000,000, must have 5 employees or less, and cannot be a non-profit.

**Improve St. Bernard by creating jobs, investing capital into the parish, improving the image of St. Bernard, and/or contributing to growing the core Startup St. Bernard sectors: creative digital media, cultural arts/cultural economy, arts/entertainment, advanced manufacturing/value-added manufacturing, logistics, and the seafood industry.

$120,000+ Prize Package

  • Cash
  • The Meraux Foundation $15000
  • Park Investments, Ltd. $5000
  • St. Bernard Parish Government $5000
  • Palms Truck Stop $2500
  • Sidney Torres, III $2500
  • Chalmette Refining $2000
  • Mrs. Rita Gue $1000
  • Mr. Floyd Gue $1000
  • Nunez Community College Foundation $1000
  • Mr. Fred Sigur (Taurus Properties) $1000
  • Palmisano Contractors $500
  • Southern Insurance Agency, LLC $500
  • Sheriff Jimmy Pohlamm $500
  • Senator Sharon Hewitt $500
  • Senator JP Morrell $500
  • 40 Arpent Brewing $500
  • Christie's Dreams Seafood $500
  • Terry and Daryl Tedesco $500
  • Coast Roast $100
  • In-Kind Services
  • Park Investments, Ltd. - Business Mentoring | Valued at $20,000.00
  • Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company - Office Space | Valued at $10,000.00
  • John Brian White, Esq., inHouse Consultants, Inc., & AdamsIP, LLC - Legal Services | Valued at $5,000.00
  • Sherman Strategies, LLC - Legal Services | Valued at $5,000.00
  • Ragusa Consulting - Marketing Consulting | Valued at $5,000.00
  • evanSchmidt Design, LLC - Website Build | Valued at $5,000.00
  • Bernard & Franks, A Corporation of Certified Public Accountants - 1 Year of Accounting Services | Valued at $4,500.00
  • Kushner LaGraize - Accounting Services & Consultation | Valued at $2,500.00
  • Biz New Orleans - 3 months 1/4 page ads | Valued at $3,585.00
  • evanSchmidt Design, LLC - Corporate Identity Design Services | Valued at $2,500.00
  • Ditto's - Brand Starter Kit Printing Services | Valued at $1,500.00
  • Shine Productions - Copywriting Services | Valued at $2,500.00
  • Outfront Media - Digital Billboard on Judge Perez for 1 Month | Valued at $2,100.00
  • The Meraux Foundation - Advertising in St. Bernard Newspapers | Valued at $1,500.00
  • St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce - 1 Year Membership (up to $1,250), silver sponsorship ($2,500), and LSB participation ($250) | Valued at $4,000.00
  • Bill Haines - Corporate Photo Shoot | Valued at $600.00
  • Crave - Catering Services | Valued at $500.00
  • Anonymous (Printers Wholesale Group) - Business Card Printing | Valued at $100.00
  • Global Staffing Solutions - Event Staffing Services | Valued at $1,000.00
  • 40 Arpent Brewing - Tap Room Venue Rental | Valued at $500.00
  • Christie's Dreams Seafood - Shrimp Boil | Valued at $500.00
  • Grow St. Bernard - Free attendance of Grow St. Bernard Seminar Series | Valued at $50.00
  • Baker Donelson - Legal Services | Valued at $5,000.00

how it works

  1. Submit Your Business Plan online

    Entrepreneurs must complete the entry form and submit a business plan at by midnight on January 14, 2017. For recommendations on business plan submission, please see here.

  2. Judges Select Finalists

    A panel of judges with business experience will review the submissions and score the entries. The five highest-scoring businesses will be selected to “pitch” the judges at the Startup St. Bernard entrepreneur challenge.

  3. Finalists Pitch for a chance to win $100,000 prize package

    Five finalists will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges in a TED Talks-style presentation format. The live public event will take place at the Arlene Meraux River Observation Center during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on March 20, 2017.

Everyone is invited to attend the Startup St. Bernard pitch challenge and cheer the entrepreneurs on! Register now at

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) is the annual festival celebrating business, innovation, and advanced thinking in New Orleans. Produced by The Idea Village, NOEW engages a dynamic global network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, nonprofits, students, and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial success through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition and celebration.

*The $100,000 Prize Package is not an entirely cash package. The Prize Package includes in-kind products and services that have been assigned a fair market value. The total value of the Prize Package is estimated to be valued at $110,000. Startup St. Bernard, the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, the Meraux Foundation, its agents, and affiliates, and the organizers and partners of Startup St. Bernard are not responsible for the commitments made by those who donated cash, products, and services to the prize package.

Sponsors + Partners

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