StartUp St. Bernard Entrepreneur Challenge
The Meraux Foundation and the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation are partnering to support innovation and growth in St. Bernard Parish by presenting the Fifth Annual Startup St. Bernard competition. Startup St. Bernard seeks out dedicated, enthusiastic entrepreneurs who want to grow their business to the next level. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of judges during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March 2019.
The “Shark Tank” style public event is open to any business that agrees to locate their base of operations to St. Bernard Parish, help improve St. Bernard Parish, and become part of the St. Bernard Parish entrepreneur ecosystem. Previous winners have included 40 Arpent Brewing Company, Christie’s Dreams Seafood, Reactive Digital Systems, LLC, and Clean Course Meals. 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 entry period opens on December 10, 2018, and will close just after 11:59 p.m. (Central Time) on February 9, 2019. Three finalists will be selected to "pitch" their business to a panel of judges and a live audience. The winner will receive a cash prize of $20,000 or more and all finalists will receive a cash prize of at least $5,000. The Startup St. Bernard winner will receive the grand prize package including a mix of cash and in-kind donations. In the past, in-kind donations have included services ranging from legal and accounting to marketing and public relations.
REQUIREMENTS TO WIN STARTUP ST. BERNARD COMPETITION:
1. Locate their base of operations to St. Bernard Parish for at least 2 years
2. Improve St. Bernard Parish
3. Become part of the St. Bernard Parish entrepreneur ecosystem
To qualify, entrants must be in business for 5 years or less or be an existing business creating a new division or entity; have yearly revenue under $1,000,000; have 5 employees or less, and cannot be a non-profit.
Judges will also score entries based on how the startups will improve St. Bernard by creating jobs, investing capital into the parish, providing needed goods or services to Greater New Orleans, and/or contributing to the growth of the core Startup St. Bernard sectors: creative digital media, cultural arts/cultural economy, health and wellness, advanced manufacturing/value-added manufacturing, logistics, and the seafood industry.
$100,000+ of Prizes
The Startup St. Bernard Prize Package includes both cash and in-kind donations.
2018 donors include the Meraux Foundation, Park Investments, Ltd., St. Bernard Parish Government, Sidney Torres, III, Mrs. Rita Gue, Mr. Floyd Gue, Nunez Community College Foundation, Taurus Properties, Inc., Southern Insurance Agency, LLC, Palmisano Contractors, Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann, Senator Sharon Hewitt, Senator JP Morrell, 40 Arpent Brewing Company, Christie’s Dreams Seafood, and Coast Roast.the Meraux Foundation, Park Investments, Ltd., St. Bernard Parish Government Department of Tourism, Associated Terminals, Palms Truck Stop, Sidney Torres, III, Chalmette Refining, Bourbon Saloon, Inc., Mrs. Rita Gue, Mr. Floyd Gue, Nunez Community College Foundation, Taurus Properties, Inc., Southern Insurance Agency, LLC, Palmisano Contractors, Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann, Senator Sharon Hewitt, Senator JP Morrell, BERG Services, Coast Roast, and Reactive Digital Systems.
2018 supporting partners and in-kind service providers include the Meraux Foundation, Park Investments, 40 Arpent Brewing Company, Christie’s Dreams Seafood, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company, include Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company, evanSchmidt Design, LLC, Baker Donelson, Sherman Strategies, Ragusa Consulting, Bernard Franks, A Corporation of Certified Accountants, Biz New Orleans, Eric Nunez Photography, St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, Shine Productions, Outfront Media, The Meraux Foundation, Leadership St. Bernard, Kushner LaGraize, Crave, Heather Michael, and Grow St. Bernard.
The 2019 prize package details will be released following the announcement of the three finalists in March 2019.
how it works
- Submit Your Business Plan online
Entrepreneurs must complete the entry form and submit a business plan at www.startupstbernard.com/enter by 11:59 PM (Central Time,) on February 9, 2019. For recommendations on business plan submission, please see here.
- Committee Selects Finalists
A selection committee with business experience will review the submissions and score the entries. All entries will be scored strictly off business plan submission and entry questionnaire. The three highest-scoring businesses will be selected to “pitch” their business at the Startup St. Bernard entrepreneur challenge.
- Finalists Pitch for a chance to win the Startup St. Bernard prize package.
Three 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 in March 2019. All finalists will receive a cash prize of $5,000 or more.
Everyone is invited to attend the Startup St. Bernard pitch challenge and cheer the entrepreneurs on! The live audience will be allowed to cast a vote for their favorite finalist to win the "People's Choice" vote. In the event of a tie, this will determine the winner.
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 $100,000. 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.