Tulane hosts social innovators vying for startup cash at PitchNOLA

November 13, 2013

Keith Brannon
Phone: 504-862-8789

Sustainable carnival throws, a digital marketplace for local artists, eye screenings for the uninsured and a wellness program through which participants donate money to relief groups based on the number of calories burned are some of the proposals that will vie for startup cash at PitchNOLA, an annual elevator pitch contest for new ventures that help New Orleans.

The competition, scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Tulane University’s Freeman Auditorium, is designed to spur community members to voice solutions to the city’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Ten semifinalists will give short presentations and then face questions from a panel of judges before a live audience. Ultimately, three finalists will get another chance to plead their case in the American Idol-style competition for entrepreneurs. A full list of semifinalists is available online.

A three-minute pitch will be the ticket to $5,000 in startup cash, pro bono technical assistance and consulting services through Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, a local social entrepreneurship group for the most viable – and persuasive – social venture.

Registration is required online for PitchNOLA, which is free and open to the public. Audience members are asked to donate $5 to a prize fund for the “Audience Favorite Award” winner.

The contest is co-hosted by Tulane's Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives, the A. B. Freeman School of Business and Propeller. Freeman Finance Professor Peter Ricchiuti will be master of ceremonies for the event. Judges include Judy Reese Morse, deputy mayor and chief of staff of the city of New Orleans, Leslie Jacobs, founder of Educate Now! and John Frazee, former senior vice president for CBS News.

More information is available online at


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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000