IDEAcorps enlists Tulane MBAs to help local startups

March 21, 2013 2:00 PM

Keith Brannon

A group of Tulane MBA students is helping a local technology venture write a national growth plan as part of IDEAcorps during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week 2013.


Team of Tulane MBA students.

The MBA students on the Tulane IDEAcorps team consult with Raelynn Loop from eTax Credit Exchange. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The five-year-old IDEAcorps program is like a consulting boot camp for a select group of high-potential startups chosen to work with competing teams from top business schools across the country. Nonprofit entrepreneurship group Idea Village, which hosts Entrepreneur Week, selected Tulane to participate with seven other universities, including Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Loyola, Stanford and Yale.

MBA teams will present their growth plans to a panel of judges and a winner will be announced on Friday (March 22) after 5 p.m. at the Big Idea wrap-up event that closes out this year’s Entrepreneur Week.  

The Tulane team is working with eTax Credit Exchange, an online marketplace for trading tax credits and other economic incentives. The company has transferred more than $12 million in tax credits since it first launched and is working to grow business outside of Louisiana.

Tulane team leader Conor Aucoin says the process has been intense.

“This has been an amazing opportunity for us as MBAs to have a meaningful impact on the community and to put into action what we’ve been learning in the classroom,” Aucoin says.

“We’ve been able to remain flexible and constantly adapt and overcome obstacles because of the caliber of the members on this Tulane team,” he says. “Everyone brings different skills that complement one another so well. Not only that, we’ve been having fun here at the Idea Village and want to come back next year. This place has really shown us how to successfully run a start-up business, and we can't get over what we've learned.”

Members of the Tulane team include Aucoin, Erynn  Bell, Varun Kumar, David Bode, Gustavo Baptista, Heath Gardenhire and Adrian Mendez.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu