New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, or NOEW 2016, kicks off today for an eight-day festival of entrepreneurship. The festival, produced by The Idea Village, is now in its eighth year and features more than 111 workshops, summits, panel discussions, entrepreneur showcases and networking events all focused on topics and trends that are both locally significant and globally relevant.
While attendance will be well over 10,000, it is completely free for the registrants of this “Mardi Gras of Entrepreneurship.” How were they able to do this? A lot of support from “forward-thinking corporations, foundations and individuals committed to establishing New Orleans as a hub of entrepreneurship in the South by 2018,” says Cameron Adams, The Idea Village’s director of marketing.
The schedule at NOEW is completely packed with several innovative events, from a food innovation summit, women’s business summit to LookFar’s Tech Speed Dating. NOEW 2016 headliners, who will take the NOEW stage at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. starting on Tuesday, include Prakash Janakiraman, founder of Nextdoor, Rich Caccappolo, COO of Mail Online-DailyMail.com, Alexis Ohanian cofounder of Reddit, Steve Case cofounder of AOL, Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, and Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King.
If you can attend only one NOEW 2016 event, Adams recommends The Blackstone Big Idea, the world’s largest crowd-driven pitch extravaganza on Fulton Street at closing night on March 18.
She also encouraged that anyone with some “hustle” should feel welcome to be here: “You don’t need to be a startup founder to have hustle: It’s about drive, passion, and a commitment to pushing the envelope. No matter what you’re hustling on, there’s an event for you at NOEW 2016,” Adams says.