The 9th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) kicks off this weekend. We wish we could attend, because it’s an exciting place for startups right now. In 2015, the business startup rate in New Orleans outpaced the national average by a whopping 64 percent. A New York venture capital firm set up shop in the Big Easy. NOLA-based zlien closed a $5 million financing round from Silicon Valley-based Altos Ventures. And new coworking spaces are popping up all over town. And those are just a few of the highlights.
To prepare our readers for next week, we talked to event organizers at Idea Village to find out what’s new this year and what participants can’t miss. Here’s what they had to say:
First off, there’s a fun, new venue. Many events will be taking place at a new home anchored by the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans.
A full 50 percent of the companies participating in NOEW 2017 are female-owned.
And, for the first time, Demo Day will be open to the public and will feature early-stage New Orleans startups. Companies presenting are from a wide variety of industries and are actively in the process of growing their businesses through angel, venture, or debt funding. Demo Day will take place on Friday, March 24 from 9–11:30 a.m.at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
And wait, the best part is it’s all free (including admission to the museums). Organizers recommend building your schedule in advance by registering for NOEW online and RSVP’ing to the events of your liking. Those include:
- Opening Party (Sunday, March 19) – kick off NOEW with food, music and drinks
- PitchLocal Happy Hour (Monday, March 20) – sip on a complimentary specialty cocktail and celebrate the pitch winners from the day (brought to you by JPMorgan Chase & Co.)
- Cox Business Celebration (Wednesday, March 22) – live music, free drinks, delicious food
- Brews with BREW Happy Hour (Thursday, March 23) – hosted by the Baton Rouge Entrepreneur Week producers