COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS DRIVEN BY YOU
We believe community involvement is essential in driving social progress. PitchNOLA: Community Solutions is a live pitch competition brought to you by Propeller and Tulane University and sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, offering a platform for community members to propose their solutions to local challenges with the chance at seed funding, project support, and media coverage to make it happen. No one knows the community’s needs better than its members, so we’re all ears.
We encourage the community to pitch us any idea that offers support to:
- workforce development
- children and families
- social justice
$10,000 IN START-UP FUNDING, PROJECT SUPPORT, AND MEDIA COVERAGE
Selected semi-finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a voting audience and panel of judges on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at Tulane University for the chance at $10,000 in cash prizes.
The “First Place Winner” will receive a $5,000 cash prize, pro bono technical assistance, and consulting through Propeller and EMH Strategies.
The “Second Place Winner” will receive a $3,000 cash prize.
The “Third Place Winner” will receive a $2,000 cash prize.
The “Audience Favorite Award” will be funded through audience participation.
FROM PITCH TO IMPACT
PitchNOLA has received notable attention from the Times Picayune, The Advocate, Silicon Bayou News, New Orleans City Business, WWLTV, Invade NOLA, Tulane New Wave, and local business blogs.
In the Words of Past PitchNOLA Winners:
“PitchNOLA was a phenomenal platform for JAC to present the expungement issue to the public. The $5,000 1st place prize will increase our capacity to service more clients, thereby helping to break the cycle of recidivism and contribute to a thriving and healthy New Orleans.”
– Ameca Reali, Co-Founder, Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana
“Birthmark is excited and honored to have won at PitchNOLA! The generous funding will allow us to double the number of families we work with, document the evidence that doulas make a difference, and help build our case for change. We believe that New Orleans can go from having the worst birth outcomes in the country to being a national leader in healthy birth outcomes for women and children.”
– Dana Karen, Co-Founder, Birthmark Doula Collective
The Application deadline is Thursday, December 9, 2015.
- If interested in learning about the lean startup business model, which emphasizes understanding your customers and value proposition, click here to download Harvard Business Review’s Why the Lean Start Up Changes Everything. The concepts covered will help to strengthen your application.
- PitchNOLA is a contest open to anyone residing in, or relocating to, the Greater New Orleans Area. This includes individuals or teams, for profit or nonprofit ideas, with or without an incorporated business.
- No need for 20-page business plans. We’re looking for projects in the start-up phase.
- We are particularly interested in social ventures that target workforce development, children and families, social justice, and the environment.
- All organizations that have generated less than $50,000 (including sales, grant funding, capital, earned revenue, etc.) in the previous calendar year (January 2014 – December 2014) are eligible to apply.
- If your organization has generated more than $50,000 (including sales, grant funding, capital, earned revenue, etc.) in the previous calendar year (January 2014 – December 2014), you are eligible to apply for a new program or idea if the program or idea has generated less than $50,000 total in committed revenues and/or funding.
- If you are selected as a semi-finalist, you must be present at the Pitch Workshop on Tuesday, January 12, 2015 and the Community Solutions competition on Thursday, January 28, 2015.
How do I apply?
Fill out the online application by Thursday, December 9, 11:59pm CST.
- Clearly measurable, verifiable, and potentially significant social impacts.
- Knowledge about the needs of your target markets, both your users/beneficiaries and your buyers.
- Clear explanation for how your product or service will address these needs.
- Market research that demonstrates interest from your target markets in using and/or buying your product or service.
- Clear understanding of what it takes to successfully implement your idea (team credibility & financial understanding).
Qualifying Round — Online Application
- The first round of the competition is based on an online application, which must be submitted by Thursday, December 9, 11:59pm CST.
- Semi-finalists will be selected and notified on Thursday, December 16, 2015.
Final Round — PitchNOLA 2016: Community Solutions!
- Thursday, January 28, 6:00-8:00pm, selected semi-finalists will pitch their solutions at Tulane University, Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium.
- Semi-finalists will have three minutes to pitch their ideas and present their slides to a panel of judges and a voting audience.
- Following the presentations, the judging panel will select three of the semi-finalists for a round of follow-up questions.
- Finally, the voting audience will select the winner for the “Audience Favorite” award, funded by audience participation. All semi-finalists are eligible for this award.
*Pitch Workshop // Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 6:00-8:00pm (Required for semi-finalists). This workshop will assist semi-finalists with the development of their final presentation slides and pitches.
- The “First Place Winner” will receive a $5,000 cash prize, pro bono technical assistance, and consulting through Propeller and EMH Strategies.
- The “Second Place Winner” will receive a $3,000 cash prize.
- The “Third Place Winner” will receive a $2,000 cash prize.
- The “Audience Favorite” Award will be funded through audience participation. A $5 donation is suggested with additional donations greatly appreciated. Click here to register to be a PitchNOLA Audience Member.
- Winners are expected to use the award money and consulting hours in order to advance their winning ideas.
- A suggested $5 donation to become an audience member at PitchNOLA will fund the “Audience Favorite Award.” Additional donations towards this award are greatly appreciated. Votes will be cast via text message on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the live competition.
- Additionally, we encourage audience members to provide relevant contacts, resources, or constructive feedback to assist PitchNOLA’s semi-finalists in pursing their ideas. Feedback cards will be provided at the competition.
- Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 5:30pm.
For questions, contact Ginny Hanusik, Propeller Programs Coordinator, at [email protected]
- Final Application DeadlineThursday, December 9, 11:59pm CST
- Pitch Workshop (required for semi-finalists)Tuesday, January 12, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Tulane University, Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium
- PitchNOLA 2016: Community SolutionsThursday, January 28, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Tulane University, Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium
Reserve your seat here: and watch the live pitches on January 28, 2016.