A Week to Celebrate New Ideas

The entrepreneurial spirit thrives in New Orleans.

Co-founder and CEO Tim and Jenny Williamson with host James Carville and Mary Hines and chairman Bill Hines

Melissa Calico

New Orleans is widely recognized as one of the best cities for professionals, thanks to an amazing support system. In March, Idea Village’s “New Orleans Entrepreneur Week” “celebrates and supports the network of talent that has enabled NOLA to become a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation.” The week is just the finale of Idea Village’s Entrepreneur Season, which is an innovative platform comprised of educational programming, strategic consulting and competitions to grow the entrepreneurial community in New Orleans. The nine-month season raises money to carry out Idea Village’s mission to identify, support and retain entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans.

“Entrepreneur Week’s Opening Celebration” was held at the home of James Carville and Mary Matlin. Local a capella group Jay-Ray & Gee heralded guests’ arrival. Acme Oyster House was generous enough to sponsor dinner, a raw oyster bar along with fried seafood and other classic dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya and shrimp étouffée. Glazer’s sponsored specialty Maker’s Mark drinks and wine, and NOLA Brewing Company provided beer. James Carville, Bill Hines and Tim Williamson, co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village, spoke to guests.

Though this is just their fifth year, the 2013 season engaged over 3,000 of the nation’s most innovative corporations, business leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and MBAs to invest a total of $3.28 million in resources to 978 New Orleans startups through 155 innovative events. “Entrepreneur Week” concluded with “The Big Idea,” the nation’s largest crowd-sourced investor pitch where more than 1,700 people awarded $140,050 in startup funds to 15 new ventures.


Event at a Glance

What: “Entrepreneur Week Opening Celebration,” benefiting Idea Village
When: Saturday, March 16
Where: The home of James Carville and Mary Matlin

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