Live studio audience to help select the winning venture through text message voting

WHEN: Saturday, April 18th
10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Presentations begin at 11 a.m.; announcement is at 2 p.m.)

WHERE: Port of New Orleans

1350 Port of New Orleans Pl.,

WHAT: Finalists Presentations for 504ward Business Competition

WHO: Finalists: Launch Pad, NOLA Social Sports, New Orleans Dance Institute, New Orleans

Development Company, Play NOLA

Expert judging panel: Leslie Jacobs of Strategic Comp, Allen Bell of The Idea Village,

Nolan Rollins of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Rick Conway of Frantzen-Voelker-

Conway Investments, LLC, and Andrea Chen of Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans

Live studio audience: 200 members of the 504ward demographic

On Saturday, April 18th at 10:30 a.m., The Idea Village and 504ward will host the finalist presentation for the $200,000 Valued Business Competition and select the winning venture with the products or services that best retains the 23 to 35 year old demographic in New Orleans.

The Idea Village and 504ward launched the Business Competition with a team of Google employees who supported the promotion and execution of the contest in September 2008. In December 2008, the competition received over 140 applications from 14 states. With the help of panels of young professionals and established members of the business community five entrepreneurial ventures were selected to be finalists.

The winner will receive a prize package currently valued over $200,000, including $100,000 in cash and $100,000 in services and resources generously donated by the local business community. Together the studio audience and expert panel will determine the business that will best retain the young talent in the city of New Orleans. To be a part of the audience and to have a voice in the selection of the winner, visit