2018 JEDCO Challenge To Take Place Tuesday May 15


NEW ORLEANS — The 2018 JEDCO Challenge will take place on Tuesday, May 15 from 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. at One Lakeway on the 11th floor in Metairie. The competition will feature five innovative startup companies competing for a chance to win $20,00 in direct capital and additional in-kind services to support business growth. The event will be emceed by Mike Hoss, founder of Hoss Communications and former WWL Eyewitness News Morning Anchor. The event is free and open to the public.

Register to attend here.

"We are grateful for the support of the business leaders serving on our 2018 JEDCO Challenge judges' panel," said JEDCO President & CEO Jerry Bologna. "These individuals represent the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Greater New Orleans region. Their experiences with starting a business or working with entrepreneurs on a regular basis ideally positions them to help us choose our JEDCO Challenge winner. This competition could not happen without support from business leaders like the ones serving on our panel this year."

Meet The Judges

Sherif Ebrahim, Chairman, Strategic Management Group 
Dr. Sherif A. Ebrahim is Chairman of Strategic Management Group and Managing Partner of SMG Capital, both nationally recognized Private Equity and Health Care Firms based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a board certified health care executive, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a NAPH Managed Care Public Policy & Finance Fellow from New York University and a Health Systems Management Fellow from Tulane University. He is an internationally recognized expert of Health Care, Corporate Strategy, Strategic Innovation, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, and Multi-Organizational Innovation. Professor Ebrahim currently serves on the committees of several investment funds. He also serves as a professor of Strategy & Innovation at Tulane University. In the past, he was a CEO for several large corporations and served in a senior executive management position at a Fortune 100 company. Dr. Ebrahim has been nationally recognized for his work in healthcare and strategic leadership by two U.S. Presidents, by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and twice by a Fortune 100 Company. He has also been appointed to professional leadership positions by a Parish President,two Louisiana Governors, and has been named a White House Champion of Change for Innovation by the President of the United States.

Tricia Phillpott, General Manager, Lakeside Shopping Center
Tricia joined Lakeside Shopping Center in 2004 as the Marketing Director, where she played a vital role in the re-opening of the center after Hurricane Katrina as well as the grand openings of Macy's and the Tax Free Refund Center for International Visitors. Under her watch, Lakeside became the number one Tax Free Shopping Zone in the State of Louisiana. In 2009, Tricia was promoted to Assistant General Manager and joined The Feil Organization's Retail Leasing Team. She helped to bring Michael Kors, Janie & Jack and Vera Bradley to Lakeside Shopping Center. In 2017, she completed a deal to bring the first Zara to the Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi region and became the Director of Leasing at Lakeside. In 2018, Tricia became Lakeside Shopping Center's fourth General Manager. 

Courtney Richard, Founder & President, Anchor36 Trucking & Logistics 
In 2010, Anchor36 Trucking & Logistics began with one truck and a vision. For the past 8 years, Courtney Richard has grown a heavy haul and logistics company in a tough market with a tough crowd, building two successful woman-owned companies. Since inception, the Anchor36 companies have grown into a multi-million dollar trucking conglomerate with more than 200 percent revenue growth year over year until 2016. She developed relationships with and won the business of some of the world's biggest companies including DHL, Shell, GE, Kiewit, and many global freight forwarders. Courtney spearheads all aspects of staff development and management, including staff and driver recruitment, training, and direction. She is proud of her ability to maintain a reputation for excellent negotiation and presentation skills. Over the years, she has cultivated a reputation as a motivator and public speaker for women in non-traditional workplaces. 

Daryl Schloz, Angel Investor, NOLA Angel Network 
Daryl serves as a Board Member of the NO/LA Angel Network, a group of approximately 90 accredited investors that invests in early-stage companies. He is currently a business consultant and the former president of Fabricari LLC, a custom metal fabrication company located in the City of Kenner. Prior to his work in New Orleans, Daryl earned an engineering degree from Iowa State and spent 38 years working with John Deere in a variety of capacities, including Engineering, Manufacturing, Human Resources, Reliability, and General Management, which have taken him to 40 countries around the world. In his final years at John Deere, he was the General Manager for the company's worldwide sugarcane harvesting equipment business, which brought him to Louisiana in 2002. Daryl has done a significant amount of business and management consulting during his time in the Greater New Orleans area. 

Neel Sus, Founder & CEO, Susco Solutions 
Neel Sus is the founder and CEO of Susco Solutions, a local tech firm that creates intuitive software for high-growth, people-centric businesses and organizations. Neel began his career as an engineer at Avondale Shipyard in 1999 before transferring to the Project Finance Group in 2002. Because all work orders were written by hand at that time, Neel taught himself programming to create the first electronic work order system in Avondale history. In January 2005, he started Susco Solutions part-time while still working at Avondale. A year and a half later, he left Avondale to pursue Susco full-time, committing himself to being part of the regional revitalization post-Katrina. Susco became one of the first three firms in Louisiana to develop an application for the iPhone. Over the last five years, Susco has become a market leader for internal business software development, legacy systems conversions, mobile workforce applications, Salesforce implementations and commercial mobile apps. In August 2007, Neel became the first participant in Entrepreneur Organization's accelerator program, which helps businesses get from $250,000 to over $1 million in revenue. He was a founding member of net2no, a charter member of the GNO Inc. NextGen Council and a past president of the American Association of Indian Professionals. Neel has won multiple awards since Susco's inception, including Innovator of the Year (New Orleans CityBusiness), 40 Under 40 (Gambit Magazine), and Silicon Bayou 100 Most Influential People (Silicon Bayou). 

Meet The Entrepreneurs 

Dig – The Dog Person's Dating App, Leigh Isaacson 
Dig – The Dog Person's Dating App is the best way for dog lovers and dog owners to find a compatible date. Dig is an iOS app available for free on the App Store, and it will help you find someone you really Dig. Search for dog lovers with a dog or without a dog, plan a date with a list of dog-friendly locations near you, enjoy a daily deal from a pet company, and learn tips and tricks of the day from vets, trainers and pet industry experts. Dig is a Jefferson Parish-based company with a nationwide paw print. All dogs featured on the @DigDates
Instagram are available for adoption from Jefferson SPCA and New Orleans Bulldog Rescue.

Instapath, David Tulman 
Every year, 5 million biopsy procedures are performed to diagnose cancer in the United States. However, 1 million patients need repeat procedures due to inadequate biopsy quality. Painful repeat procedures also delay life-saving treatments. Current biopsy quality assurance methods capture less than 1 percent of a total biopsy. Instapath makes a digital microscopic imaging system that provides an exact picture of whole biopsies at high resolution within seconds to ensure the quality of biopsies. By improving the accuracy and workflow of rapid on-site evaluation of biopsies, Instapath reduces the need for repeat procedures and increases operating room capacity and hospital revenue.

Pang Wangle, Jennifer John 
Pang Wangle creates soft, light sun-protective clothing with built-in bug repellent, bridging the gap between function and fashion. The company's Made in the USA, sustainable clothes put high-performance fabrics into everyday casual styles that will take consumers from the bayou to brunch. Pang Wangle launched its online store in December 2017 with the Journey Scarf – a lightweight infinity scarf made from recycled fabric with a hidden zipper pocket and Insectshield®bugrepellent. The colors come from a variety of recycled items, so no dyes are used. The company's first sun protective shirt, the Boho Classic, is in production and will be available for sale in June 2018 with additional styles for men and women coming soon.

Pilothouse Software, James Lancaster & Paul Reynolds 
Pilothouse Software is a software solutions company dedicated to reducing the regulatory burden on the marine service industry. Using cutting-edge technology, Pilothouse Software transforms complex manual Policies and Procedures required within the marine services industry into a simple, event-driven "to do" list. The company's mission is to improve the safety of people, property, and our environment through guided process, data automation, and business insights.

Stop & Block, Sean McCloskey
Stop & Block has created an automated sunscreen dispenser where people can get single serve sunscreen on the go. The dispensers are placed at highly-trafficked locations where people will be outdoors for long periods of time, such as golf courses, parks, beaches, amusement parks, stadiums, pools, and festivals. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and a person dies of melanoma every 54 minutes. Stop & Block prevents unprotected exposure to the sun, reducing skin cancer, long-term skin damage, and short term discomfort.

– by Alexa Harrison, associate news editor

Categories: Awards/Honors, Morning Biz, Today’s Business News