Entrepreneurs Pitch Solutions to Water-Related Issues in New Orleans

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Photo: Bryan Tarnowski

NEW ORLEANS — Entrepreneurs will compete for $15,000 in cash prizes as they pitch their solutions to the most pressing water-related issues facing the greater New Orleans community at the Water Challenge by Propeller and Thrive New Orleans. The event will start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1 at the Senator Ted Hickey Ballroom at the University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive. There will be a judges’ panel of industry leaders and experts, and a virtual address from Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans and a White House senior advisor and infrastructure coordinator. The event is presented by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase AdvancingCities, the New Orleans Business Alliance, Entergy and the City of New Orleans.  

RSVP at bit.ly/waterchallenge2022 to attend.

“The Greater New Orleans Foundation is proud to be the presenting sponsor of The Water Challenge,” said Andy Kopplin, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “The Water Challenge aims to solve some of the biggest environmental issues we face here in Southeast Louisiana while simultaneously helping early-stage entrepreneurs showcase their ideas and innovations to achieve equity in the water sector. The Foundation created The Water Challenge a decade ago to advance our initiative to live better with water and we are thrilled to once again support this year’s event and can’t wait to see what our entrepreneurs have in store!”  

Propeller is excited for the in-person return of this collaborative event, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts in response to water-related issues. “The impacts of climate change and frequent storms cannot be faced alone. The preservation of our great city and region lies in the power of coming together and supporting the work and ideas of entrepreneurs on the ground,” expresses Andrea Chen, CEO and Co-Founder of Propeller. The Water Challenge elevates local entrepreneurs working to address these issues, while offering the opportunity for their ideas to be funded and implemented. “Thrive’s on-ramp for green entrepreneurs is strengthened by our partnership with Propeller. Our role in facilitating the 2022 Water Challenge is a representation of our shared vision for a racially and economically equitable water management industry in New Orleans,” says Chuck Morse, Executive Director of Thrive New Orleans.

Learn more about the competing finalists:

Delta Builds Enterprises (Dorothy Nairne, Leonard Guillory) is a New Orleans-based company that strives to be the premier supplier of eco-friendly building materials, glass containers and household products all manufactured from recycled materials that are transformed into sand and gravel for stormwater management and flood prevention.

Flourish Horticulture (Fabian Harper) is a certified DBE bio-friendly and environmentally conscious lawn, garden, and landscape construction company that uses only battery powered equipment and seeks to improve soil structure, water quality and efficiency, outdoor air quality, and increase aesthetic value. 

Gro Enterprises (Joel Holton) seeks to provide healthy, sustainable, affordable housing units to low and moderate income families using industrial hemp based building materials that regulate indoor humidity and provide a healthier indoor air quality; Gro Enterprises uses green infrastructure to regulate and mitigate water on the properties.

Groundwater Studio (Michael Biros) provides landscape architecture and adaptation planning services to help communities mitigate and adapt to ecological challenges with a foundation rooted in place, context, self-determination and health. Groundwater Studio aims to build a modular, prefabricated stormwater retention and treatment system for elevated highways.

Garden Picasso (Preston Robinson) uses green infrastructure techniques with installations that retain and mediate local watershed runoff, reducing the workload on the drainage system. Garden Picasso aims to create a lot sized bioretention area disguised as a residential mixed use property and community garden. 

Learn more about The Water Challenge at gopropeller.org/pitchnola/new/waterchallenge/

Categories: Environment, Nonprofit, Outdoor, Today’s Business News