Investing In Innovation: JEDCO’s 2014 Year In Review
AVONDALE, LA – JEDCO has released their 2014 Year in Review:
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Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that 2014 has come and gone. Time flies when you're having fun after all. And we certainly had fun at JEDCO last year! We attracted a major technology headquarters to Jefferson Parish, hosted another successful pitch competition, and financed several major projects that will have a lasting impact on the Jefferson Parish community.
We continued to focus on developing the West Bank. Efforts move forward with the Fairfield Vision, the long-term strategic plan for the mixed-use development of over 8,000 acres of land, which represents the largest available green field area in the parish. JEDCO hosted the grand opening of the JEDCO Conference Center in the Churchill Technology & Business Park over the summer, unveiling a state-of-the-art event space to serve our business community. This year, Delgado Community College will begin building the River City Campus and the School of Advanced Manufacturing, which will attract between 3,000 and 4,000 students to Churchill Park once the project is complete.
Our dedicated team worked closely with a variety of businesses from many different industries this year to ensure their continued success in Jefferson Parish. So often, we highlight the big economic wins, the companies that locate to our community and bring hundreds of new employees. We are thrilled with the successes of those projects, but JEDCO also understands the importance of cultivating long-term relationships with our local businesses. Business Retention and Expansion is vital to the economic success of a community. That's why, in 2014, the economic development team met with over 140 companies to assess needs and offer assistance.
We also assist our small businesses and startups, the backbone of our business community. The JEDCO Business Innovation Center, our business incubator, fostered early-stage ventures and The JEDCO Challenge provided opportunities to highlight some of the parish's major up-and-coming entrepreneurs. One of our recently graduated incubator tenants, Global Commerce & Services, won several awards in 2014 and they were recognized in the Inc. 500 List of Fastest Growing Companies. Our finance team approved 14 small business loans in 2014 with a total investment of over $6 million.
In 2014, we worked hard, we shared our vision, and we invested in innovation. In 2015, we will continue to invest in the future of Jefferson Parish – in innovation, in entrepreneurship, in workforce development, in our local businesses. It's JEDCO's business to help your business thrive in Jefferson Parish and we will continue to make that a top priority in 2015.
At our 2014 Annual Luncheon, we recognized a number of men, women and businesses that played a vital role in improving the economic landscape in Jefferson Parish. Congratulations to JEDCO's former Deputy Director Dottie Stephenson, Jefferson Chamber President Todd Murphy, and Renaissance Publishing.
JEDCO is in the process of choosing its finalists for the 2015 JEDCO Challenge powered by First NBC Bank. We received 33 applications for this year's competition. A team of panelists chose 10 startups to move on to the semifinal round, an interview with a panel of business leaders from the community. These interviews will determine which companies will move on to the live pitch on March 23rd at Southport Hall. Congratulations to our semifinalists: AxoSim Technologies, InnoGenomics Technologies, Zenopharm, NanoFex, myMix Nutrition, PrepWorld, Juggle Enterprises, Cook Me Somethin' Mister, Pleasantree (Sock Spot), and Earth Prime. JEDCO will nominate three of these companies to participate in the Big Idea competition, the largest crowd funding event in the world held at the end of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
L.A. Fabrication, LLC, a Kenner-based custom metal fabrication shop, received national certification as a Women's Business Enterprise by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Founded in 2007, L.A. Fabrication has established itself as a leader in fabrication, small run manufacturing, and metal repair services.
Chronos Body, Health & Wellness hosted the grand opening of its state-of-the-art facility in Fat City early this year. The opening of this full-service wellness center aids in ongoing revitalization efforts in the area. Of the $4 million project, JEDCO financed $1.6 million of it.
IDIYA, a membership-based workshop and design studio, is set to open its pilot location in Greater New Orleans early this year. The company provides members with access to a wide variety of equipment and tools within its facility. The idea is to create a shared space to help foster creativity and entrepreneurship.
Boomers Lifestyle Magazine just released its first issue of 2015. The magazine is part of Boomers Lifestyle Network, which incorporates internet radio, blogs, social media and an online magazine for Generation Xers, Baby Boomers and seniors.
JEDCO has partnered with the Jefferson Chamber in 2015 to bring the community a new seminar series. Entitled "Prosper Jefferson," this educational event series will take the place of the "Grow with JEDCO" seminars and the Jefferson Chamber's "Stayin' Alive" seminars. Prosper Jefferson will offer free seminars for small business owners.
The first seminar, scheduled for Wednesday, January 28th at 9 AM, will feature Keith Naccari of Simmons & White. He'll provide attendees with information about business valuation and pitching to potential investors.