Loyola University Hosts Regional IDEAcorps MBA Consulting Challenge
NEW ORLEANS — This Thursday, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at Loyola University New Orleans will launch the immersive IDEAcorps MBA Consulting Competition in partnership with The Idea Village and leading into New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, presented by Iberia Bank. The IDEAcorps competition is an exclusive MBA student experience, through which teams of students will help founders of New Orleans-based startups to advance their companies in four days from March 16-19.
Six MBA teams hailing from University of Virginia/Darden, University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, Louisiana State University, Tulane University and Loyola University will each work with a founding entrepreneur to identify a problem the entrepreneur’s company is facing, validate a solution to that problem, and create a plan the entrepreneur can implement immediately. In a culminating event at the Contemporary Arts Center on Sunday, March 19, a panel of judges from the local business community will select the winning team based on which team has “moved the needle” most for its company. Teams will work from the Landing Zone, which is a small business incubator, co-working and event space located in the Lower Garden District.
“IDEAcorps is a nationally unique competition that yields stronger local start-ups and more experienced, innovative, and battle-tested MBAs,” said Jon Atkinson, founding director of Loyola’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development. “Furthermore, we have partnered with the Landing Zone and New Orleans angel investment group NO/LA Angel Network to deliver a unique, professional, and curated experiential learning opportunity that we hope will forge lasting connections between elite MBAs and our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Founded in 2006 by The Idea Village, IDEAcorps has engaged more than 500 MBAs from across the country to work one-on-one with New Orleans entrepreneurs. Past teams have hailed from business schools at Stanford University, Harvard, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, and Cornell University.
The six participating IDEAcorps startups include:
• Followmycal, a social calendar platform that allows users to seamlessly share their events across multiple calendars using only one platform and to put all of their calendars into one central location.
• Gigsy, a New Orleans born and bred venture that leverages the power of community and education to provide photography and videography services to local and national businesses.
• The Host, a vacation rental marketplace connecting homeowners and travelers to vetted and trusted hospitality professionals and businesses.
• Magic Bank, a subscription-based database and e-commerce platform enabling the $750 billion market of corporate and personal Event Professionals to search and purchase in one centralized location for otherwise impossible to find unique items, experiences, and vendors.
• ProductMatchr, a Smart Store that matches individuals to deals and products that are relevant to them based on their personal attributes and interests.
• Pupular, an app that provides a safe, easy, and comfortable way for dog parents to connect their pups with other dogs nearby for socialization sessions.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at Loyola University New Orleans combines experiential and academic learning to train college graduates in business, startup, and technology skills. The Center aims for these Loyola graduates, who tend to stay in New Orleans after college, to become the “innovation-ready workforce” needed to help businesses in the area start and scale successfully. The Center, along with Loyola’s College of Business, supports an academic entrepreneurship minor, as well as fall and spring internship placements to give students real-world experience in working with local startups, incubators, and accelerators.