Startup St. Bernard Competition Seeking Entries

Winners, judges, and sponsors of the 2019 Startup St. Bernard business pitch competition, where Schmelly's took home the grand prize for its composting business. (Image provided by Eric J. Nunez)

CHALMETTE, La. – The Meraux Foundation and the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation are partnering to support innovation and growth in St. Bernard Parish by presenting the sixth annual Startup St. Bernard competition. Startup St. Bernard seeks dedicated, enthusiastic entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of judges during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

The “Shark Tank” style public event is open to any business that agrees to locate their base of operations to St. Bernard Parish, help improve St. Bernard Parish, and become part of the St. Bernard Parish entrepreneur ecosystem. Previous winners have included 40 Arpent Brewing Company, Christie’s Dreams Seafood, Reactive Digital Systems LLC, Clean Course Meals and Schmelly’s dirt farm.

The entry period is now open. Three finalists will be selected to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges and a live audience. The prize packages in previous years have each been valued at more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind services; this year’s prize package is still being developed and will be announced soon. All finalists will receive a cash prize of at least $5,000. The Startup St. Bernard winner will receive the grand prize package including a mix of cash and in-kind donations. In the past, in-kind donations have included services ranging from legal and accounting to marketing and public relations.

To qualify, entrants must be in business for five years or less or be an existing business creating a new division or entity, have yearly revenue under $1,000,000, and have five employees or less. Past Startup St. Bernard cash winners and nonprofit organizations are not eligible to enter.

Entrepreneurs meeting entry criteria must submit a business plan at by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 24.

Categories: Innovation, Today’s Business News