The Idea Village

Our Network

The Idea Village collaborates with an engaged, global network of mentors, investors, professionals, and corporate sponsors each Season, which allows for incredibly robust support of the New Orleans entrepreneurial community.

Check out our ever-growing 2014 Season network below. If you’re interested in partnering with us too, please fill out this form or contact Megan at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Mentor Network

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Dann Schwartz

2014 Capital Village Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Dann Schwartz is an executive with proven expertise in launching & investing in start-up companies, developing & commercializing new products, growing businesses, entering new markets,...

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Kirk Coco: President, NOLA Brewing Company

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Kirk Coco is a native of New Orleans, who spent 11 years in the United States Navy before returning to New Orleans post-Katrina to help in the rebuilding and renewal of the city. In...

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Patrick Comer: Founder & CEO, Federated Sample

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Patrick has 10 years of experience with startups as a founder, investor, and executive. He got his entrepreneurial start in the halcyon days of dot-com as Chief of Staff of govWorks, an...


Joel Dondis: CXO or Chief Experience Officer, Sucre

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Joel Dondis began his culinary sojourn at the age of eleven. Cultivating his passion and talent through his formative years, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York....

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Chris Laibe: CEO, StaffInsight & inFRONT

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Chris Laibe has 10 years of entrepreneurial experience as the founder of inFRONT, a software provider to the industrial and government markets, including several Fortune 500 clients....

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Jen Medbery: Founder & CEO, Kickboard

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Jen Medbery is a computer scientist turned high school math teacher turned entrepreneur. She founded Kickboard in 2009 to build the tools she wished she’d had in her own classroom. As...

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Patrick Nguyen: Founder & Former CEO, Luxor

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Patrick Nguyen is an experienced entrepreneur with a passion for business.  He has started two businesses, acquired a business, and sold a business. He grew the last business into an...

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Brent McCrossen: CEO, Audiosocket

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

As CEO of Audiosocket Brent works with his partners, staff and board to craft a vision and strategy that equally benefits the company, the musicians, and the media producers it...

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Kenneth Purcell: Founder & CEO, iSeatz

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Kenneth Purcell is the Founder and CEO of iSeatz Inc. Since founding the company in 1999, he has been responsible for its overall strategic direction, infrastructure, business...


Lauren Thom: Founder & Big Chief, Fleurty Girl

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Lauren Thom is the woman behind the New Orleans brand, Fleurty Girl. Her personal story and “you-can-do-it spirit” have continued to motivate and inspire people. In May 2009, this...


Robbie Vitrano: Co-founder, Trumpet, Naked Pizza, & The Idea Village

2014 IDEAxcelerator Mentor

Robbie Vitrano, Co-founder of The Idea Village, is widely known for his notable entrepreneurial and brand marketing expertise.  He is also the Co-founder of Trumpet, a local branding...

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Gary Harrell

IDEAsession Mentor

Gary Harrell has been working with startups, as well as small and midsized businesses, for more than a decade. As a managing principal of Axiom Strategy Advisors and a consultant with...


Lisa Lloyd

2014 Food Challenge & Big Idea Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Lisa Lloyd has patented and licensed seven of her own products, and more on behalf of clients netting over $30M in sales. She’s been featured on shows like Dr. Phil, The Big Idea, and...

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Chris Mangum

2014 Water Challenge Entrepreneur-in-Residene

Chris Mangum (VXG Capital) has extensive experience in strategy, business development, M&A, corporate venturing, and entrepreneurship. He recently led strategy and business development...

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Carol Markowitz

IDEAsession Mentor

Carol Markowitz began her career at SBC Communications, Inc. (currently AT&T), where she pioneered the first long-term planning and analysis team within their Pacific Bell division....


J. Anthony Miguez

2014 Food Challenge Entrepreneur-in-Residence

J. Anthony Miguez has been working with startups since the late nineties. He headed up strategy for Zurich Scudder’s venture capital group during web 1.0 and since then he has worked...

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Doug Walner

IDEAsession Mentor

Doug Walner has extensive experience in the technology sector. Most recently Doug was the Chief Commercial Officer of Row 44 of Westlake Village, CA where he was responsible for all...

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Kevin Wilkins

IDEAsession Mentor

Kevin Wilkins has extensive experience in management, marketing, and operations. He began his career at The Procter & Gamble Company. After graduating from Harvard Business School, he...

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Beckie Buff

EIR Analyst

Beckie Buff, a native New Orleanian, recently returned home eager to get involved with the local emerging entrepreneurial community. She has spent the last six years at Unilever in...

Jack Carrere

Jack Carrere

EIR Analyst

Jack Carrere has a diverse entrepreneurial background which includes building and advising startups in Boston and Portland as well as serving on the executive committee that created a...

Karla Diehl

Karla Diehl

EIR Analyst

Karla Newburger Diehl, a New Orleans native, led several fast growth startups from inception through successful exit in the business to business, technology and consumer products...

Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker

EIR Analyst

Hannah Walker received her BA in marketing from Tulane University. After graduation, Hannah moved to DC where she worked for an event company and as a production assistant for film and...

Professional Network

Jones Walker

Jones Walker


Since our inception in 1937, Jones Walker has grown over the past several decades in size and scope to become one of the largest law firms in the United States. We serve local,...

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Henry Alpert, Action Copy

Marketing & Communications

Ideas are the power behind the Idea Village, but ideas will only catch on if they can be convincingly communicated to others. Action Copy provides writing services for entrepreneurs to...

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Josh Friedmann, Calliope Consulting Group

Web/App Development

Calliope Consulting Group is a full service consulting company providing expert services in the areas of web design and development, graphic design, public relations, marketing,...

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Carl Hanneman, Jones Walker


Carl Hanemann was a partner with Jones Walker from 1973 until becoming special counsel in 2011. He is a member of the firm’s Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Mr. Hanemann has...


Launch Pad


Launch Pad is a collaborative workspace and community of entrepreneurs, creative professionals and freelancers - building businesses together. Sick of working at home or hanging out at...


Blake Haney, The Canary Collective

Marketing & Communications

Blake is the information architect, content strategist, and chief designer at The Canary Collective, a versatile media publishing agency. He likes to transform fleeting ideas into...

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Search Influence

SEO & SEM Consulting

Search Influence plays a vital role in helping our customers (and sometimes their customers) strategically compete online. Founded in January 2006 and a contributor to the Local Search...

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FSC Interactive

SEO & SEM Consulting

FSC develops online strategies for businesses through paid search placement, website optimization and social media strategy. Creating focused, smart communications plans for clients big...

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Web/App Development

We Write Software. Our mission is simple and focused at CotingaSoft—writing software. We could do a million other things in technology, but that would only distract us. Software can be...


Cosmo PR

Marketing & Communications

We’re your best ally. Your most vocal critic. Your secret weapon. Your best employee. Ever. All rolled into one. We don’t just secure coverage. We help you drive revenue. No one...


Adatto Freeman Strategic Consulting

Business Communications

For over 20 years, Aimee has worked as a key advisor for businesses including: international companies, political candidates, startups, and nonprofits.  She also teaches Business...

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Web/App Development

Being the nerdiest members of our circles, friends and families would approach us with app ideas. But, because we were focused on other successful ventures we would refer them on to...

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Abid Hussain, Hussain Law


Hussain Law LLC is a law firm that protects business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors from costly legal pitfalls, so they can focus on growing their business.

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Catherine Todd, Mama Roux

Graphic Design

Mama Roux provides integrated creative and brand strategy, graphic design, advertising, web design, ipad and mobile app design, copy writing, catalog design and production, package...

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Dark Roux Photography


How you’re brand or business is seen and interpreted by your target audience can be just as important as the actual product quality of what you’re physically selling. An...

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Streetcar Films

Video Production

Streetcar Films is a small team of passionate filmmakers and photo-takers based in New Orleans. Our mission is to push the limits of visual storytelling. We love to collaborate with big...

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Lauren Hampton, LH Creative

Graphic Design

​Lauren Hampton (LH) is a freelance graphic designer based in New Orleans, LA - fluent in both print and web communication. Lauren offers talent and experience in advertising,...

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Social Media Strategy

Offerpop is the most widely used social marketing platform. Launch campaigns on Facebook & Twitter in minutes with the easiest-to-use social marketing platform ever built....


Cash Flow Resources


Founded in late 2003, Cash Flow Resources, CFR, is a private commercial factoring company serving local and regional businesses, primarily in the gulf south. CFR does this by purchasing...

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Kushner LaGraize


For over twenty five years Kushner LaGraize, LLC has been providing the greater New Orleans area with prompt, personalized accounting services. We pride ourselves on exceeding our...

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Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer


At Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer, we place great emphasis on finding creative solutions for the legal problems affecting our clients. Whether our attorneys are developing preventive...


Ernst and Young


EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services. Our 167,000 people are united by our shared values, which inspire our people worldwide and guide them to do...




In the United States, Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries have 57,000 professionals with a single focus: serving our clients and helping them solve their toughest problems. We work in...