Building the entrepreneurial infrastructure in New Orleans.
Central to The Idea Village's mission is the creation and execution of innovative initiatives that utilize the entrepreneurial mindset to build a sustainable New Orleans. Since 2000, we have invested $25 million to help develop the local ecosystem and solidify New Orleans' position as a hub of business innovation and entrepreneurship.
Testing out new ideas has become our DNA. Since inception, we have created over 25 initiatives to build New Orleans' entrepreneurial ecosystem. Some of these initiatives are still operated by The Idea Village, and others we have passed on to specialized ecosystem partners. Our initiatives cover 5 key areas. They:
1. Provide direct resources to identify, support, and retain entrepreneurial talent.
2. Sustain and grow an inclusive, collaborative entrepreneurial community in New Orleans.
3. Catalyze entrepreneurial thinking in key sectors in demographics important to New Orleans.
4. Engage talent to support the entrepreneurial movement in New Orleans.
5. Promote New Orleans' entrepreneurial community and the entrepreneurial mindset.
Our Project Portfolio
2009 - How They Did It
Projects Celebrating Entrepreneurship | Local bestselling book that profiles 70 NOLA entrepreneurs - past, present, and future - who helped build New Orleans. Written by Sally Forman with photographs by Margaret Beer. Funded by: The Gottesman Family
2010 - Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge
Strategic Industry Initiatives | After-school entrepreneurship program for area high schools students. Junior Achievement took the reigns in 2014 to grow the program’s reach and impact. Funded by: The Brees Dream Foundation
2010 - Village Capital
Talent Engagement Initiatives | Peer-to-peer investment program tested during The Idea Village's IDEAxcelerator program in partnership with First Light Ventures. Funded by: First Light Ventures
2005 - Capital Village
Talent Engagement Initiatives | Strategic effort engaging national venture capitalist to support local entrepreneurs. Funded by: Murphree Ventures, Elliot Boullion, and GNO, Inc.
2010 -The Water Challenge
Strategic Industry Initiatives | Annual initiative focused on solving critical water challenges. In 2014, we identified Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation to grow the nationally acclaimed program. Funded by: The Greater New Orleans Foundation
2008 - EcoPark Project
Strategic Industry Initiatives | Effort to catalyze a green movement in New Orleans that resulted in launching an ecofriendly business incubator. Funded by: The Blue Moon Fund
2008 - 504ward
Strategic Industry Initiatives | Movement to retain young talent in New Orleans, including a $125,000 fund to support entrepreneurs who most effectively support this mission. It is now an independent nonprofit. Funded by: Leslie Jacobs
2006 - IDEAcorps
Talent Engagement Initiatives | Award-winning experiential learning program engaging top MBAs from around the country to support New Orleans startups. Funded by: Jim Coulter
2008 - The IP Building
Creative Spaces | Office space in the Central Business District that houses over 80 businesses and startups. Anchor tenants include The Idea Village, Launch Pad, and iSeatz. Led by: The Idea Village and GNO, Inc.
2009 - Urban Redevelopment Challenge
Strategic Industry Initiatives | $1 million fund for urban redevelopment projects following Hurricane Katrina. Funded by: The Rockefeller Foundation
2009 - Entergy Innovation Center
Creative Spaces | Innovative workspace in the Upper 9th Ward to drive business and residential recovery post-Katrina. The Idea Village donated it to Urban League in 2014. Funded by: Entergy, Habitat for Humanity, MercyCorps, and Regions Bank
2010 - New Orleans Entrepreneur Week
Projects Celebrating Entrepreneurship | Annual business festival celebrating entrepreneurship, innovation, and advanced thinking in New Orleans that engages 43 partners and over 10,585 attendees. Funded by: Jim Coulter and the EDA
2010 - The Education Challenge
Strategic Industry Initiatives | Program with 4.0 Schools and Teach for America focused on encouraging TFA-ers to utilize entrepreneurship to solve challenges in education. 4.0 Schools took over the program in 2012. Funded by: The Coleman Foundation