The Idea Village


IDEAxcelerator is an intensive, 11-week, startup-focused program leveraging successful entrepreneurs as mentors for a cohort of 15 early-stage, New Orleans-based ventures. The 2014 program will run from September 26th through “Demo Day” on December 10th with a focus on catapulting your business to the next level.

To date, 66 startups have participated in IDEAxcelerator, 83% of which are still in business so the numbers are in your favor but you must be ready to go all in. You are the right fit for this program if:
      • You’re just getting started but your business model is quick to scale.
      • You have national – maybe even international – potential.
      • You can fully commit for 11 weeks. 

Program Resources

Participating entrepreneurs will receive:

  • MENTORSHIP: Each IDEAxcelerator venture will be assigned a rock star entrepreneur mentor who has built a successful business in New Orleans. Meet the 2014 Mentors.
  • CONSULTING: Each IDEAxcelerator venture will meet weekly with the program’s dedicated Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), Mike Eckert, who will help participating entrepreneurs hone in on key aspects of their business.
  • PROFESSIONAL SERVICES: Each IDEAxcelerator venture will receive a bank of professional network resources.
  • CAPITAL ACCESS: Each IDEAxcelerator venture has a reserved slot in The Big Idea during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week 2014, where up to $100,000 in seed funding is on the table.
  • PEER NETWORKING: Weekly dinners for the entire IDEAxcelerator cohort will be hosted by the mentors every Tuesday night during the program.

  • What Entrepreneurs are saying about IDEAxcelerator:

    “After IDEAxcelerator, our company was unrecognizable to its former self. The program helped us lay out our goals and compose a tactical plan to achieve them. We’re a matured business post-program, with a clear understanding of our vision, mission, and values. I highly recommend IDEAxcelerator to any entrepreneur who is looking to grow their business.”
    Scott Wolfe, Founder of Zlien, a 2013 IDEAxcelerator participant

    “We went from concept to product in six-months. Enough said. The competitive atmosphere leading up to NOEW helped facilitate the rapid progression of our business and product launch. IDEAxcelerator… What an ICONIC program!”
    Billy Bosch, Co-founder of Be Well Nutrition, a 2012 IDEAxcelerator participant

    “IDEAxcelerator equipped us to grow NOLA Brewing beyond a local company and into a regional brewery. We are well on our way to joining the ranks of the best national microbreweries.”
    Kirk Coco, founder and CEO of NOLA Brewing Company, a 2011 IDEAxcelerator participant

    “IDEAxcelerator helped me develop a sound financial model and strategic growth plan enabling Kickboard to expand from six schools to 15.”
    Jen Medbery, Founder of Kickboard by Drop the Chalk, a 2010 IDEAxcelerator participant

    Ready to get involved?

    Applications for the 2014 IDEAxcelerator program are now closed.

    IDEAxcelerator Qualification Criteria

    In order to apply, entrepreneurs must:

    • Be organized as a for-profit business.
    • Be located in the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region (Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington).
    • Generate less than $1M in annual revenue.

    IDEAxcelerator Assessment Criteria

    Entrepreneurs who meet all qualification criteria above will be evaluated according to the following assessment criteria. Priority is given to those applications that demonstrate the strongest combination of the following:


    • Entrepreneur(s) has identified a problem and is pursuing an innovative solution to fill that need.
    • Entrepreneur(s) has a defensible competitive advantage.
    • Entrepreneur(s) has a customer base that is large enough to scale the venture.


    • Entrepreneur(s) has the capacity to leverage constructive feedback and integrate advice and counsel.
    • Entrepreneur(s) has the ability to manage uncertainty and ambiguity and to take measured risk.
    • Entrepreneur(s) is committed to the venture full-time.
    • Entrepreneur(s) has relevant experience.
    • Entrepreneur(s) is willing to share experiences and expertise with peers and to serve as a role model for the entrepreneurial community in New Orleans.


    • Venture has a business model that is viable and scalable.
    • Venture has a capable, committed, and cooperative management team that has made significant personal investment in the business to date.


    • Venture has a high potential for positive economic, social, and/or environmental impact in the New Orleans region.
    • Venture aligns with The Idea Village mission.
    • Venture’s needs align with The Idea Village programming and resources.