New Orleans, La. — The New Orleans Startup Fund announced a new class of PowerMoves.NOLA fellows today. The fellowship program was created to increase the number of venture-backed, high-growth, high-tech startups led by entrepreneurs of color in New Orleans.
New Orleans has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s leading startup hubs, and in 2014, the New Orleans Startup Fund created PowerMoves.NOLA to be intentional about growing an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in the city.
“We are pleased to announce this amazing group of innovators as our next class of PowerMoves.NOLA fellows,” said Jimmy Roussel, CEO of the NewOrleans Startup Fund. “We want to attract and retain this caliber of talent in New Orleans. By sourcing and shining a spotlight on this select group entrepreneurs, we’re not only helping them grow their startups, we’re expecting an exponential impact on New Orleans and the surrounding region.”
Entrepreneurs of color face systemic and generational barriers to success, including lack of access to venture capital and advisory networks. According to CB Insights, only 1% of venture-backed companies have an African American founder. PowerMoves.NOLA seeks to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color as a strategy for strengthening the community, closing the opportunity gap, and growing the economy.
“We’re looking to give the entrepreneurs a running start to help them launch and scale their businesses by providing comprehensive supports and plugging them into an enthusiastic community of inventors and advisors who share a commitment to inclusion and economic growth in New Orleans,” said Roussel. “This is also about creating deal flow for investors. We’ve selected companies that we think have the potential to provide a compelling return on investment.”
Each PowerMoves.NOLA fellow will receive access to resources they need to succeed, including capital, mentoring, and office space.
Past PowerMoves.NOLA fellows include Crystal McDonald of Acrew, Glenda McKinley English of MySelfie Live, and KG Charles-Harris of Quarrio.
PowerMoves.NOLA is made possible through the support of Chevron, as Founding Sponsor, and Entergy.
2017 PowerMoves Fellows:
Brown Girl Media, LLC
Lynne McDaniel, Founder and CEO
A digitally native new media company that creates and distributes high-quality lifestyle and entertainment content and other premier media and engaging digital experiences targeted to women of color via web-enabled devices.
Jason Burns, Founder and CEO
An online marketplace that allows users to search, select, and ship products on the most cost-effective and efficient existing route networks. (connexship.com)
Don’t Get Mad Get Paid
Simone Spence, Founder and CEO
An online platform that provides a DIY solution for collecting on past due child support, including filing, document preparation, management, and other tools to make collecting easy. (dontgetmadgetpaid.com)
Exempt Me Now, LLC
Sevetri Wilson, Founder and CEO
An online platform that is revolutionizing the incorporation, exemption, and compliance processes for non-profit organizations. (exemptmenow.com)
Richard Carthon, Founder and CEO.
An online and app-based scheduling solution that allows users to manage multiple calendars on one centralized platform and to share those events with others in a way that is fun and social. (followmycal.com)
About the New Orleans Startup Fund
The New Orleans Startup Fund (“The Startup Fund” or “NOSF”) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) evergreen seed fund established by business and financial leaders in the Greater New Orleans area, and originally incubated by Greater New Orleans, Inc., to accelerate the growth of early-stage, innovative businesses into venture-ready companies. The Startup Fund’s mission is to create jobs and economic prosperity for the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region by providing seed capital and business assistance to early-stage firms that demonstrate significant growth potential.
Since its inception in 2010, the fund has invested $1.75 million in 25 local companies that in turn have raised over $24 million – for a multiple of over 13 times the original NOSF investment.
PowerMoves.NOLA is an initiative of NOSF to support high-growth, high-tech startups led by entrepreneurs of color and position New Orleans as a hub for minority entrepreneurship. Since its inception in 2014, it has help more than 100 companies, providing direct support for entrepreneurs of color and building a national ecosystem to connect them with investors, advisors, and peers.
The Main Street Program was designed to provide technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses in New Orleans. The program is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The NOSF’s success is made possible with the generous support of Chevron, Entergy, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.