Saturday, March 22, 2014 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Gallier Hall, 545 St.Charles Ave.


The inNOLAvation Challenge was designed to encourage the formation of innovative businesses by minority entrepreneurs.

This year’s challenge will include three local high schools competing to get their mobile application developed by inNOLAvation.


inNOLAvation, in partnership with The Idea Village, is pleased to announce three local high schools participating in the 2nd Annual inNOLAvation Challenge. inNOLAvation is a non-profit organization that was formed to encourage the creation of high-growth businesses by minority entrepreneurs in the greater New Orleans metro area.

The event will be held using a “Science Fair” format in which teams will have their own stations and be supplied with equipment to assist with visual presentations. Each school will make several 5-minute presentations at their station. The winner of the competition will be selected by a group of expert judges who will be anonymously among the crowd. Students will be evaluated on creativity in addressing a problem, presentation, and business potential.

The 1st Place winner, as determined by the judges will get their mobile application developed by inNOLAvation, and receive ongoing technical assistance from a local organization to assist with business planning, legal, accounting, and marketing services. The inNOLAvation Challenge will take place on Saturday, March 22nd, from 10:45a.m. – 12:30p.m. during Idea Village’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (“NOEW”) at Gallier Hall. The participating schools will include:

  • Algiers Technology Academy
  • Lake Area Charter
  • Joseph S. Clark

“Given the surge of entrepreneurship and youthful innovation undertaking New Orleans, the inNOLAvation Challenge was an opportunity to get our students involved. The students were presented with an opportunity to create something that solves a social problem,” said Kyle Coapman, Biology and Physics teacher at Lake Area Charter.  “Our students bought in and were willing to commit.”

“This was a great opportunity to learn something new. Along the way it became clear to me that sometimes we make things more difficult in our minds than they really are,” said Jada Williams, student at Joseph S. Clark. “The key to accomplishing a goal goes beyond brainstorming – I learned to focus and use a more innovative process. You can always improve something by focusing on the process.”

The founders of inNOLAvation began working with Idea Village last year to identify a venue that would engage minorities in the New Orleans metro area, so that the catalytic, entrepreneurial tech culture would become more pervasive and touch more lives.  High school students are certainly a fixture in this rapidly changing landscape. “IT remains inaccessible as a career opportunity for too many Americans and this goes double for low-income communities of color,” said Adrian Morgan, CEO of Algiers Charter School Association.  “InNOLAvation is removing the mystery and not just addressing the digital divide, but building a bridge that allows our students to get from one side to the other.”

“Innovation does not discriminate based on age, race, or gender. All that is required is a willingness to work hard, a commitment to problem solving, and a hunger to create,” said Ethan Ashley, Outreach Coordinator at the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and member of inNOLAvation.  “Exposing minority students to business opportunities that encourage creativity, social conscience, and critical thinking will pay dividends in the future. We need to figure out how to make sure every child gets this type of enlightenment.”

Title sponsors of the inNOLAvation Challenge include Capital One, New Orleans Startup Fund, New Orleans Business Alliance, and Black Alliance for Educational Options. A number of other local partners are also contributing donated services and technical support. For more information on the inNOLAvation Challenge, please visit

inNOLAvation was created to encourage and facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship within the minority community. For more information about this opportunity, click here.