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Final Fridayze wins PitchNOLA "Elevator Pitch" Competition at Tulane University

September 23, 2009 2:00 AM


Keith Brannon

A New Orleans man with an idea for creating monthly enrichment activities for area teens is the first place winner of PitchNOLA, an “elevator pitch” competition for social entrepreneurs sponsored by Tulane Entrepreneurs" Association, Tulane University"s Social Entrepreneurship Initiative and Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans.

Frank Delaney"s winning pitch, Final Fridayze, is a series of recreational events designed to keep kids off of the streets while enriching their lives in a safe environment. Each month, Final Fridayze takes on a different theme, such as Life after High School, STD/HIV prevention or job training. Delaney will receive a free month of office space provided by Launchpad and $500.

PitchNOLA, which took place at Tulane University last night, enabled 15 groups to present ideas for ventures that can create positive social or environmental change in New Orleans. Entrants pitched to a group of experts and approximately 200 people in the audience. Valerie Bodet won second prize for Educators for Quality Alternatives, an idea for a school for at-risk teens. She won $300 and 500 business cards provided by Pel Hughes and designed by Wright Feigley Communications. Third place winner Savannah Solomon"s Heart of Passion Retreat Center, a for-profit hotel that would also serve as a retreat for teenagers battling cancer, received $200.

The competition was designed to help those with great ideas hone their presentation skills in succinct three-minute pitches while simultaneously connecting with an audience that provided feedback, resources and connections for taking their ventures to the next level.

"Tonight"s event was successful in providing a small window through which the audience could see some of the big ideas coming from our entrepreneurial community. These entrepreneurs shared some excellent plans on how to make New Orleans a better place,” said Matt Dearmon, Tulane Entrepreneurs" Association president. “I believe it was a valuable experience for both the participants and the audience."

“The innovative and practical solutions for social change presented at PitchNOLA were truly inspiring,” said Stephanie Barksdale, manager of Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives at Tulane. “We look forward to supporting more opportunities like this as Tulane continues to strengthen its commitment to civic engagement through our expanding social entrepreneurship initiatives.”

The panel of judges included: Will Bradshaw, President of Green Coast Enterprise, Flozell Daniels, President and CEO of Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, and Michael Hecht, President and CEA of Greater New Orleans Inc. Coaches for the Pitch Workshop element of the program included Chris Schultz of Launchpad and Ralph Maurer of Tulane"s A.B. Freeman School of Business.

To learn more, please visit http://tulane.edu/socialentrepreneurship/ or www.tea.tulane.edu.