A pair of Arkansas start up companies had their moment in the sun taking part in a nationally-known business program in New Orleans late last month.
Jonesboro-based eVest Web and Little Rock-based makePaper participated in a special segment of the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week where they met with investors and regional entrepreneurs as part of the Delta Regional Authority’s newly established program called the Delta Entrepreneurship Network.
Company leaders pitched their ideas of a social network and forum for stock market investors and technology to connect major brands to younger customer bases through online competitions directly to investors from across the region and country as part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, with the hopes of obtaining seed capital and future funding for eVestWeb and makePaper.
“Being part of the Delta Entrepreneurship Network and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week was an incredible experience,” Jason Stinnett, founder and principal of eVestWeb, said. “Simply being around like-minded entrepreneurs and support organizations is a key to success for small startups like mine. We really learned a lot from each other and I think every founder took many steps forward for their business by being part of the program.”
The Delta Entrepreneurship Network and its Delta Challenge pitch competitions builds on a key partnership with The Idea Village to identify, connect, nurture, and grow entrepreneurs into a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions.
The Idea Village has been globally recognized as a model for place-based economic development through entrepreneurship—reaching over 3,400 entrepreneurs with $2.5 million in seed capital—and has been a steadfast advocate for making New Orleans a vibrant entrepreneurial community.
The project also drew support from Delta Regional Authority federal co-chairman Chris Masingill.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the Delta region’s economy and we are proud to support entrepreneurs like Jason Stinnett and Maria Hampton in transforming ideas into companies, like eVestWeb and makePaper. By participating in New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, Jason and Maria had the opportunity to connect with the organizations, fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors that could help eVestWeb and makePaper flourish into successful businesses that will continue to grow, create jobs for Delta residents, and help drive the local economy,” Masingill said. “This is just the first step in building a strong regional ecosystem for entrepreneurial growth and success.”
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is an annual event celebrating business, innovation, and advanced thinking in New Orleans. This is the inaugural year of the partnership between the DRA and the Idea Village that brought 31 entrepreneurs and support organizations to New Orleans for the special DRA programming.
Produced by The Idea Village, NOEW engages a dynamic global network to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration. NOEW 2015 took place March 20-27.