NOLAbound, a program to showcase New Orleans as an emerging center of entrepreneurship and innovation officially kicked off this week. Applications are now open and the group is looking for 25 qualified professionals to participate in an all-expenses-paid opportunity to experience the New Orleans entrepreneurial community and report back to the general public about their thoughts on New Orleans as an entrepreneurial hub.
Specifically, NOLAbound is looking to highlight four sectors, including arts-based businesses, biosciences, digital media and sustainable industries. This program is something that the group has been working on for months and there have already been several high-profile media pieces covering the area, including New Orleans recently being named as America's "Biggest Brain Magnet" by Forbes and the "Coolest Startup City in America" by Inc. magazine.
A lot of us already know that New Orleans is a great place to play, but with this recent news and program, it's beginning to seem as if it might be a great area to live and work in too. But don't take my word for it. Those who fill out an application and just might be selected to discover it in person.
“This partnership with the Economic Development Administration, GNO, Inc., and The Idea Village will allow us to identify, import, and engage some of the country’s creative rising stars, while simultaneously showcasing local businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Kurt Weigle, President and CEO of DDD. “We believe our unparalleled economic opportunities and progressive energy make New Orleans one of the most attractive places in the world to start and grow a business. NOLAbound will broadcast that message to the world.”
The 25 participants selected will be invited for a five-day trip to New Orleans and will be given access to certain New Orleans Entrepreneur Week events as well as the ability to meet with leaders in the city's growing arts, biosciences, digital, and sustainable sectors. Cool yet, they'll be given VIP access to select activities in the city and the entire process will be filmed for a documentary that will premiere in October 2012.
The group will then be encouraged to share their unfiltered impressions of their experiences on the program's website, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube and their own blogs. Applications will be accepted at BeNOLAbound until Friday, December 16, 2011.