Water Block has won the Water Challenge business pitch competition's $10,000 in startup funding for its online tool to help neighborhoods implement better stormwater management practices at the block level.
Ten semifinalists competed in the $15,000 annual Water Challenge at the Propeller business incubator as part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
A $2,500 nonprofit prize went to Native Roots Nursery and $2,500 pre-revenue prize to New Orleans Stormwater Training Corps., which also took home the audience favorite award of $500.
Native Roots Nursery is a project of the Woodlands Conservancy that will produce native seedlings for and involve students in service-learning programs for restoration projects.
Stormwater Training grows jobs in residential stormwater management by combining the expertise and resources of Louisiana Green Corps, a youth job training provider; Home by Hand, a nonprofit housing developer building storm-resistant homes for and with low- to moderate-income families; and Greenman Dan, a landscaping company specializing in managing rainfall.
The Water Block stormwater management project, by Design Jones LLC in partnership with Atianna Cordova and Kristen Lonon, is based in the Lower 9th Ward and will target the city’s most environmentally at-risk neighborhoods, including the Lower 9th Ward, St. Roch and New Orleans East.
Editor's Note: This story was changed on March 26, 2018, to correct the amount of Water Block's prize to $10,000.