Three winners took home a total of $10,500 in cash prizes Thursday at a live pitch competition hosted by business incubator Propeller and Tulane University.
The competition focused on local entrepreneurs who offered solutions to challenges in workforce development, children and families, social justice and the environment.
First place and $5,000 in seed money went to Young Creative Agency, represented by Alberta Wright, which provides teens with paid employment in the creative economy.
Second place and $3,000 went to Fund 17 and Haley Burns, a nonprofit that fights opportunity inequality in the 17 wards of New Orleans by providing financial and educational tools to underserved entrepreneurs.
Third place and $2,000 — as well as an extra $500 that was awarded by an audience vote — went to Food Justice Collaborative, represented by Chika Kondo, Arieanna Knight and Ron Triggs. Their youth farmers’ cooperative aims to address the root causes of why communities are not able to access fresh local produce.
The competition was held at Tulane’s Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center. Prizes were awarded by a panel of judges. The $10,000 in seed funding was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.