Idea Village to help local start-ups

In partnership with Loyola University, the Idea Village will turn MBA students into team leaders during the immersive IDEAcorps consulting challenge, in which students help founders of New Orleans-based start-ups advance their companies during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

The Idea Village is looking for applicants for the event, scheduled for March 10-13. The deadline to apply is Dec. 5. Those selected to be leaders will then recruit six students for their teams.

“IDEAcorps is more than a competition,” said Tim Williamson, co-founder of the Idea Village. “It’s an uncommonly transformative experience that plugs MBA students directly into the local entrepreneurial network.”

Founded in 2006, IDEAcorps has engaged more than 500 MBAs from across the country to work one-on-one with New Orleans entrepreneurs.

Loyola will be hosting the IDEAcorps consulting challenge for the first time.

MBA students interested in being IDEAcorps team leaders may apply at

Tulane institute gets Gates Foundation grant

The CEQ Institute at Tulane University, directed by professor Nora Lustig, has been awarded a $4.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study ways to reduce inequality and poverty in developing countries through taxes and social spending.

The institute was established in May to analyze the impact of taxation and social spending on inequality and poverty in developing countries as well as to provide a guide for governments and nongovernmental organizations to build more equitable societies.

Lustig, Tulane’s Samuel Z. Stone professor of Latin American economics, will collaborate with Tulane professor Ludovico Feoli, director of the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research.

Lustig said the grant will be used over five years to develop policy tools necessary for evaluating the consistency and effectiveness of tax collection and government spending with global equity goals. Researchers also will develop an information system to monitor the progress of taxation and government spending in achieving these goals.

More information on the CEQ Institute can be found at

LSU Public Health School course honored

A course taught by Dr. Rebekah Gee, an associate professor at the LSU Health New Orleans Schools of Public Health & Medicine, won the national Learning in Action Curriculum Competition this year.

The competition is sponsored by the Practical Playbook, a stepping stone in the next transformation of health, in which primary care and public health groups collaborate to achieve population health improvement and reduced health care costs.

The Practical Playbook was developed by the de Beaumont Foundation, Duke Community and Family Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One of her students nominated Gee’s course, “Principles of Health Care Quality,” for the award. Gee was recognized for her work to align the Practical Playbook’s concepts and resources with her course.

Kenneth Alexander, a vice president of the Louisiana Hospital Association, teaches the course with Gee.

The Practical Playbook steering committee said Gee and her colleagues at the LSU School of Public Health “have done an outstanding job of giving public health graduate students an introduction to concepts of health care quality improvement, especially around hot-spotting techniques, that can contribute to improved health outcomes and decreased costs of health care.” The Practical Playbook intends to feature Gee and her work on its website and social media outlets where it shares success stories as helpful resources and examples to follow.

The recognition includes $5,000 to further the work of Gee’s course.