At Propeller Pop, a dozen pop-ups gather under one roof for a sampling of New Orleans’ emerging food scene _lowres

Photo by Bryan Tarnowski -- The annual fundraiser for the business incubator Propeller become a showcase for diverse pop-up dining concepts around New Orleans.

Propeller, a business incubator that focuses on ventures planning to tackle pressing issues facing New Orleans, said 31 startups will participate in its three-month program that supports early-stage ventures targeting issues in food access, water management, health and educational equity.

The 31 participants include for-profit, nonprofit and hybrid ventures. Several startups plan to scale local solutions to a national level and others plan to focus on the metro New Orleans area.

Over three months, each startup plans to launch an initial pilot and attract their first customers with help from the program's mentors. The program also includes weekly group curriculum sessions, professional support and free work space through Propeller. The program culminates in a showcase in December, during which startups will pitch to an audience of investors and industry leaders.

Startup Accelerator Ventures include:

Food Access:

• Agrowtopia, a student-centric, organic urban farm that provides affordable produce to Gert Town residents, farm-to-table businesses and Xavier University.

• Descant Ranch, a carbon-neutral blueberry farm in Washington Parish that connects local farmers with resources and information to promote long-term financial and agricultural sustainability.

• Garden on Mars, a nonprofit urban garden project that aims to improve access to fresh produce and promote financial self-sustainability for Lower 9th Ward residents by providing them with tools, resources and knowledge to grow fresh food and flowers.

• G’s Grocery Provisions (GroPro), an online local grocery platform providing on-demand delivery for individuals without access to reliable transportation.

• Mothers & Caretakers Mending Family Foundations, a catering business devoted to creating and growing financial and food security safety nets for families fractured by inequality.

• New Orleans Eat Local Challenge, an initiative to raise awareness of the nutritional, economic, cultural and environmental benefits of eating locally-sourced foods.

• Sugar Roots Farm, a nonprofit urban farm that promotes physical wellness and environmental sustainability through farm-to-fork education and sustainable, free-range agricultural methods.

• The University Medical Center Urban Farm, an urban farm on the University Medical Center campus that's focused on redefining food culture in a health care setting to reduce obesity-related chronic diseases.

Water Management:

• Coastal Communities Consulting, a nonprofit that provides technical assistance, economic development, social services and disaster recovery services to rural entrepreneurs and their families.

• The GlassLand Project, helps restore coastal wetlands through the collection, transportation and installation of regional glass waste.

• Louisiana Coastal Services Inc., assists clients in Louisiana's coastal parishes with transaction-related legal services, land broker services and grant management while promoting environmentally-friendly usage of the coast.

• Landscape Metrics, a design studio that transforms complex datasets into visual narratives on environmental issues such as local water quality.

• Maritant, a sales platform that connects engineers, shipbuilders and vessel operators with preferred vendor equipment data.

• Triple N Oyster Farm, a Grand Isle-based oyster farm devoted to creating sustainable oyster-growing technologies for Louisiana.


• Bike Rite, a cycling club that promotes physical activity in New Orleans' black communities by improving access to cycling.

• The Hite Law Group, provides legal help at low rates, specializing in serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and survivors of intimate partner violence.

• Lift Louisiana, an advocacy group focused on improving health outcomes for women and children in Louisiana.

• Louvis Services, serves the New Orleans homeless community by re-purposing shipping containers into safe, affordable rental housing units.

• Pine Biotech, a software platform for commercial research scientists and biomedical researchers, enabling discovery of molecules, vaccines and other cellular pathways.

• PrepBiz, a mobile app focused on using game-based technology to combat disaster trauma in youth.

• Ready Responders, a community paramedicine group improving access and quality to health care while reducing response times by integrating part-time emergency medical technicians into municipal 911 systems.

• Santosha, provides affordable housing to the homeless to aid in their integration back into society.

• Well Therapeutic Services, a clinic that provides preventive health care and therapeutic services, along with wellness education and classes.

Educational Equity:

• College Beyond, a nonprofit that leverages relationships to guide students through the academic, social and financial transition from high school to college.

• Electric Girls, a nonprofit that created a community where girls can learn science, technology, engineering and math skills with and from each other.

• IT’S LIT: Words on Ice, a project of the nonprofit Big Class to launch a mobile youth writing center and sno-ball stand to support the voices of young writers and provide summer jobs to local youth in their own neighborhoods.

• Kids of Excellence Child Development Center, a nonprofit childcare center that provides early childhood education and community resources to young children in at-risk New Orleans communities.

• Overcoming Racism, a nonprofit that provides training and consulting services to help guide schools and teachers through the process of developing anti-racist educators.

• The Southern History Project, a nonprofit focused on improving the number of students from the South who graduate college by developing engaging, relevant social studies curricula tailored to southern schools.

• TrainingGrounds, which provides programming to parents, caregivers and early childhood educators in the metro New Orleans area serving up to age 5.

• Whole Village Art Therapy, a nonprofit that provides holistic, community-based art therapy programming in the Broadmoor, Hollygrove and Central City neighborhoods and improves access to mental health services, regardless of insurance restrictions or financial hardship.