Startup St. Bernard Judges and Prize Package Details Announced

Startup St. Bernard presented by the Meraux Foundation and the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation

March 10, 2018 (St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana): Entering its fourth year, Startup St. Bernard showcases the Parish as a premier location for business, especially startups, to thrive.  The Meraux Foundation, the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, and the Idea Village™ are joined by a deep bench of partners working together to make Startup St. Bernard possible.

Donors include the Meraux Foundation, Park Investments, Ltd., St. Bernard Parish Government Department of Tourism, Associated Terminals, Palms Truck Stop, Sidney Torres, III, Chalmette Refining, Bourbon Saloon, Inc., Mrs. Rita Gue, Mr. Floyd Gue, Nunez Community College Foundation, Taurus Properties, Inc., Southern Insurance Agency, LLC, Palmisano Contractors, Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann, Senator Sharon Hewitt, Senator JP Morrell, BERG Services, Coast Roast, and Reactive Digital Systems.

Donors offering in-kind services include Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company, evanSchmidt Design, LLC, Baker Donelson, Sherman Strategies, Ragusa Consulting, Bernard Franks, A Corporation of Certified Accountants, Biz New Orleans, Eric Nunez Photography, St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, Shine Productions, Outfront Media, The Meraux Foundation, Leadership St. Bernard, Kushner LaGraize, Crave, Heather Michael, and Grow St. Bernard.

The 4th Annual Startup St. Bernard competition is on Monday, March 19, 2018 from 2:00pm-5:00pm at Docville Farm in Violet, Louisiana.  Tom Gregory, multiple regional Emmy Award winner and WYES producer, will emcee the event. 

Finalists for the 2018 competition include Clean Course Meals, Full Count Athletic Facility, Neptune’s Garden, Neutral Ground: A Digital Woodshop, and Pontchartrain Mushrooms. 

Judges for the 2018 Startup St. Bernard have also been announced.  The event will feature Kim Keene, CEO of St. Bernard Parish Hospital; Greg LaRose, City News Manager for Times Picayune; Kevin Pedeaux, Owner of Coast Roast Coffee; Dr. Tina Tinney, Chancellor of Nunez Community College; and Crystal McDonald, Founder and CEO of Acrew.

America’s Small Business Development Center has provided all finalists one-on-one business mentoring sessions in preparation for the competition and an advisory committee offered guidance and feedback on the finalist’s presentations. 

An after party will immediately follow in the new, outdoor bar at Pirogue’s Whiskey Bayou.  Food will be available by Chew Rouge.  Admission is free and open to the public.  All ages are welcome in the outdoor bar area.

Startup St. Bernard is being held in conjunction with New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), the annual festival celebrating business, innovation, and advanced thinking in metro New Orleans. Produced by The Idea Village™, NOEW engages a dynamic global network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, nonprofits, students, and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial success through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration.

Individuals interested in attending Startup St. Bernard may do so by registering at


About St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation  

St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2005 to retain and create jobs, build prosperity, and improve the quality of life in St. Bernard Parish. The Board of Directors consists of 28 voting members and 8 non-voting honorary members and public officials, all of which serve as volunteers to the organization. SBEDF's work is made possible through the general support of St. Bernard Parish Government and its donors the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation and Port of New Orleans at the Lead Investors Level, St. Bernard Port, Harbor, and Terminal District, Cox Communications, Chalmette Refining, Valero, and Gulf Coast Bank at the Impact Champion Level, the Law Offices of Sidney Torres, III, Associated Terminals, and Atmos Energy at the Pillars Level, and Palmisano Group, Boasso Global, and Park Investments at the Community Leaders Level.


About The Meraux Foundation   

The Meraux Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established by Arlene Meraux to benefit the community of St. Bernard Parish by leveraging its landholdings. Today, the Foundation’s board of directors is presided over by Arlene’s niece, Rita Gue, and members Floyd Gue, Bill Haines, Chris Haines, and Sidney Torres, III. Guided by Arlene’s vision, the Board is implementing an innovative strategy to create lasting change and build a better St. Bernard.  


About New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co., is an annual festival celebrating innovation, entrepreneurship, and new thinking in New Orleans. Produced by The Idea Village in partnership with Solomon Group, NOEW engages a dynamic network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, non-profits, students, and professionals to support growing companies, spark conversation, and applaud the entrepreneurial spirit in a city like no other. In 2018, NOEW will take place at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) and The Shop at the CAC shared workspace.