11 Jun NOLABA News – TORSH JOINS GROWING NOLA ED TECH ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITY

CEO Courtney Williams relocates company, family from NYC

New Orleans, La. – New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) and education entrepreneur Courtney Williams announced today that his company, Torsh, has relocated to New Orleans to join the city’s growing education technology community. Torsh, a video-based technology company focused on improving student achievement by enhancing external factors such as teacher effectiveness, is bringing five employees and expects to add another five by year’s end. The company expects to take advantage of the state’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive.

Formerly operating as a more virtual company, with employees in multiple locations, Torsh employees will now benefit from all being in one city. An early 2014 quarterly employee gathering in New Orleans planted the idea for the relocation, according to Williams.

“New Orleans has been nationally recognized as a destination for education startups,” said NOLABA Interim President and CEO Melissa Ehlinger. “By moving an established company here, Courtney and Torsh reaffirm that recognition and are helping transform this community into a larger economic force for the city.” NOLABA shepherded Torsh through the entire site search and relocation process.\

Founded in 2011, Torsh began as the brainchild of Williams, who previously held senior technology executive roles at AOL, Time Warner and Interactive One.

“New Orleans has always been a hub of creative innovation, from our food to our music to our culture. Now, we’re becoming a magnet for entrepreneurs using technology to transform education. Torsh’s relocation to New Orleans is a strong indication that New Orleans is poised for continued growth in the technology and education sectors,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Our economic development agencies are partnering like never before and I commend them for the unwavering commitment to positioning New Orleans and Louisiana as industry leaders.”

“We initially saw a way to use video for teachers the same way that athletes use game tape, if you will,” said Williams, adding that Torsh services include capture, upload, analysis and coaching. “But there is enormous potential for thoughtfully deployed technology to impact all of the factors that influence student achievement – teacher effectiveness, administrator performance, parental involvement and more. Our video observation and analytics platform has already proven itself to be highly effective for teachers. To grow to the next level, we needed to be someplace that supported and magnified our growth potential. New Orleans is that place. It’s a place that is also right for my family – it’s smaller, but still has the feel of a big city, urban community. ”

“We are pleased to have partnered with NOLABA to help bring the educational technology of Torsh to Greater New Orleans,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “This company is poised to take advantage of two of our region’s strongest waves of innovation:  technology and education.”