IDEAtour 2017 Applications Open; Event Set For March 23-24

IDEAtourEntrepreneurs from around the country are invited to experience New Orleans’ startup community by applying for the second annual IDEAtour.

UPDATED: Application deadline has been extended to Feb. 10 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

IDEAtour, developed collaboratively last year by The Idea Village, Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) and the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) is a program designed to inspire and recruit national entrepreneurs to move their companies to the New Orleans region through an exclusive, curated experience that exposes participants to the resources, incentives, programs and leaders of the city’s entrepreneurial community. This year’s IDEAtour will take place March 23-24, 2017, during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK.

“To know our city is to love our city,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of GNO, Inc.  “By giving interested startups a curated opportunity to see first-hand what the city has to offer and come to know the ‘new’ New Orleans, IDEAtour will help bring new, growing companies – and ultimately more jobs – to Greater New Orleans.”

High-growth, early-stage entrepreneurs looking to move to New Orleans are invited to apply at until February 10 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Participants will be chosen by a selection committee from the three partner organizations. Preference will be given to entrepreneurs whose startups fit within New Orleans’ industry trends and culture and/or can benefit from the regional tax incentives.

New Orleans has recently become recognized as a nationally significant hub of entrepreneurship that offers competitive startup resources, a collaborative network and a quality of life that has become attractive to many entrepreneurs. Forbes named New Orleans “America’s #1 Biggest Brain Magnet,” based on the city’s rapid influx of college-educated residents. The city also has the #1 fastest-growing tech sector (New Geography) and was ranked among the top 10 cities for relocation (Forbes). NOEW, the annual festival that convenes the entire New Orleans entrepreneurial community, highlights this success/vibrance, and is why it will be host to this year’s IDEAtour.

“We want to give national entrepreneurs an efficient way to see the authentic, collaborative ecosystem that is developing in New Orleans, and there is no better time or place to see that than during NOEW,” said Emily Madero, Acting CEO of The Idea Village. “Our hope is that this year’s IDEAtour will be equally as, or more, successful than last year.”

Last year, Michael Underwood, founder of mobile app Scenehound, participated in the inaugural IDEAtour while considering a move to either New Orleans or Austin, but his experience during the program led him to move his startup to our city. Immediately following the IDEAtour, Scenehound was voted to showcase at The Blackstone Big Idea, and was a top 3 finalist. He subsequently applied and was accepted to The Idea Village’s DIGITALMEDIAx accelerator program, and won the NOLA Media Group prize after his pitch at Demo Day, the same event he attended last year as an IDEAtour participant.

“The spirit of entrepreneurship is strong in New Orleans, and we are excited to be part of an innovative approach to introducing high growth potential companies to our city,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., President and CEO of NOLABA. “One of our most important roles is attracting the next great company to New Orleans where it can join a cadre of like-minded businesses. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is a hub of connectivity, and is a great place for regional entrepreneurs to connect with potential future colleagues and resources.”

For more information on the program and to access the application, please email or visit

economic development, gno inc., idea village, ideatour, quentin messer


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