Our Work

Special Projects


The New Orleans Health Innovators Challenge (NOLAHI) is an annual digital health competition, produced by the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) and partners since 2018, that brings together startups from around the country to collaborate with local healthcare leaders to find solutions to pressing healthcare challenges. NOLAHI creates strategic partnerships between top emerging companies and our New Orleans health system leaders based on articulated Challenge Statement topics.

Key Partners


Alertgy got started with the New Orleans Health Innovators Challenge and has continued to grow from there; winning this competition was critical to our success and momentum. The Challenge not only connected us with some of the biggest players in healthcare but also introduced us to business development opportunities and resources that we hadn’t even considered in the past. The team has continued to support Alertgy over the years and remains an invaluable connection for us – we’d strongly encourage relevant companies to apply to these opportunities!”
— Marc Rippen, CEO of Alertgy
The New Orleans Health Innovators Challenge is an exciting event that gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their meaningful solutions to big problems the world faces today related to health. The event is jam-packed with activities that benefit you and your startup. Clearly, being part of this community can improve your chances of success.”
— lnaz Sarabchian, CEO of MedAux
Ochsner has a longstanding commitment to reimagining healthcare and finding creative and innovative solutions to improve the health of the communities we serve. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with other innovators who share our vision, and NOLAHI has been a valuable platform to connect with entrepreneurs and new thinking.”
—Aimee Quirk, CEO of innovation Ochsner
We’re very encouraged by the solutions we’ve found through NOLAHI, and we thank New Orleans Business Alliance for the opportunity to seek new ways of engaging patients with and helping them stay on top of their care.”
— Dr. Vindell Washington, BCBSLA Chief Medical Officer

Ways to Get Involved

Create your own Challenge Statement.
NOLABA partners with Ochsner Health System, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, New Orleans Health Department, LCMC Health, Lafayette General Foundation, [pending CID + partner], and Tulane Health System/HCA MidAmerica Division to create Challenge Statements and put on the New Orleans Health Innovators competition. If your company or healthcare system has a problem that can be solved through technology, get in touch about partnering with us to create your own unique Challenge Statement
Invest in companies with effective solutions tackling local healthcare needs.
In order for new ideas in healthcare to succeed, we need the support of the business community. Investors enable digital health entrepreneurs to scale their companies. NOLABA works to help the bio business community make meaningful connections. If you are interested in investing in a biotech startup, we can be the conduit.
Invest in the New Orleans Business Alliance.
Our organization focuses on improving the New Orleans economy. With financial support from the business community, New Orleans Business Alliance can expand the city’s business base, increase the City’s general fund by driving sales tax revenues, and help create generational wealth through quality employment for its citizens. With your financial support, we can achieve our mission of a growing, thriving New Orleans.

AdvancingCities Initiative

As one of seven winning cities selected by JPMorgan Chase for its AdvancingCities Challenge, New Orleans is making an investment into blue-green infrastructure, providing pathways to new career opportunities for residents and contract opportunities for local small businesses in the water economy.

AdvancingCities is a $500 million, five-year initiative launched by JP Morgan Chase to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity in cities across the world. New Orleans was selected through a competitive RFP process led by NOLABA and partners and awarded $5 million for a three-year grant that began in 2020 to:

  • Create a seamless pipeline to identify and train under-and unemployed individuals in high-growth jobs
  • Expand the capacity of small businesses, particularly disadvantaged business enterprises
  • Connect business to potential employees
  • Build local blue/green infrastructure expertise in New Orleans
Through the support of AdvancingCities in New Orleans, NOLABA, YouthForce NOLA, and a collaborative of agencies, nonprofits, and higher education institutions are working together to develop programs and strategies to invest in the burgeoning blue-green infrastructure industry. The grant program will include robust workforce training that prepares high school youth, opportunity youth, and adults who are people of color and people with low incomes for high-wage jobs in the city’s growing water management sector. It will also include support for small businesses, with a goal of enabling local firms, particularly those owned by people of color, to benefit from procurement opportunities in the water management sector and beyond.

Key Partners


This collaborative effort to assist small businesses and build a more inclusive workforce pipeline is just the sort of innovative approach Louisiana needs to create a brighter future for all"
— Governor John Bel Edwards
It's about the training and support of our young people as we help them get real world work experience in green-grey-blue infrastructure.”
— Cate Swinburn, president of YouthForce NOLA
This grant will help pivot our city in sectors that we know will be life-changing and help close the equity divide that has kept people from reaching their potential.”
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell
We’re very encouraged by the solutions we’ve found through NOLAHI, and we thank New Orleans Business Alliance for the opportunity to seek new ways of engaging patients with and helping them stay on top of their care.”
— Dr. Vindell Washington, BCBSLA Chief Medical Officer


504ward is a collaborative initiative designed to attract and retain young professional talent in New Orleans. As part of NOLABA’s efforts to provide employers with top talent, 504ward is New Orleans’s largest network of up-and-coming young professionals. 

The initiative offers a suite of programs and communications, in partnership with private sector leaders and employers, that provide opportunities for career advancement, professional development, and social engagement for young professionals. 

Over the past 10 years, 504ward has directly engaged more than 23,000 young professionals, featured more than 3,000 quality jobs, and partnered with more than 200 employers to date. 

To learn more or sign up for the 504ward weekly email, visit 504ward.com

Key Partners

Ways to Get Involved


504ward is dedicated to promoting job opportunities in the Greater New Orleans Region. It is our goal to highlight the many and varied job opportunities that exist throughout the region through our twice-weekly Career Spotlights in our emails, our daily Jobs of the Day on Facebook and Twitter, and our Company of the Week on Instagram. These opportunities reach out members through our listserv (9,500+), Facebook (6,000+ followers), Twitter (19,000+ followers), and Instagram (1700+ followers).

We also offer a Company Connect program, which connects your company through a group hiring event to a preselected list of potential employees. Learn more about the Company Connect here.


504ward promotes events in the Greater New Orleans community through our twice-weekly emails and social media outlets.

To be considered for promotion, please complete the form on the website. Note that we typically need 8 weeks’ notice to schedule promotion. The more information you provide and the earlier you provide it, the greater the likelihood we will be able to promote the event.


504ward periodically hosts Restaurant Nights and Connections & Cocktails happy hours at restaurants and bars around the city.

If you are interested in hosting us at your space, please reach out to 504ward@504ward.com.



The Youth Demonstration Project (YDP) prepares and connects young people between the ages of 16 and 24 with quality employment opportunities in high-demand, high-wage, and high-growth industries. These opportunity youth (OY), which include approximately 7,000 in our local area, are disconnected from employment and/or post-secondary opportunities.

In New Orleans, 61% of jobs in the region require some college or higher. Yet only 54% of our workforce ages 25 and older have the skills/credentials needed to compete for those jobs. In an effort to address this gap, it is imperative that young people transition from high school with the requisite skills to compete for available employment. NOLABA supports the system-level transformation of youth-focused workforce development to better meet their needs by providing them with training providers and access to critical support tools. 

This project has supported over 100 young people to date and over the next two years, the overall goal is to connect 225 youth to quality career pathways by specifically supporting OY training providers and it also serves to build the capacity of opportunity youth (OY) serving organizations, so that processes can be scaled to the larger network of providers.


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1250 Poydras St., Suite 2150
New Orleans, LA 70113
info@nolaba.org | 504.934.4500