The Idea Village and Tulane University Partner to Produce New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

December 17, 2018

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week partners with Tulane University's A. B. Freeman School of Business
The 11th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week — dedicated to building the future and catalyzing our community with new partnerships, venue and event vision — will be held March 25-29, 2019, with continued support from JPMorgan Chase as a presenting partner.

The Idea Village and the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University are joining forces to produce the 11th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), March 25th - 29th, 2019. NOEW — a weeklong series of events celebrating business, innovation, and entrepreneurship in New Orleans — features speakers, pitch competitions, workshops, networking events, and more to support innovative and entrepreneurial thinking in the region.

The Idea Village CEO, Jon Atkinson, is enthusiastic that this collaboration will take NOEW to the next level. “This new, marquee partnership with the Freeman School is exciting for a number of reasons,” Atkinson says. “Combining our resources and expertise with Tulane’s will help us position NOEW as a thought leadership platform, build connections between our entrepreneurial ecosystem and the region’s core economic assets, and establish a broader foundation of ownership for this valuable community asset. Having two of the city’s most powerful champions for entrepreneurs working more closely together to strengthen our innovation ecosystem is a powerful catalyst for the future.”

By focusing on innovation and growth-oriented companies, the 11th NOEW is bringing this event back to its origins. “The Idea Village was founded to engage the New Orleans community in embracing innovation and entrepreneurship, taking risks and thinking in new ways,” says Atkinson. “As a result of our efforts, alumni of The Idea Village now generate over $250 million a year in annual economic impact for the region.” This year’s event will focus on thought leadership within and beyond New Orleans; education about what founders and the teams that support them need to know about starting and scaling their business; and the success stories of what’s happening in our local ecosystem.

“We are incredibly excited about the partnerships that are coming together and what this means for the future of this incredible event,” says Atkinson. “We’re ready to put this growth into overdrive. NOEW is a critical ‘front door’ to our ecosystem and something that catalyzes activity year round.”

This partnership aligns with the Freeman School’s commitment to entrepreneurship and experiential learning in New Orleans through its Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “Tulane is investing heavily in frontier areas of innovation such as data analytics and entrepreneurial hospitality,” says Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “Through the founding of the Lepage Center, the upcoming opening of the Stewart Center CBD and now this partnership with The Idea Village, we are expanding both the platform for thought leadership as well as the physical presence necessary for New Orleans to thrive as a true innovation hub and entrepreneurial destination.”

Rob Lalka, executive director of Freeman’s Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, will be leading this initiative on the university’s side. “Working with The Idea Village to produce NOEW is a natural extension of the Lepage Center’s mission to bring together scholars, inventors, investors and students to solve problems and build businesses,” he says. “Through this partnership, Tulane and The Idea Village can leverage our complementary strengths to have a greater impact in New Orleans and across the Gulf South.”

NOEW would not be possible without the visionary support of sponsors. JPMorgan Chase & Co. will continue as the event’s presenting sponsor. As a founding supporter of The Idea Village, leading funder of the ecosystem and multi-year partner of NOEW, JPMorgan Chase has made a significant commitment to supporting businesses in New Orleans and investing in the future of our region’s economy. The bank’s continued support demonstrates an ongoing leadership in our community and economy, as well as a vision for what NOEW can become.

Katie LeGardeur, market leader for JPMorgan Chase in Louisiana, says, “NOEW is an asset for our business community and an opportunity to come together each year to celebrate emerging companies with the potential to shape our region’s economy for years to come. It is also an opportunity to invest in the next generation and to elevate what is going on in New Orleans to the national stage.”

Additionally, NOEW will be moving to the Ace Hotel as its primary venue. The Ace is a cutting edge brand with its finger on the pulse of innovation, culture and creativity in New Orleans and is a natural fit as NOEW’s new home.

NOEW 2019 will take place March 25-29, with citywide, community organized events happening Monday through Wednesday and the NOEW Summit taking place Thursday and Friday at the Ace Hotel New Orleans. Pre-register at

Have something of value to teach the entrepreneurial community? Interested speakers should submit a speaker interest form at

NOEW’s full schedule will be released in early 2019. For more information on NOEW sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kat Milligan at