Musical company

This company just won $400,000 in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week pitch competition | Economic news

The big winner of IdeaPitch 2022, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week’s “Shark Tank”-style finale, is Jamm Around, whose three founders created an app to make it easier for musicians to collaborate.

Brent Craige, Donovan Williams and Marlon Butler took home the $400,000 top prize, which was boosted this year by a cash injection from New Orleans investors including Levelset’s Scott Wolfe and Lucid’s Patrick Comer, who sold their businesses in 2021 for $500 million and $1.1. billion. Like the founders of Jamm Around, Wolfe and Comer graduated from the Idea Village accelerator program and participated in previous IdeaPitch competitions.

The top prize was previously $50,000.

Investors invested a total of $750,000 for this year’s jackpot, meaning the two finalist companies each received $175,000:

  • Iconic Moments, a company aiming to digitally monetize the assets of museums and other cultural institutions
  • Cluey Consumer, an application that helps consumers wishing to make ethical choices when shopping.

Craige, the CEO of Jamm Around, made the first of three pitches Friday night before a spirited audience at the Ace Hotel in the Warehouse District, at the final event of this year’s New Orleans Entrepreneurs Week. The winner was chosen by a panel of four judges: three venture capitalists and last year’s IdeaPitch winner Lauren Bercier, who said her company Something Borrowed Blooms has now captured around 1% of the national market for wedding flower arrangements.

Help Wanted: Engineers

This year’s three finalists reflected the cultural focus of the week-long program of Entrepreneur Week, where approximately 3,000 attendees engaged in discussions about diversity in the startup world and opportunities for business creation. companies in “cultural technologies” and “clean technologies”.

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Craige said the Jamm Around prize money will be used to further grow the business, including hiring more local engineers.

“Our priority with the money is to scale our user base and strengthen our engineering team,” he said.

Jon Atkinson, CEO of Idea Village, which runs the accelerator program and week-long event for entrepreneurs, said Jamm Around exemplifies the opportunities for New Orleans-based startups to define a new type musical economy for the city.

“Cultural Technology Archetype”

“This is a Web3 business that represents the potential future of what New Orleans can build,” Atkinson said. “Jamm Around is the archetype of cultural technology. They bring artists together and help create the new plumbing for this system.”

Atkinson said companies such as Jamm Around also highlight the best way to think about developing tech companies in New Orleans: “It’s not about reinventing Silicon Valley or Nashville; it’s about taking our assets and define what we want to be.”

Craige echoed this idea: “As long as we find ways to streamline and optimize how we capture the value of [New Orleans’] culture, I have the impression that everything will be fine in this city. But we definitely have to focus on our history, our music, tourism – those things.”

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