PowerMoves NOLA To Provide Over $100K In Funding To Minority Business Owners
MN: Speaking of the pitch rounds, there is supposed to be a POWERMOVER pitch and a Manning’s pitch can you explain the difference between the two?
SH: Yes. One pitch session will be held at the Morial Convention Center during Essence Festival; this session will feature three to five minority women entrepreneurs. Two additional pitch competitions will be held at Manning’s Restaurant during the July 4th weekend. We will be inviting around 15 entrepreneurs to pitch at one of these two sessions. The winners of all three pitches will each receive $25,000 in prize money.
MN: In addition to the two different pitch rounds there will also be an opportunity for five companies to participate in a fellowship/incubator. Can you explain what the fellowship is all about?
SH: PowerMoves NOLA will select at least five startups to become PowerMoves Fellows. Fellows will receive $25,000 in investment capital, a possible relocation subsidy, technical assistance and free or reduced office space. Fellows must commit to have a C-level executive and at least 25 percent of their full-time staff living in the New Orleans region for at least a year. I expect most of the fellowship companies will be early stage companies looking to fund their prototype or proof of concept.
MN: One of the requirements for the fellowship is that companies commit to relocating or having some of their staff relocate to the New Orleans area for at least a year. If this isn’t a feasible option for business owners, can they still participate in other parts of the competition?
SH: Absolutely, participation in the fellowship and pitch competition are not linked. Entrepreneurs interested in being considered for the pitch just need to be nominated online.
MN: Ideally, what types of companies and entrepreneurs should apply for this competition? Is this a competition for minority women-run businesses only?
SH: PowerMoves is for any high-growth, minority owned businesses. The ideal business is post-proof of concept phase and currently transacting business. The businesses should have high-growth potential, meaning the expectation of doing $10 million or more in revenues in the next five-to-seven years.
MN: What is the deadline for the application/nomination process?
SH: We are accepting nominations now on our website through the end of February 2014. Entrepreneurs will then be invited to apply in March. Up to 20 businesses will be selected to participate and notified in May.