OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant. Each week Peter invites guests from the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the USA to be an entrepreneur. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the new New Orleans entrepreneurial movement. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.
Photo by Rick Lineberger
New Orleans annual Entrepreneur Week is a week-long throw-down of entrepreneurs and the men and women who love them. Resembling a melange of New York's Fashion Week, TED talks, and Cirque du Soleil of business, classes and seminars fill out the day around the star events where NOLA entrepreneurs get to pitch their Idea-Village-labeled "crazy ideas" in front of venture capitalists and the general public in return for steroidal strength networking, free coffee, sports drinks, and ultimately the lure of $50,000 in prize money.
With the assistance of the Idea Village's Cameron Adams (in orange, next to the empty dresser waiting for the wood repair person to show up) Peter Ricchuiti trades lunch at Commander's Palace for a bag of pretzels at Gallier Hall, covering the Idea Village's 2014 Entrepreneur Week with this special edition of Out to Lunch.
On this stroll down Entrepreneur Lane, Peter Ricchuiti first nabs Victoria Adams.
Victoria is Network Manager of The Idea Village and the fastest speed-talker in the New Orleans Metro area. This is not a scientific fact but Victoria's reporting on the developing level of local investor financing in New Orleans is worth slowing down and listening to. Victoria describes how the burgeoning business landscape in New Orleans continues to change.
One exemplary proof of Victoria's claim is the arrival of business immigrants like Peter's next guest, Google executive Tara Cannobio.
Tara is Global Programs Manager, K-12 Education Outreach at Google, which means spreading the word STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - to classrooms around the world. Tara describes her job as encouraging a 2 year old kid who can use a tablet or phone app to be able to eventually build that app. Tara moved to New Orleans recently and has already "dragged hundreds of colleagues" here.
New Orleans has been known for its arts long before it was known for anything resembling innovation, other than the liquid hurricane. New entrepreneurial company Where Y'Art is combining art and innovation.
Collin Ferguson and Catherine Todd launched their online art marketplace where artists and art lovers can meet in a virtual art gallery to view, sell, and buy works of New Orleans art worldwide. The duo also offer business training to local artists who might typically be better at perspective than persistence. Where Y'Art are the winners of the NOEW 2014 Arts Based Business Pitch, walking away with a bundle of goodies including cold cash and cool new office space.
In an attempt to push his own boundaries, Peter decided to record this show in 3D by adding an unprecedented third guest, Frances Guevara.
Frances Guevara is at the, literal, cutting edge of 3D technology. Frances describes the advent of what is currently called 3D printing - better simply described as "manufacturing" - as an "industrial revolution." A 3D artist, technologist and fashion innovator, Frances lays out the ramifications of what is assuredly coming down the 3D highway: being able to circumvent the current default Made In China industrial manufacturing base of the entire US economy.
These Out to Lunch shows require a huge support staff. Here is two thirds of it hard at work: Tech Director Eric Murrell and researcher Jennifer Smith.