Out to Lunch

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

Trust Your Crazy Ideas June 27, 2019

The Idea Village started at the turn of the 21st Century as a rebellious reaction to the business-as-usual cabal who, through an interlocking web of clubs, krewes, families, and cronyism, controlled most of the purse-strings in a then-shrinking New Orleans. 

Six years later, in the wake of the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, The Idea Village played a pivotal role in totally changing the business landscape of New Orleans. With literally nothing left to lose here, The Idea Village led the way in establishing a fearless approach to creating a whole new startup, entrepreneurial business culture, under the banner, “Trust your crazy ideas.”

Jon Atkinson, CEO, Idea Village

Today, New Orleans today is a new-business hub, with over 64% more entrepreneurial activity than the national average. And Jon Atkinson is CEO of The Idea Village.

 Jon Atkinson, Josh Johnston, Dianna Liu, Peter Ricchiuti

Dianna Liu, founder and President of ARIX Technologies, and Josh Johnston, co-founder and President of TrayAway, are in the Idea Village class of 2019.

Dianna Liu, founder of Arix technologies

Arix Technologies makes robots for the energy industry. These robots inspect oil and gas pipes for corrosion. This is a job that is currently performed by humans dangling off of scaffolding. Worldwide, corrosion of pipes costs the oil and gas industry an estimated two and a half trillion dollars. So there is quite a market waiting for Arix Technologies as it begins to put its robots into commercial production.

Josh Johnston, co-founder of TrayAway 

TrayAway tracks down dirty room-service trays in hotels. The ones you see in the hallways of pretty much every hotel you've ever been in. You might think dirty tray pick-up is a negligible problem. But, in fact, there is a vast universe of hotels looking to solve it. TrayAway is already in use in hotels from Paris to the Caribbean, across North and South America, in Brazil, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Photos over lunch at Commander's Palace by Jill Lafleur.

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