THE BREW 11 HIGH STAKES PITCH FINALISTS HAVE BEEN SELECTED
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2022
BATON ROUGE – Today, Nexus Louisiana announces the three companies selected to compete head-to-head for the High-Stakes Pitch Competition. A $100,000 investment prize will be awarded to the winning company at the live pitch event during Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week on Thursday, March 10. The finalist companies are Falaya (Barett Blondeau, founder and CEO), ParkZen (Manos Chatzopoulos, CEO and co-founder) and Cluey Consumer (Maryclaire Manard, founder and CEO).
Each company was selected after an initial pool of 34 applicants was narrowed to eight semi-finalists by a team of judges with extensive knowledge and experience in identifying investment potential. The semi-finalist companies submitted a detailed business plan for review before giving closed-door pitches to a panel of judges who selected the three finalists earlier today.
“We base the High Stakes Pitch on investability to help raise the profile of high-potential companies in Louisiana and connect them to our regional investment community,” said Genevieve Silverman, president & CEO of NexusLA. “We believe that this competition, while rigorous, is a great step toward building a stronger innovation ecosystem in Baton Rouge.”
Falaya is redefining how homes are sold by offering Real Estate forms automation, on-demand virtual realtor appointments and a reimagined pricing model that places the control squarely in the homeowners’ hands.
ParkZen enables enterprises and organizations to optimize their parking operations in the most economical and sustainable way available in the marketplace powered by smart crowdsourcing technology.
3. CLUEY CONSUMER
Cluey Consumer empowers consumers to make a greater impact through their everyday purchases. Cluey’s searchable database showcases thousands of brands’ social, environmental, and political impacts so that consumers can buy products that are more in line with their values.
Semi-finalist companies included Muse Engine (Ben Legum), Team Factor (Jennifer Macha Herbert), DAWn Audio (Diego Pinzon), Speedy Eats (Speed Bancroft), and Mallard Bay (Logan Meaux).
Anita Bryne (SSA Consultants), Chris Jordan (Omnidek), Will Eglin (GMFS Mortgage), Michael Valluzzo (Valluzzo Companies), Michael Stubblefield (Southern University), Michael Morse (Louisiana Fish Fry Products), Jason Boudreaux (LSU Innovation Park), Fahimeh Abbasi (LSU) and Gary Hamer (Champion Technology Services) served as semi-finalist judges.
BREW kicks off Wednesday, March 9, at 5:00 p.m. in the Bon Carre Business Center with an opening night celebration and small business showcase in honor of NexusLA’s 30th anniversary. Entrepreneur Day, slated for March 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will feature a series of 45-minute peer-learning sessions led by successful entrepreneurs with a local and national footprint.
Serial Entrepreneur and Best-Selling Author Jon Bostock will join the BREW lineup for a candid talk about breaking free from business constraints and reimagining the future of work.
The High Stakes Pitch Competition will close out BREW at 5:30 p.m. The winning startup will receive a $100,000 investment prize funded by a pool of experienced, accredited investors and is managed jointly by Innovation Catalyst and the Red Stick Angel Network.
There is no cost to attend Opening Night. Entrepreneur Day is $50 and High Stakes Pitch Competition is $25. A bundle-and-save option is available and offers a 20 percent discount. Students can use coupon code “BREWED” to receive a 50 percent discount.
BREW is produced by Nexus Louisiana and supported by Stone Pigman, Innovation Catalyst, Red Stick Angels, Sterling Properties, Venyu, EdgePower, Eatel, b1 Bank, General Informatics, Well Fargo Advisors, Baton Rouge Health District, Champion Technology Services, IBERIABANK, Bascom Hunter, LaPorte CPAs and Business Advisors, Louisiana Companies, Printing Source and Tin Roof.
About Nexus Louisiana
Nexus Louisiana is a Baton Rouge-based 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides high-potential, technology-enabled companies the coaching, capital and connections they need to accelerate their growth.
About Innovation Catalyst
Innovation Catalyst is a non-profit venture development organization formed by community leaders to strengthen and broaden Louisiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It manages The Catalyst Fund, a non-profit, evergreen fund offering capital investment and development support for Louisiana-based entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life.
About the Red Stick Angel Network
The Red Stick Angel Network is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Innovation Catalyst, whose members are accredited investors or “Angels” located in the greater Baton Rouge area. Its mission is to organize the Baton Rouge Angels as a network to identify, vet, and then aggregate investment capital of its members to invest in early-stage companies in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana. In addition to capital, its members provide coaching and connections to support and grow its portfolio companies, thereby fostering economic development and job creation in Baton Rouge and throughout the state.
Director of Marketing & Communications