Cornell MBAs to Participate in the #1 Entrepreneurial Experiential Learning Program in the Country

Students will join a New Orleans–based startup team during fifth New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

Cornell MBAs to Participate in the #1 Entrepreneurial Experiential Learning Program in the Country
New Orleans, La., March 5, 2013 — The Idea Village announces that the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University has been selected to participate in IDEAcorps during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), March 16-March 23, 2013. IDEAcorps is the country’s premier entrepreneurial experiential learning program that has engaged over 500 individuals from more than 20 business schools across the United States.

“Since 2009, IDEAcorps has been connecting top MBAs with New Orleans startups to provide direct strategic consulting services,” said Tim Williamson, cofounder and CEO of The Idea Village. “The program has catalyzed the New Orleans entrepreneurial community and created a real-world experience with entrepreneurship.”

Six Johnson MBAs will join counterparts from other top-tier business schools, including Columbia Business School, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Harvard Business School, Loyola University New Orleans, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, and the Yale School of Management.

“It is exciting to see top MBAs from around the country competing for this hands-on entrepreneurial program in New Orleans,” said Sara Thomas, a 2009 IDEAcorps alumna and director of product management for The Idea Village. “IDEAcorps is a chance for MBA students to gain true startup experience, while contributing to the growth of New Orleans’ entrepreneurial community. The program has grown steadily since its inception because both the MBA teams and entrepreneurs receive tremendous impact.”

Teams of six students from each of the eight schools will be paired with high-impact New Orleans startups and work with them over the week to tackle a critical business challenge or leverage a strategic opportunity.

The partnerships for 2013 include:

  • Cornell and Bissap Breeze, an all-natural, hibiscus-based beverage company
  • Columbia and Zlien, a company that helps building supply and construction companies manage mechanics lien and bond claim compliance
  • Dartmouth and Clothesline, software that integrates information between retail and wholesale businesses
  • Harvard and GoToInterview.com, a web-based tool designed to connect employers and employees in high-turnover industries
  • Loyola and Pierce Industries, inventor of a patented modular shoreline protection and sediment retention system
  • known as the Wave Suppression Sediment Collection (WSSC) System, or The Wave Robber
  • Stanford and Education Everytime, an online platform where teachers inspire and discover engaging music that enhances daily routines
  • Tulane and eTax Credit Exchange, an online marketplace for trading tax credits and other economic incentives
  • Yale and Your Nutrition Delivered, a fresh meal delivery service

“IDEAcorps provides an unmatched opportunity to not only work with and learn from an exciting young startup but to contribute to the rebirth of New Orleans as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Bret Nolan Collazzi, MBA ’13, who co-leads the 2013 Johnson team with Jon Ambrose, MBA ’14. “We are looking forward to embedding ourselves in the Bissap Breeze team and helping the founders drive sales and brand identity.” Monet Dumas, Keriann Murphy, Patrick Starr, and Emily Walsh, all MBA ’14, round out Johnson’s team. Rhett Weiss, executive director of Johnson’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, and Risa Mish, faculty director of Johnson’s Accelerated MBA Program, are team advisors.

To learn more about the IDEAcorps program and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, please visit http://www.ideavillage.org/

About The Idea Village

In 2000, The Idea Village was formed by a group of New Orleans citizens who returned home energized by experiences in thriving communities across the United States. The founders determined that the key to creating positive economic and social change in New Orleans was to create a vibrant entrepreneurial community. The Idea Village was formalized in 2002 as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to identify, support, and retain entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans by providing business resources to high-impact ventures.
To date, The Idea Village has provided direct support to more than 2,200 New Orleans entrepreneurs by engaging over 2,100 professionals to allocate over 56,949 consulting hours and $3.1 million in seed capital. Collectively, this portfolio generates annual revenue exceeding $100 million and has created more than 2,000 jobs for the New Orleans community.

About New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) is the culmination of The Idea Village’s annual Entrepreneur Season. The week-long entrepreneurial festival lures nationally renowned venture capitalists, regional investors, and corporate volunteers along with visiting MBA student teams from the nation’s leading business programs, who come together and support select early-stage New Orleans ventures and expose emerging opportunities. NOEW 2012 engaged 1,000 of the best and brightest local and national minds to invest $1,023,946 in capital, strategic consulting, and resources to 475 New Orleans entrepreneurs at 48 different events.
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