The Greater New Orleans Foundation Announces Finalists for Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge

September 27, 2013

Three nonprofits will “pitch” their ideas on Tulane’s Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on Monday, September 30th at 11:30 AM.

Three finalists will “pitch” their innovative ideas for the human service sector in the final round of Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge at Tulane University’s Greer Field at Turchin Stadium on Monday, Sept. 30th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. A project of the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness initiative in partnership with the Kresge Foundation and Southwest Airlines, Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge supports breakthrough ideas in the human services field.

“From sheltering the homeless to feeding the hungry to caring for our children, organizations within the social service sector provide invaluable services to our community,” said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Through their many programs and services, they are helping to improve the quality of life for all. Yet in the face of a difficult economic landscape, nonprofit organizations must often innovate in order to meet changing needs.”

“The Pitch It! Innovation Challenge is a way to reward organizations that are willing to take a risk, act on a hunch, or think outside the box,” said Joann Ricci, GNOF’s vice president of organizational effectiveness. “Finding innovative solutions to common and complex problems within the social service sector can lead the way to a more sustainable and effective organization. Further, by sharing the ideas supported by the Challenge, we hope that these innovations might spark larger improvements both within and outside of the human services field.”

The three finalists who will present their pitches Monday were selected from a pool of 40 applicants who submitted a diverse range of innovative ideas to address many vital community needs.

A grand prize of $25,000 and 2nd and 3rd place prizes of $5,000, and $2,500 respectively, will be awarded Monday at the stadium after the three finalists have presented their pitches. The three presenting finalists are:

Covenant House

Big Idea: Youth Connect: An innovative new “app” for at-risk youth.

The Gentilly 6 

(Project Home Again, BuildNow, Liberty Bank CDC, Pontchartrain Park CDC, Project Homecoming, St. Bernard Project)

Big Idea: Getting in the Game – The Gentilly 6 Blight Pool

UNITY of Greater New Orleans

Big Idea: A “supertool” to better assess homeless clients and more effectively target resources.

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges including:

  • Jeanne Bell, CEO of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services
  • Matt Wisdom, co-founder and CEO of TurboSquid
  • Maurice Cox, director of Tulane City Center and associate dean for community engagement at the Tulane University School of Architecture
  • Guillermina Hernandez-Gallegos, program director for human services at the Kresge Foundation.

Mark Romig, voice of the Saints, will serve as “umpire.”