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

September 22, 2014

(September 22, 2014 | New Orleans, LA) The Greater New Orleans Foundation, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation and Chevron, is pleased to announce the finalists for Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge 2014. These finalists will present their ideas in a public pitch to a panel of judges on Friday, October 17th at 9:00 am at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The innovation initiative supports breakthrough ideas in the nonprofit field with awards totaling $37,500.

In its second year, Pitch It! is encouraging nonprofits to think outside the box to discover new and innovative ways to address our community’s needs. “We’re constantly turning to our nonprofits to tackle the problems of a fast-changing society,” said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Like for-profits, nonprofits have to be flexible and visionary, open to new opportunities, and innovative in how they deliver their services.”

The three finalists who will present their pitches were selected from a pool of nearly 30 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 $7,500, and $5,000 respectively, will be awarded. The three presenting finalists are:

  • New Orleans Kids Partnership

Big Idea: Louisiana Mentor Match to create an interactive online platform to increase the number, strengthen the quality and enhance the impact of adult-youth mentoring relationships.

  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana

Big Idea: All the Catfish You Can Eat: Transforming Hunger Hotspots through Aquaponics to grow organic and sustainably cultivated food for hungry, distressed communities.


Big Idea: “Y” Texting to help young people in crisis access assistance within their comfort zone.

The winner will be selected by the following panel of judges:

  • Sakari Morrison, manager of policy, government and public affairs at Chevron
  • Earl Robinson, president of PowerMoves.NOLA
  • Michael Shaw, program officer for human services at the Kresge Foundation
  • Matt Wisdom, co-founder and CEO of TurboSquid.

Jeanne Bell, CEO of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, will keynote focusing on innovation in nonprofits, and Mark Romig, will serve as the MC of Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge.