(504) 524-5533
April 23, 2024

Save the Date: Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge Showcase

Finance New Orleans, in partnership with Elemental Excelerator, is thrilled to announce the upcoming Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge Showcase, scheduled to take place on June 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New Orleans Jazz Market, located at 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP.

The Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge was created to identify innovative technologies that demonstrate the ability to lower the overall cost of building components and increase resiliency and affordability for tenants and homeowners. The challenge invited entrepreneurs, community members, public agencies and housing developers to apply to contribute solutions for this effort.

The showcase will feature presentations from finalists, networking opportunities, and insights from industry experts. Winners can pilot their technology within model homes, access funding from Elemental, and unlock a scalable development path in collaboration with Finance New Orleans.     

“As we endeavor to establish a replicable model for well-built, innovative, resilient, and affordable housing, this showcase will spotlight cutting-edge solutions that tackle key challenges in the housing sector,” said Damon Burns, President and CEO of Finance New Orleans.         

Through the challenge, Finance New Orleans aims to identify partners for the sustainable development of properties designated for single-family home construction. The winning solutions will initially be implemented in up to 13 homes, each receiving $50k or more in non-dilutive funding.

Notable judges and committee members include: Damon Burns;  Brenda Breaux, Executive Director of New Orleans Redevelopment Authority; Michelle Whetten, Vice President of Enterprise Community Partners; Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, President and CEO of Accelerator for America; Chris Donald, Executive Director and CEO of DCHFA; Dawn Arnold, Executive Vice President and COO of Invest Atlanta; Evette Hester, Executive Director of HANO;  New Orleans City Council member Freddie King, District C; New Orleans City Council member Lesli Harris, District B; Terence Smith, Chairman & CEO of Smith’s Research and Gradings; and Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman and CEO of OHUB.

Judges are actively seeking solutions in three key areas. Construction and Building Materials Solutions: Innovations in affordable and green building materials and construction methods that reduce embodied carbon, increase resiliency to weather extremes, enhance indoor air quality, and lower energy demand. Building Performance Solutions: Technologies and strategies to improve energy and water efficiency, strengthen resilience to flooding and power outages, and reduce overall energy demand in single-family homes. Labor Solutions: Creative approaches to labor and construction processes that increase local skilled workforce capacity, reduce costs, and expedite construction timelines.

Michelle Whetten, the Vice President of the Gulf Coast Market and Senior Advisor at Enterprise Community Partners, emphasizes the significance of community-driven solutions,  “I’m thrilled to witness innovative ideas that go beyond ordinary solutions. As a judge for the Resilient New Orleans Innovation Challenge, I’m looking for projects that address housing challenges while contributing to broader community resilience. The intersection of creativity and impact. This initiative is about more than just houses. It’s about shaping the future of our communities and paving the way for a sustainable and resilient tomorrow.”

The showcase promises to be a pivotal event in the pursuit of sustainable, resilient, and affordable housing solutions for New Orleans and beyond. For more information, please contact us at 504-524-5533.

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