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Loyola MBA students give advice, participate in weeklong entrepreneurship festival

March 19, 2010

Six Loyola University New Orleans College of Business MBA students will participate in the Nation’s Top Talent for Entrepreneurship Festival and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week from March 20-27, at the Intellectual Property building at 515 Girod St.

Hosted by the Idea Village, a New Orleans nonprofit that identifies, supports and retains entrepreneurial talent in the city, the festival will gather cutting-edge investors and entrepreneurial leaders, corporate volunteers and 90 MBA students from across the United States to support more than 75 early-stage New Orleans business ventures and focus on emerging business opportunities. The Idea Village is partnering with Google, the New Orleans Saints, the Downtown Development District, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, and other sponsors to host a series of activities for participants.

Loyola MBA students Brian Danos, RaShaud Haines, Michael Pitre, Barrow Reedy, Kelly Spears and Christynn Vierra are participating with faculty adviser Brett Matherne, Ph.D., the Chase Minority Entrepreneurship Distinguished Professor.

Loyola’s students and MBA teams from seven other universities will be paired with local start-up business owners to provide them strategy and consulting services. Students will also be able to attend presentations from several high-profile speakers including Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute in Washington, D.C.; Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team; Jim Coulter, CEO of TPG Capital, a global private investment firm; and retired Army General Wesley Clark. Google, Cisco, Salesorce.com, Deloitte and Touche, LLP and Arent Fox volunteers will lead workshops and tutorials for participants, and the Aspen Institute will host a leadership seminar.

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.

For additional information on the Entrepreneur Week, contact Abhi Bhansali at 504-897-0462 or abhi@bondpublicrelations.com.

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