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Newly launched Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development partners with NOLATech Week to bring Reddit to campus

October 7, 2014

Just as social sharing website Reddit made headlines this week for announcing that it will pledge to give 10 percent of the $50 million it raised from investors back to its online member users, the newly launched Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at Loyola University New Orleans will partner with the 2014 NOLATech Week to bring Reddit’s general manager to campus. Erik Martin will headline a free, public talk Wednesday, Oct. 8 on how failing and hard lessons in entrepreneurship can lead to future successes.

The talk coincides with the kinds of lessons the newly formed Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development in Loyola’s College of Business seeks to teach student entrepreneurs. The new center is working to create an on-campus nexus for experiential learning and real-world education by plugging students in to New Orleans entrepreneurial ecosystem and encouraging them to create traditional for-profit and social entrepreneurship-based ventures while at Loyola.

Martin's talk, “A Celebration of Failure 2.0: a Keynote,” is set for 7 p.m. in Loyola’s Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, and will also incorporate Reddit’s signature AMA (Ask me Anything) events live during the lecture. Josh Constine of Tech Crunch will moderate Reddit's keynote, as well as a preceding panel at 5:30 p.m., “Angel Investing in New Orleans, a Panel on the Makings of a Deal Ready Entrepreneur.” That panel will feature representatives from six prominent local angel investment groups, including Loyola College of Law adjunct professor and alumnus Ray Areaux, J.D. ’85, representing South Coast, Jeremy Hunnewell, representing OVC Ventures, Mike Ekert representing NO/LA Angel Group, Kris Kahlil representing the New Orleans BioFund, Jimmy Roussel representing the New Orleans Startup Fund and Drew Mouton representing Caerus. Both talks are open to the public.

In fact, the integration of a community-driven Angel Fund into Loyola's MBA curriculum has been an incredibly successful teaching tool for students. Beginning in 2012, MBA students enrolled in the program’s “Private Equity Investments Class” have worked with South Coast Angel Fund and provided support to investors by evaluating prospective businesses and providing market, financial and legal analyses in South Coast’s decision making process. The success of the students eventually led Loyola to become an investor in the fund, which allows students to participate as actual fund “members,” by voting Loyola’s share.

South Coast Angel Fund was created to utilize the capital, resources and expertise of its members to achieve returns from its investments in entrepreneurial and early-stage companies, primarily within Louisiana and the Gulf Coast community.

For more information on the NOLATech week panels, contact Jon Atkinson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development or visit the website.

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