Destination Hackathon and the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)

Destination Hackathon and the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)


Internet hackers, designers, app developers, and programmers will gather for a two-day competition (March 21-23) to help kick off New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, March 22-28, 2014. Called Destination Hackathon, its purpose is to reward the best design and software ideas that could ultimately benefit the city’s booming tourism industry.The Idea Village and tech entrepreneur Travis Laurendine are producing the event in partnership with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). The Hyatt Regency New Orleans is joining these organizations as a Platinum Sponsor, acting as the host location for all of the events taking place over the weekend.


“It’s no secret that The Idea Village has attracted the best and brightest in young entrepreneurs and NOTMC wants to add to its success by bringing the best and brightest Internet minds to the table,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). “By challenging them in a hackathon to create creative and useful apps for the tourism is a win-win for us.”

After a brief welcome from the organizers on Friday evening, participants will hear pitches for app ideas and then form teams. They’ll work straight through the next 42 hours on their apps and demo them on Sunday evening to a panel of judges from the hospitality and technology industries including Adam Hansen, Program Manager at Rackspace, Michael Megalli, Senior Director of Brand Strategy at Microsoft, Mark Romig, President and CEO at NOTMC, and Michael Smith, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The winning teams will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Hyatt shortly following the judging process.

“We are constantly seeking cutting-edge opportunities, such as this one, as New Orleans continues to advance as a mecca for innovation and technology,” said Michael Smith, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. “As one of the most tech-savvy hotels in this region, it is a true honor to host some of the world’s leading digital experts at our hotel, while simultaneously shining a light on our city’s burgeoning tech industry.”

Over $10,000 worth of prizes, including hotel stays, concert tickets, and all expenses paid dining experiences, will be awarded thanks to dozens of local sponsors, including many of the city’s fine hotels and restaurant groups. Local entrepreneur and tech travel writer Nick Vivion has helped secure an additional grand prize for the winning team–a 30-minute consultation for the winners with Thayer Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in technology for the hospitality industry.

Registrants who sign up by March 18 and participate fully in the event will be automatically entered to win a free Brass Pass for this year’s Jazz and Heritage Festival, courtesy of WWOZ-FM. An additional Brass Pass from WWOZ will be awarded to the participant deemed the crowd favorite, a prize awarded by a vote sourced from all who participate in the event.

The Destination Hackathon event kicks off Friday, March 21, and registration is free and open now at

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) is the culmination of The Idea Village’s annual Entrepreneur Season. The weeklong festival of entrepreneurship lures nationally-renowned venture capitalists, regional investors and corporate volunteers, along with visiting MBA student teams from the nation’s leading business programs, who come together and support select early-stage New Orleans ventures and expose emerging opportunities. NOEW 2014 is expected to engage 5,000+ of the nation’s most innovative minds through over 80 events. Learn more at