Initial Headliners Announced for 12th Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week


Heading up to its 12th year, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), co-produced by the Freeman School and The Idea Village, has announced its initial lineup of speakers.

Thousands will convene in New Orleans, March 23–27, for the weeklong event that unites entrepreneurs, local leaders and investors in a celebration of the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and activity.

“Tulane University has been an integral part of the city’s entrepreneurial community for many decades,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “With the 12th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, we have made important changes that will take the conversation to the next level, with new opportunities for learning, collaboration, mentorship and funding.”

The premier event commences with NOEW In Your Neighborhood, featuring three days of community-organized, citywide events, March 23–25. The NOEW
Summit will follow at the Ace Hotel in downtown New Orleans, March 26–27.

NOEW 2020 is expected to draw as many as 5,000 attendees and hundreds of presenters. This year’s headliners include:

Stuart Haselden – Co-CEO, Away
Walter Robb – Former Co-CEO, Whole Foods
Jon Najarian – Co-Founder, Najarian
Family Office; Contributor, CNBC’s “Fast Money”
Desiree Rogers – CEO, Black Opal Beauty
Verne Harnish – Founder, Entrepreneurs’ Organization
Mathew Knowles – CEO, Music World Entertainment
Cindy Eckert – Founder, The Pink Ceiling/Pinkubator
Irwin Simon – Chairman & CEO, Aphria
Sidney Torres – Founder, IV Capital

Additional headliners will be
announced in the coming weeks.

NOEW will also host the 20th annual Tulane Business Model Competition. Presented by the Freeman School’s AlbertLepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the competition will award a total prize package of $125,000 — an all-time-high — to a student-led startup that demonstrates a market-tested ability to adapt to customers’ needs.

“This year’s speakers represent the best and the brightest in the entrepreneurial ecosystem from around the world, and NOEW delivers them right here to our doorstep,” said Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Idea Village. “From showcasing emerging trends, innovations and personal anecdotes, this year’s speakers are sure to deliver inspired learnings.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. returns for its third year as a presenting sponsor of NOEW, continuing its long-standing commitment to local startup companies and investing in the next generation of leaders.

“We are proud to join NOEW in its quest to connect New Orleans’ startup community to the cutting edge of global business,” said Katie LeGardeur, market leader in Louisiana for JPMorgan Chase & Co. “As an early believer and consistent champion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Orleans, we support NOEW in its continuing effort to bring free, world-class education to our community, and boost the region’s reputation as a place to build industry leading businesses.”

NOEW events are free and open to the public. To learn about NOEW’s 2020 schedule, visit

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