Startup St. Bernard

Startup St. Bernard presented by the Meraux Foundation and the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation is an annual startup business challenge held in conjunction with Idea Village during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for a chance to pitch their business to a panel of judges in St. Bernard Parish for over $100,000 in prizes. The competition serves to not only equip a local business to expand their operations in St. Bernard, but also improves the entrepreneur ecosystem and markets the parish as the place to start a business in Greater New Orleans. SBEDF serves in several roles pertaining to the planning and execution of the program including raising funds, marketing and organizing the event, and mentoring/promoting finalists prior to and after the competition.

Finalists have been selected to pitch their business in the 5th Annual Startup St. Bernard competition on Thursday, March 28th from 3pm-5pm.  Three finalists - Breath Waters, Da Parish Kayaks, and Schmelly's Dirt Farm will receive $5,000 in seed money and compete for a grand prize package valued at nearly $90,000. The event is free and open to the public.  Register to attend at

Startup St. Bernard

Live "Shark Tank" Style Pitch Competition


Past Winners & Finalists

2018 Winner: Clean Course Meals

Clean Course Meals is a new business based in St. Bernard Parish that offers affordable gourmet meals made with fresh ingredients. According to their pitch, “We make it healthy. We make it simple. We make it convenient.” The company’s website is

2018 Finalists

Neutral Ground

Full Count Athletic Facility

Pontchartrain Mushrooms

Neptune's Garden

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2017 Winner: Reactive Digital Systems

Reactive Digital Systems, LLC is at the forefront of augmented reality education. Augmented reality reacts to user input, engaging learners of all ages in a wide field of studies, and it is the new frontier of interactive education. The company produces TopoBox, a cutting-edge educational instrument that projects an augmented micro-reality on a “sandbox” that users can manipulate. Videos and more information are available on the company’s website at

2017 Finalists

Da Parish Kayaks

Crescent City Seafood Connection

Leduc Entertainment

Functional Health and Wellness LLC

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2016 Winner: Christie's Dreams Seafood

Christie's Dreams Seafood is an existing local business that entered Startup St. Bernard to help launch a new product line — St. Bernard Parish branded seafood. The company plans to freeze and package fresh shrimp and soft shell crabs locally caught in St. Bernard Parish waters using a flash freezing method that guarantees premium quality.

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2016 Finalists


Girls Gone Vegan

The Coffee House

Atlas Mechanical Design

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2015 Winner: 40 Arpent Brewing Company

40 Arpent Brewing Company is a micro-brewery located along the Mississippi River in Old Arabi.  Owner, Michael Naquin utilized the funds to build a taproom approximately 1,000 square feet, including a bar, additional seating and a stage. He said he expects the brewery will hold monthly events with live music.

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2015 Finalists

St. Bernard Syrups (Coast Roast LLC)

The Creole Tomato Project

Ruff Stuff LLC

Christie's Dreams Seafood

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