Startup St. Bernard

Startup St. Bernard was created by the Meraux Foundation as an official way to promote the parish as a land of opportunity for businesses, especially startups.

The “Shark Tank” style entrepreneur competition seeks out innovative entrepreneurs willing to give 110% to compete for a prize package worth $110K designed to help propel their business to the next level. Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for a chance to pitch their business to a panel of judges in St. Bernard Parish during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week at the Meraux Foundation’s Docville Farm.

Startup St. Bernard is looking for innovative entrepreneurs to locate their businesses in St. Bernard Parish. While just minutes away from downtown New Orleans, the land, labor, and costs of doing business are low — and the business support network is robust. The challenge is being organized by the Meraux Foundation, the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation and The Idea Village™. Supporting partners include Nunez Community College, St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership St. Bernard.

The Startup St. Bernard Challenge is open to any startup* business that will:

  • Locate base of operations to St. Bernard Parish for at least 2 years
  • Improve St. Bernard Parish**
  • Become part of the St. Bernard Parish entrepreneur ecosystem


  1. Submit Your Business Plan online
    Entrepreneurs must complete the entry form and submit a business plan at
  2. Judges Select Finalists
    A panel of judges with business experience will review the submissions and score the entries. The five highest-scoring businesses will be selected to “pitch” the judges at the Startup St. Bernard entrepreneur challenge.
  3. Finalists Pitch for a chance to win $110,000 prize package
    Five finalists will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges in a TED Talk-style presentation format. The live public event takes place at the Arlene Meraux River Observation Center during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

Everyone is invited to attend the Startup St. Bernard pitch challenge and cheer the entrepreneurs on! Register now at

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) is the annual festival celebrating business, innovation, and advanced thinking in New Orleans. Produced by The Idea Village™, NOEW engages a dynamic global network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, nonprofits, students, and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial success through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition and celebration. This year, the event will take place March 11-18, 2016 and 10,000+ are expected to be engaged through over 75 different events.

May 4, 2022 Meraux Foundation Coastal and Environmental Program Manager Blaise Pezold Honored with “Guy Caire Award”
February 17, 2022 Meraux Foundation Environmental Program Manager Participates in National Conservation Meeting
AgMagic Returns to Docville on March 19
October 27, 2021 Meraux Foundation Announces Recipients of Hurricane Ida Recovery Grants
October 19, 2021 Helping Our Coastline Heal: Meraux Foundation Plantings Continue along the MRGO
October 12, 2021 Meraux Foundation Donates Over Eight Additional Acres to Hospital District