Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge
On December 5, 2011, the Brees Dream Foundation and The Idea Village announced that Edna Karr has been crowned the winner of the annual Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge for the second year in a row. The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge is an after-school entrepreneurship program for New Orleans high school students and a signature event of The Idea Village’s annual Entrepreneur Season.
Six months ago, Brittany and Drew Brees challenged teams of nine students from Edna Karr Secondary School, Lusher Charter School, Walter L. Cohen Sr. High School and Warren Easton Senior High School to develop a pilot t-shirt and corresponding launch strategy for local entrepreneur Fleurty Girl’s new youth line. Fleurty Girl is a New Orleans-inspired line of t-shirts, accessories and other locally made goods under the creative vision of founder, Lauren Thom.
The Challenge culminated in the IDEAbowl II, on December 5, 2011, at the National World War II Museum where each student team pitched their final recommendation to a panel of judges, including Brittany and Drew Brees. Karr was named the winner, based on a number of criteria including teamwork, proof of concept, attendance, and the “crazy idea quotient.”
Karr’s winning t-shirt design, “#NOLALOVE,” will be sold by Fleurty Girl. The team will also receive a $10,000 grant from the Brees Dream Foundation to be allocated towards a school project of their choosing and each of the nine students will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Google, Inc. to support their higher education. The Karr team will also be invited to pitch alongside MBA and corporate IDEAcorps teams during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, March 10 – 16, 2012.
In addition to the grand prize, the Brees Dream Foundation will award $2,500 grants to Cohen, Lusher, and Warren Easton. These grant funds will also be allocated towards a school project of each team’s choosing.
In mid-September, each team was invited to make an “IDEApitch” to a panel of representatives from the Brees Dream Foundation and The Idea Village in order to receive a $1,000 IDEAgrant that provided startup money to cover the cost of program supplies. From there, each team worked to design their t-shirt and refine and execute their launch strategies.
In addition to awarding the $1,000 student scholarships, Google provided direct curriculum support, with Google employees both giving students lessons in HTML5 and demonstrating how students can leverage technology to grow their businesses in the new global marketplace.
The Idea Village and the Brees Dream Foundation share the belief in the promise of turning crazy ideas into great opportunities. In leveraging the respective organizations to promote New Orleans as a center for entrepreneurship, and engaging high schools in the process, we are positioning New Orleans as a world-class model for driving economic and social change.
To learn more about the Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge, please visit www.ideavillage.org.