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STartUP Northshore Launches ‘NSpire Startup Slam’ Pitch Competition with $50,000 Prize for Local Entrepreneurs

MANDEVILLE – On Aug. 11, STartUP Northshore announced NSpire Startup Slam, a pitch competition on the Northshore with local entrepreneurs competing for a prize package of cash and services valued at more than $50,000.

The NSpire Startup Slam builds on the partnership established with the Idea Village in 2022. Entrepreneurs can apply for the chance to compete in the live, shark-tank-style pitch competition until Sept. 22.

“NSpire Startup Slam will bring together everything that makes the Northshore special—ideas, innovation, and locally sourced grit. We couldn’t be more proud to host these local leaders,” said Chris Masingill, CEO of St. Tammany Corporation. “We want this event to be a clarion call to entrepreneurs in St. Tammany and all across the region. Our message is simple: come, showcase your ventures, and attract the game-changing investment and network that could propel your business to new heights.”

NSpire Startup Slam applicants will be evaluated on core criteria that includes concept, business model, market viability, scalability, traction, investment readiness and presentation skills as well as the ability to generate a significant positive impact on the region.

A maximum of four finalists will be selected to pitch their business to a live audience and a panel of judges at the NSpire Startup Slam for a comprehensive prize package complete with $25,000 in cash funding matched by high-quality in-kind services, mentorship opportunities, and access to a network of investors and industry professionals valued at over $30,000.

This newly minted pitch competition represents STartUP Northshore’s latest investment in building programs that cultivate local entrepreneurs by delivering world-class programming, networking opportunities, access to capital and mentorship from esteemed industry leaders, investors, and founders at predominantly no cost to the startups.

The NSpire Startup Slam is open to any business that is based or is willing to locate their base of operations on the Northshore (St. Tammany, Tangipahoa or Washington Parish) for at least two years and actively participate in the STartUP Northshore entrepreneurial ecosystem. Startups from all industries, backgrounds, and locations are invited. The venture must be legally incorporated and in business for five years or less, or existing businesses creating a new division or entity, and have an annual revenue under $1,000,000. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible to enter.

“Tangipahoa Economic Development is a proud partner of STartUP Northshore, and we welcome the NSpire Startup Slam to downtown Hammond, America, right here in Tangipahoa Parish. This event is a significant milestone for our community, highlighting the spirit of innovation and economic growth that STartUP Northshore brings to our region,” said Ginger Cangelosi, executive director of Tangipahoa Economic Development. “The NSpire Startup Slam is set to ignite new opportunities, enrich our business landscape, and strengthen the Northshore’s position as an entrepreneurial hub.”

“Pitch competitions are a great opportunity for exposure for founders that are starting and scaling a startup,” said Jon Atkinson, CEO of the Idea Village. “Thanks to the inaugural NSpire Startup Slam, Northshore business founders will have the chance to present their startups to potential investors and other stakeholders, making connections and getting invaluable feedback. The fact that Northshore entrepreneurs can compete locally for a prize package of more than $50K while they scale their businesses is a testament to the power of regional thinking and the Gulf South area as a hub for entrepreneurship.”

NSpire Startup Slam will include a live “battle of innovation” at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Downtown Hammond. Entrepreneurs will showcase their ideas, connect with industry leaders and compete for a robust prize package.

STartUP Northshore is made possible through the financial support and partnership of Chevron, Citizens National Bank, Cleco Power, Hancock Whitney Bank, and the Northshore Community Foundation.

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